Tuesday, August 8, 2023

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s

Each year, Isa Mundo acknowledges and promotes the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s which takes place on August 9th. This year’s theme set forward by Indigenous Peoples’ and the United Nations is “Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-Determination”. 

According to the United Nations: 

“In this context of demand for self-determination, Indigenous youth are working as agents of change at the forefront of some of the most pressing crises facing humanity today. For instance, Indigenous youth are harnessing cutting-edge technologies and developing new skills to offer solutions and contribute to a more sustainable, peaceful future for our people and planet. But their future depends as well on the decisions that are made today. Their representation and participation in global efforts towards climate change mitigation, peace building, and digital cooperation are crucial for the effective implementation of their rights as Indigenous”.

Isa Mundo is aware that Indigenous peoples are stewards and holders of unique cultures and languages and have a special relationship with land and the environment. But also, their situations globally have not been positive and in 2023, still lack access to clean water, safe housing, education, socio-economic opportunities and basic human rights that are taken for granted by non Indigenous peoples in the developed world. This is why Isa Mundo continues to support access to basic primary education and provide funding to children and youth initiatives by providing a safe space to learn, play and become leaders in their communities. 

We invite all our members, volunteers, friends and partners to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by attending events, gatherings, ceremonies and support local Indigenous groups and organizations in providing services to their citizens and communities. 

To learn more about the history and theme this year, visit the UN’s webpage on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2023. 

Reference: https://social.desa.un.org/issues/indigenous-peoples/events/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples-2023

Photo by Paul Lorilla. Wall art inside the NWAC Building, Gatineau Quebec.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Back in Casa Connor / Pasitos de Luz

Isa Mundo Director and volunteers returned to Casa Connor for the first time since the start of the pandemic in 2020. What we witnessed were constructions of new facilities for volunteers and staff, an impressive therapeutic outdoor pool, communal gardens to grow vegetables and new equipment for the children to improve their development and therapy.

We were welcomed by General Direct, Arturo Ayala and his wonderful staff, and of course, the children and their families. It is always a humbling and special experience for us to return to Casa Connor and the Pasitos de Luz program. We always leave the facility feeling honoured, humbled and inspired to continue our work.

The main discussion focused on how to provide solar energy to power and maintain the large outdoor pool which provides much needed therapy for all the children. We spent our time learning more about how Casa Connor and the staff continually looks to improve and sustain the facility all with the care and nurturing manner for the children.

We welcome all our members and volunteers to find ways to support Casa Connor in 2023 and continue to improve the lives and situations of children with disabilities in the Jalisco and Nayarit states.

Muchas gracias.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

A Big Thank You to ERA

The Electronics Recycling Association (ERA) has been a long time partner of Isa Mundo and we have been grateful and humbled by the support and commitment of the organization over the years. As described by ERA:

"... is a non-profit organization committed to reducing unnecessary electronic waste by recycling and repurposing used electronics. We work with local companies to repurpose used electronics and IT equipment in a safe and secure manner. Our team works with community charities to provide repurpose computers and electronics to those in need."

ERA donations to Isa Mundo have travelled all over the globe, from the Philippines, to Peru, to Mexico, to Dominican Republic and to India. Along the way, we have met passionate volunteers at ERA who are committed to providing much needed technology to the less fortunate but also ensuring that less waste end up in landfills by rescuing and refurbishing used laptops, monitors and other devices that are still of value and operational.

Due to the pandemic, donations of technological devices have paused over the last 3 years which in turn, decreased the access of much needed laptops to supply our Isa Mundo Education Centre in the Philippines and Mexico. But we are hopeful that ERA will recover in 2023 at the same level of donations pre-pandemic to continue to support organizations across Canada and the world. 

ERA highlighted Isa Mundo in 2022. To view, click on the Isa Mundo and ERA Update. 

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Maligayang Paslit 2022

We wanted to provide an update regarding the very successful Maligayang Paslit 2022 in Bambang Bulakan. As most of you know, our Founder and Director, Paul Lorilla was born and raised in this small village and grew up surrounded by rice fields and fish farms. He spent many of childhood years in the elementary school and church grounds studying, farming and playing basketball. When Isa Mundo was launched in 2006, his first projects were in Bambang, with Maligayang Paslit being one of the first projects he funded and supported that focused on having an annual one day celebration for children and students in his village. This pre-Christmas gathering allow less fortunate children and families to have a day of games, singing, food and gifts and to be together in safe space.

Paul was back in Bambang December 2022 to contribute and support the celebration and provided the food to 300+ children and family members. Maligayang Paslit is a project close to our hearts as we know that the sharing and focus on children and youth in this village, is what inspired our Founder to launch Isa Mundo.

