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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Sandwich Project

The latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results on Filipino families who experienced involuntary hunger (for lack of anything to eat) during the second quarter of 2011 significantly declined to 15.1% (roughly 3 million families) from 20.5% during the first quarter or 4.1 million families.

The families who experience hunger are the poor living in the depressed areas, and I will bet my entire annual salary that the average number of children in these families is anywhere from 5 to 8. We don't need to be geniuses to be able to equate that more mouths mean less food for each, assuming there is very little to partake to begin with.

And so I ask for the hundredth time, why oh why do these people, who knew in the first place that they cannot afford to feed even themselves, still produce offspring so abundantly?

I feel terribly sorry for these children who roam the streets begging for money instead of going to school. I try to imagine my own children in that situation and my heart bleeds. It's almost unthinkable!

A couple of weeks ago, I had to attend a meeting in Intramuros. As I and my colleagues were going to the parking lot, we saw this woman sorting plastics of leftovers and scrap food. In our homes, we call these scrap as 'kanin baboy' - roughly in english it is called swill which is a mixture of liquid and scrap solid food intended to be fed to pigs. For this lady, it's called lunch.

(The pictures were taken secretly and very discreetly. I am sorry if that's a violation. I was too embarrassed to ask her if I can photograph her while she sorts out what would be her lunch. I intentionally took it from behind to hide her face.)

Whatever comes out from her sorting will be washed and then sauteed with onion and garlic (if they even have a pan).

It's heartbreaking just to imagine she and her family will still eat 'that'. It's degrading. It shouldn't happen. But for those whose choice is only between taking what's for the pigs and going hungry, the decision isn't that difficult.

I wonder what this woman would say if she gets included in the hunger survey. Will she say, 'No, they didn't experience involuntary hunger', because she found a way to feed herself?

After this encounter, I made a vow to launch a small project which I hope to do on a weekly basis. I'm calling it The Sandwich Project. One day each week, I will take a sandwich with me when I go to work and give it to the first less fortunate stranger that I will meet on the street that day. That person could be a child, a beggar, a janitor, or even a security guard.

Each sandwich shall be prepared with love - using the best available ingredients I can find at home and hopefully new each week. My other goal is to have at least one Soup Kitchen program for children outside our village at least once every quarter.
I pray that through this little endeavour I'd be able to inspire (not the world) my children to be better persons, to act rather than just observe and be thankful for the kind of life they have.
I am excited for the very first Sandwich out of my kitchen, and even more excited to meet its very first recipient!


pyxxie0703 said...

Hey Weng, this is really one interesting and inspiring project! Really simple but I'm sure will be greatly appreciated. Kudos to you! I hope you get to inspire more people! :)

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