One of the most inspiring speakers during the camp was Cherrie Atilano, initiator of Agricool. The goal of this enterprise is to make agriculture smart and sexy choice for young students. Soil, fertilizers, and seeds? All cool, especially if you aid in national food security!
Cherrie was a recipient of the 2007 Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP), graduating from Visayas State University with the course of agriculture, both magna cum laude and valedictorian of her class. She began her post-college life working for a prestigious real estate company as a horticulturist, primarily because the company’s goal is to have 66% greenery.
Here, Cherrie is very involved with the farmers and their children. She was not only a mentor; but also a student. In her own words, she has earned her PhD’s by learning from the community. Amazing how she goes the extra mile — helping them sort out personal problems, getting to know each of their stories, and sending their children to school in what she calls “Lifescaping”.
Center for Social Innovation village univ., incubation ‘Grass valley for social enterprises & best of the Filipino’s spirit for social tourism. +63932.8515.800
Angat, Bulacan, PhilippinesThe first of 24 CSI sites around the Philippines, The Enchanted Farm in Bulacan follows a template that fuses three different concepts.
First is a Village University for sustainable community development where classrooms are connected to communities. An ideal site for any university student, the Enchanted Farm will expose students on how to start social enterprises and communities from the ground-up attracting students from all sorts of disciplines. Young children will come to the farm to learn and appreciate the growth of plant and animal life through explorer parties and camps. Residents of the GK village will be exposed to social entrepreneurship that can open a world of opportunities locally and globally.
The second component of The Enchanted Farm is a Silicon Valley for social entrepreneurship where young entrepreneurs are provided a supportive business ecosystem and an enabling environment to help them launch Filipino brands. Fifty of the most innovative social enterprises in the Philippines will not only be conveniently located on the Enchanted Farm to showcase their brands, but will also share in the resources of the farm and facilities.
The third component is a Disneyland for social tourism in which visitors from other parts of the Philippines and abroad can get a first-hand experience of the Gawad Kalinga community, and gain insight to the social problems that face millions of Filipinos. Through the magical stories of the Enchanted Farm, enchanting not only through stories of fairy tales of duwendes (Filipino for elf) but also real life experiences, tourists can see how dreams can become a reality in a nation where its people were once provoked to find solutions and greener pastures elsewhere.
Setting the tone for innovation and possibility in the Philippines, The Enchanted Farm is a development that will forever change the future of a nation consistently promised a better tomorrow but perpetually waiting for that day to come. A new dawn has arrived and it will continue to take shape in Barangay Encanto, at The Enchanted Farm.
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