A Farm That’s Changing Lives

Nestled within the mountainous landscape of Bulacan, a central province in the Philippines, there is a place they call the “Enchanted Farm”. It’s not magical in the traditional sense—no whimsical creatures or talking trees. Rather, its magic lies in its ability to transform the lives of families living in extreme poverty.

The farm is run by Gawad Kalinga, one of the Philippines’ most respected development organizations, and a partner of Cuso International. Traditionally their work involved building houses for the poor, but recently their focus shifted to the farm, where Shona Taner, a two-time Cuso International volunteer, is changing lives.

“I used to help company owners make more money but I decided I wanted to help poor people make money,” Shona said.

Often referred to as “The Silicon Valley of Social Enterprise”, the farm has a unique model that focuses on a “triple bottom line”: enhancing profits, people and the planet. Fifty families who were once homeless now live in homes on the farm, and the products they create are sold to invest back into the farm.

Shona has been mentoring students in the farm’s Social Entrepreneurship Experiential Development Program. She has also been helping farmers improve their processes and skills so they can increase profits and become more financially secure.

“I am a strong believer and advocate of social entrepreneurship, and of education towards it, as key drivers to overcome poverty,” Shona said.

Please consider donating today to help send more volunteers like Shona where they are needed most to make a real difference.