by Mary Rose Go
“From scrap to crop, from waste to taste”
This mantra defines the goals of Mrs. Catalina P. Ramos of Bangkal Elementary School (BES-Main) as her Project TransFOODmation set out in Makati City.
The project served as Ramos’ Re-Entry Application Project (REAP) after being an awardee of the 2019 Korea-Philippines Teacher Exchange Programme (KPTEP).
Project TransFOODmation is an innovation conceptualized by Ramos during her stay in South Korea while being equipped with global citizenship.
The project supports the urban farming advocacy of Department of Agriculture and it aims to adopt a culture of proper segregation of the elementary students.
To successfully implement the project, Ramos formed the Special Project Team (SPT) that helped her execute the vital steps in realizing the purpose of the project such as leading in composting, planting, and segregating.
The team also identified the beneficiaries of TransFOODmation – pupils who were financially struggling pupils and who could not afford to buy food for themselves.
From scrap to crop
Ramos envisioned a beneficial activity that would lift the spirit of recycling by waste segregation and cultivation of the soil through composting.
“Being an area with a lot of biodegradable scrap such as fruit and vegetable peelings, BES-Main is a perfect setting to turn scrap materials into crop,” she thought.
From waste to taste
Planting from a biodegradable scrap, the vegetables from almost worthless crop were used as ingredient in making a dish for the beneficiaries of the project.
The duality in purpose of TransFOODmation made it not only unique but also a cycle, from planting to cooking.
Each advisory class of SPT member achieved the goals of the project from September 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020 by preparing a total of 20 plant boxes and a big compost pit.
A variety of vegetables were also planted such as pechay, mustard, okra, and eggplant to provide nutritious dishes for the pupils during the feeding program.
Project TransFOODmation produced a positive effect especially to the waste management in BES-Main as the adaptation of proper segregation resulted to achieving 0% waste target in the school.
It also yielded optimistic outcome to the financially struggling pupils of the school who could not attend classes due to lack of sustenance as 35 pupil who were at risk of dropping out were able to continue going to school.
Through Ramos’ active implementation of TransFOODmation, she was able to address several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 12 (responsible production and consumption), and SDG 13 (climate action).
“The real highlight of this project is the cultivation of different values among the students, such as zero waste management, honesty, obedience, and thriftiness, just like a domino effect on this TransFOODmation,” the BES teacher added.
TransFOODmation does not stop in just one implementation; the project will be continued to the next school year in BES-Main as another cycle.
“The project will widen its scale as it will be spread to the parents of BES learners and to the entire school community,” Ramos said with optimism for the future of her innovation.
Foreseeing other possibilities for the project with the help of her BES community, she gave TransFOODmation an 8 out 10 rating.
After six months of labor, Ramos beamed with satisfaction on the outcome of the TransFOODmation and thanked BES-Main community, principal, co-teachers, students, parents, and school utility workers for the support that they have shown towards her project.
“To all the learners around the world, young and old , strive for the best as you are given the opportunity to support people in need and foster environmental responsibility,” Ramos said.