I am a wetland restoration steward working on community-based restoration of abandoned fishponds and other restoration sites in the Philippines. The program has been fulfilling for me because of three things. One, the impact I was able to have with communities through education and training about mangrove ecology, and restoration of some of the sites. Second, the knowledge shared throughout the program – between the communities and myself, and between the GLF and YIL and our organization. Third, the exposure and networking opportunities our organization received through being part of this program.
The program was impactful not only for my career, but also for other people working with us in our restoration efforts. The frontline communities came to understand the importance of protecting our natural resources, restoring the forests, and monitoring their survival so that they receive ecosystem benefits – not just for them, but also for their children in the future. This program might be only for a year, but we were able to plant the seed in the minds and hearts of the communities we engage with, and we will continue to work with them in the years to come.
The GLF and YIL helped our organization immensely through the mentorship program. They trusted me and believed in my goal. The feeling of community and inclusiveness makes this program particularly fulfilling.
The GLF Restoration Stewards program has lifted the profile of our work globally – a huge help for a young woman such as myself working in a newly-formed grassroots organization. This exposure has helped us to connect with other networks and organizations working in the same field, and foster collaborations for the future.
I cannot thank this program enough! It has given me the resources to fly high, even as young as I am. This is not the end of my collaboration with GLF, however – I am looking forward to the Restoration Alliance, and the collaborations that will develop in the years to come!