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Speeches Shim

Last updated: August 26, 2022

August 26, 2022

When 15-year-old Jhonacie first found out she was pregnant, she was scared.

What would her family think? What about her education? How could she take care of a baby when she was still just a teenager herself?

“I was so scared,” she remembered.

Unsure of what to do, Jhonacie and her mother visited Paete Rural Health Unit, a USAID-supported adolescent friendly health facility. USAID-trained healthcare workers assured her that they would be with her every step of the way.

August 9, 2022

When Ariel Pandenio thinks back on his childhood years, he remembers the Montible watershed in his home province of Palawan as a lush and vibrant forest teeming with wildlife like the Philippine cockatoo and the rare, albino Philippine long-tailed macaque. He and his tribe, the Tagbanua of Palawan, consider the forests sacred, and the abundant natural resources—including water—made life in the past “more bountiful.”

July 22, 2022

On the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, 21-year-old Lori Fae Comeros wanders through a field bursting with fresh produce. Coconuts rustle in the gentle breeze, and succulent star apples dangle from verdant trees as Lori deftly inspects rows of tomatoes, lettuce, and okra to see if they’re ready to be harvested. The average age of farmers in the Philippines is between 57 and 59 years old, and many young Filipinos do not view a career in agriculture as profitable. But not Lori.

January 18, 2022

In a lush field nestled in the heart of Capiz province on Panay island, Philippines, 37-year-old Fidel Fundal stands under the shade of a coconut tree and gazes at his 1.5 hectare field of yellow corn. This season, he will be harvesting about nine tons of yellow corn, earning a gross profit of about Php 157,500. In previous years, he would earn close to nothing.

December 1, 2021

As the sun sets over Cotabato City on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, 29-year-old Noraida Sandukan-Masukat slips into a sound-proof room, dons her headphones, and does one final sound check. The clock strikes seven, and Noraida’s voice resonates throughout the studio and in thousands of communities across central Mindanao and Basilan, sharing messages of hope and raising awareness about gender-based violence amid the pandemic.

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