14 April 2018, Cavite, Philippines. There – nestled in Cavite Province, situated near the southern shores of Manila Bay, in one of the most industrialised and fastest growing provinces in Luzon – sits Nomer Cuartero, tending peacefully to his home garden in Camella Homes.
Whistling to the passing birds at day break, singing to his jade vines, tending to his hundreds of potted and soiled plants – reapplying fresh organic compost made from the banana peels and coffee granules – remains of his fried Saba bananas and freshly brewed Batangas coffee delivered by his caring neighbours, who know that Nomer has been planting with FEED for over one year now, persistently present as our Nursery Manager and Social Media propagator.
Nomer is a returning Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) since 2016. Formerly based in Saudi Arabia, where he spent the better part of over 30 years working first at a local bank then in a residential compound at an oil facility where he managed home stays of expatriates, and supported his family in the Philippines.
Nomer is also a close friend of FEED co-founder and President Ofelia Bakker-Mananquil since the 1990s, when both were pioneers and members of the then-OFW Networking Worldwide online groups. Both President Ofelia and FEED Ambassador Nomer were heavy and active proponents of the Absentee Voting and Dual Citizenship bills, which when passed marked the beginning of our OFWs – as Unsung Heroes – regaining stronghold over their own destinies. (Read more about the history here: https://feed.org.ph/media-centre/press-releases-2017/feed-celebrates-20-years-with-friends/).
When Nomer returned to the Philippines, he re-established contact with FEED President, who invited him to join a tree-planting session, so in December 2016, he experienced his first Students & Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE) planting wth FEED during the Mud Happy: UP Diliman Youth Leaders Inspire UP JMA KIDS to Plant their Living Legacy. By March 2017, he was already helping FEED capture through video and images, the meaningful experience of planting with someone who toils the soil every day. “We cannot save our culture, without also saving our environment – they are one”. ~Tboli Cultural Officer Lyn Buti Lambago (Ref. – see https://feed.org.ph/media-centre/press-releases-2017/we-cannot-save-our-culture-without-also-saving-our-environment-they-are-one-tboli-cultural-officer-lyn-buti-lumbago/).
Nomer also brought FEED one of its first youngest planters ever pictured here, having enticed many from his village neighbours and friends, children and families, to join FEED’s SAVE tree planting programs.
Nomer is our constant gardener, not a day goes by that he isn’t posting all of his floral inspirations, food gardens or forest quotes on his Facebook. We at FEED all him our Gentlest Guerrilla Gardener, and we need more Nomers in this world to help us all achieve food and water security through planting interventions, and living a simple, sustainable lifestyle in modestly – just like Nomer.
Welcome to the team Nomer, and may the Forest always be with you too. Big tree hugs, from FEED!
Do you know anyone who has made or is making positive contributions towards education and/or the environment ?
Active in or endorsing – but not limited to – initiatives in the fields of Agriculture, Arts & Culture, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environment, Farming, Fisheries, Forestry, Freshwater or Marine-based restoration activities line with the “Ridge to Reef” principles?
Or, let us know if you are interested in representing FEED as an Ambassador – it just means, you are able to share with others when relevant what FEED does and how we can help through partnerships; from our side, we are your resource and project implementation partner, facilitator, connector etc. at your disposal. We in turn will also speak about your valued work and impact on sustainability with a particular focus on communities in need, marginalised, underprivileged, etc.
Nominate an Ambassador: Please email us their full name, CV/resume and your top 3 reasons why to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If shortlisted, FEED will seek nominee’s consent prior to short-listing and approving their nomination.
THANK YOU! See other FEED Ambassadors here: https://feed.org.ph/engagement-activities/feed-ambassadors/
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