Our community has been practicing barter for goods to cope up with the quarantine due to pandemic. I am active on it, bartering my goods for fun. But for some, its more than for fun.
Today, I got a private message from a certain member, Mariz. She wasn't able to barter her kid's old shoes for a pack of biscuits so she opted to message individually, out of desperation.
Our conversation went like this:
Mariz: Maam, Can I barter my kids old shoes for one packet of biscuit? they have been eating rice and anything we could find and never had biscuits for a long time. My husband and I who are helpers are out of work and can't find work at the moment.
Me: Hi! Sorry to hear that. No need to barter your kid's shoes, just get the biscuits and cookies here in my office.
Mariz: Thank you mam! Let me find someone who can lend me money for the fare (which is 10 PHP or .20 USD).
After 30 min or so:
Mariz: Maam, sorry I can't go to your office because my neighbors and relatives wont be able to lend me money.
Me: Alright, your place is out of the way but I can drive going there.
Mariz: Thank you so much, Maam. I also have an old pot, can I have it exchange for 1 kilo of rice?
Me: (already feels brokenhearted) How about this, I have one sack of rice back home. I'll bring everything tom.
As I sit down with my partner, I realised how fortunate we are to not be able to experience this. Thinking the kids on the floor eating rice and sometimes soy sauce to fill their empty stomach day by day. I know this is a natural occurrence but why would we let it be?
This pandemic really hits everyone hard, especially the poorest of the poor. They have lifted the quarantine measures and government support stopped since everyone is allowed to work.
But how about those who lost their job and can't get back until the business jumpstarted? Will they sit down at their homes thinking how they could feed their family or go into peoples home and businesses and ask for a job that they themselves are struggling?
In our little way, we can buy them groceries of rice, fresh produce, canned goods, hygiene kits until they were able to stand on their feet. Also with enough funding, we can have them learned some skills and they can work at their home safely for themselves.
My plan are the following:
1. Give them groceries (rice, canned goods, fresh produce, hygiene kits)
2. Educate them and teach them skills (like soap making, weaving, etc) and give them an initial raw materials to start with
3. Set-up a page or website and promote them in the community
4. All proceeds will go back to them.
Let me know if you have more ideas on how to help our community but this is a start. E-mail me at [email protected]
Your little help is very much appreciated and can get a long way. :)