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Environmental protection & child health

Support of the social business BeeWell  

BeeWell is a social business, which offers its premises for the vocational training in organic farming, income creation and aikido practice of the Warriors for Peace Academy. In close cooperation with Warriors for Peace, BeeWell provides chances for self-sustainability and independence of the academy.

Project Description

Background:
Peace work is often dependent on donations and external funding. Fundraising and related preconditions for finding acceptance of foreign agendas is not always of best benefit for the project and its beneficiaries. Achieving self-sustainability and independence are pivotal aims of a context-sensitive project, such as re-integration of former combatants.
In Negros Island/Philippines monoculture (sugarcane) polluted soil and water through over-fertilization for the past century.
Malnutrition among small children in the Philippines remains a big challenge; about 30 % of youngsters below 1 year of age are ill-nourished despite almost ideal agricultural growth conditions. Insufficient education on adequate child nutrition and poverty are determining factors for this situation.

For whom:
When the academy students leave they will be able to disseminate their knowledge and spread the environmental value of organic farming to their home communities.

What:
A symbiosis between an NGO-project, which focuses on socialization and livelihood, and a social business, which offers a new approach (organic) to a familiar job (farming), promises to create a win-win situation. When former combatants learn methods and techniques how to protect nature and to fight for nutrition and health issues, new perspectives on life will be transferred. BeeWell further provides a dojo (aikido practising place) on the farm land and offers space for accommodation and training. The Peace Agents Foundation supports BeeWell in the development of training materials on organic farming and an initial funding of a BeeWell manager who facilitates the cooperation.
In addition, PAF offers facilitation of expertise in baby food production and training methods for organic farming and environmental protection.

Why:
BeeWell as a social business is not just promoting fair salaries and work conditions for its workers and environmental protection of the farm land and its water irrigation. It further aims to use farm produce to develop healthy baby food and child nutrition in order to face the problem of malnutrition among small kids.
At the same time, all these approaches allow the Warriors for Peace Academy participants to achieve a good basis restoring life in society.

How:
BeeWell invites participants of the Warriors for Peace Academy to learn methods and techniques of organic farming. While experiencing hands-on a variety of approaches, Warriors for Peace receives their salaries and can provide aikido instructors, teachers for other topics related to community development as well asfood and some pocket money. The salaries gradually increase by time gaining, while the participants get more knowledge and skills throughout the vocational training.

Who is implementing:
BeeWell farm is run by a partnership of company owners. Next in line is a farm administrator and trainer (who also is responsible for aikido practice in the Warriors for Peace Academy). A small number of permanent farm workers stabilize the general business. All academy participants are an integral part of the team, even when still fresh and unexperienced in the field. When they leave they will be able to disseminate their knowledge and spread the environmental value of organic farming to their home communities.
The Peace Agents Foundation supports BeeWell in the development of training materials on organic farming and an initial funding of a BeeWell manager who facilitates the cooperation. In addition, PAF offers facilitation of expertise in baby food production and training methods for organic farming and environmental protection.

Where:
The BeeWell farm is located in Purok Pili, Barangay Mailum in Negros Occidental, Philippines. It is 10km away from the crater of the impressive Kanla-on volcano with an amazing view over the shores of Negros Island.

When:
The development of training materials and their updates remains an ongoing process. Simultaneously a demo farm is being established. In 2013, an aikido dojo has been constructed so that regular training could be resumed. Accommodation and further buildings needed for the academy are going to be built within the coming years (2015 & 2016). In line with the principles of organic farming, those houses are built as natural mud houses (another technique that students will learn).
Warriors for Peace Academy participants can join any time.

Further information:
For more detailed information please visit the website of the organization www.BeeWell.biz.

Take note: it is not BeeWell that is promoted on PAF website. It is the cooperation with WfP Academy! Some of BeeWell principles, however, are highlighted and may awake interest in the social business.

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