We hope to continue to support this celebration annually and ensure the children and families in Bambang have one special day to look forward to on behalf of Isa Mundo.

Monday, January 2, 2023

People and the Sea

Isa Mundo was able to meet a representative from People and the Sea in the beautiful island of Malapascua. The People and the Sea (PEPSEA) focuses on empowering Filipinos and visitors to protect the sea and marine life while uplifting the lives of less fortunate islanders in the region. This include programs that support sustainable fishing management, waste reduction, youth education and economic resilience. 

As climate change affects coastal communities worldwide, PEPSEA looks locally to re-connect Filipinos to their environment and the importance of conservation. The organization focuses on community based needs to ensure solutions and strategies are implementable and have long term impacts. Isa Mundo was also impressed with the organization's 4 stage approach: Pilot Phase; Monitor and Update; Current Status and Scale Up. We met with Daff Binobo, Site Manager, who reminded us that this 'cyclical approach keeps their core elements of a date driven, holistic, and collaborative effort at the forefront". It also allows engagement and participation of everyone in the community along with external supporters when necessary. Everyone is accountable from start to finish. PEPSEA and its programs affects over 5,000 local islanders each year and continues to work with other local islanders in the region.

Isa Mundo is committed to find ways to support PEPSEA and collaborate on projects and other initiatives, including its Eco Heroes program. This program is part of a collective conservation education for all ages but mostly focussed on local children and youth to develop future environmental and conservation leaders. An additional project is to support local schools in creating a physical space to address the need for segregation and proper waste disposal which also acts as a space for awareness and education for students.

We look forward to brainstorming with PEPSEA and its members to find ways to progress their projects and work in partnership in 2023. To learn more about PEPSEA, visit the People and the Sea website.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Message for this Festive Season

As we conclude the year 2022, we wanted to acknowledge the support of our volunteers and funders. Despite the continued economic and social challenges that many are facing, the commitment and passion of our local volunteers globally have never wavered.

This year, we were able to return to Mexico with two groups to assess our past and current projects to see the effect of the pandemic on our education and children's programs. Sadly, just like other non-profit groups, a few of our initiatives and projects have stalled and some completely closed. This is similar in Nicaragua and Peru where we also reached out to get an update on our Isa Mundo Education Centre and other children and youth projects in the region. 

But we are committed to work along side our local leaders and volunteers to both re-launch and maintain our projects to improve education and community health programs. We will be reaching out to new supporters in 2023 to look for financial aid and identify potential new partners.

We also returned to the Philippines to assess projects in Bulacan province and to meet an organization called People and the Sea doing some important work in ocean conservation and community development.

We want to thank everyone for all their hard work and wishing all of you "Happy Holidays" and a healthy and peaceful 2023!

Gracias, Merci, Thank you, Salamat po!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The Food Bank(s)

With the slow post-pandemic economic recovery, rising interest rates and on-going inflation, along with political and social instabilities internationally, the number of citizens using food banks globally have surged. In Canada, the low social assistance rates are key factors in so many Canadians relying on Food Banks. As an example, Food Banks Canada stated that in world class cities in the Greater Vancouver, BC region- there has been a 29% increase in accessing food bank services from 2021-2022 resulting in over 1000 people a month registering to use food banks. We need to support all local Food Banks across the country and locally where we live and work to ensure everyone has access to basic food for sustenance and proper nutritious foods for those who have dietary concerns.

Since the pandemic began, Isa Mundo has continued to support food banks in Mexico and Philippines by donating and working with local organizations and partners who shifted our education projects to focus on basic survival initiatives such as access to food, medicine and hygiene supplies. We also began working with local organizations in Vancouver such as Kids Safe Society and Salvation Army to support lunch programs for kids and students who do not have access to 3 meals a day by providing much needed ingredients to make nutritious food and providing volunteers who are able to deliver them.

As we head into the busy holiday season, we encourage all our member and volunteers to think about various ways to support food banks but also, to think about the bigger challenge and problem of food insecurity and its root causes. We have always focused our objectives in advocacy, not only completing tangible and concrete projects in local communities, but also to provide education and solutions that can assist in tackling this global problem. We know that hunger is solvable if we all work together.

To learn more about the vision of Food Banks in Canada, visit Ending Hunger in Canada. To contribute to the global food shortage and hunger prevention, check out the work of the Global FoodBank Network at Powering Communities for Zero Hunger.

** Stats from Food Banks Canada. Photo courtesy of: Maligayang Paslit - Community Feeding Program, Bulacan Philippines.