On April 24, 2024, the IRDF Coconut Training Center in Tamlangon, Matanao, Davao Del Sur welcomed esteemed visitors from the Czech Republic-based NGO, People in Need (PIN). It was led by Ms. Lenka Struzikova, Tomas Duran, and Ms. Goyina San Pascual, the Philippine Country Director of PIN, the delegation aimed to gain firsthand insight into the sustainable practices and programs being implemented by the Integrated Rural Development Foundation (IRDF).

During their visit, the PIN delegation witnessed the transformation of coconut husks into valuable by-products such as coco peat, fiber, and coco chips. Additionally, they observed the production of organic fertilizers from locally sourced materials, underscoring the Center’s commitment to eco-friendly solutions.

As discussions progressed, the PIN representatives expressed keen interest in exploring innovative approaches to waste management, particularly in the context of mitigating climate-related disasters and risks.

Don Jimenez, Project Director at IRDF, guided the group through the organization’s initiatives in Mindanao, focusing on the challenges faced by coconut farmers in the region. He also provided insights into the progress made since the inception of the Coco3 project in 2019, highlighting key metrics such as coconut husks processed and the impact on beneficiary farmers.

Mel Dingal, IRDF’s monitoring and evaluation officer, emphasized the importance of leveraging all parts of the coconut tree to support small farming communities facing economic hardships. She emphasized that the initiative to process coconut husks signifies a significant step towards fostering economic growth and addressing essential needs within these communities.

Ms. Arze Glipo, IRDF National Executive Director, extended a warm welcome to the PIN delegation, expressing hopes for strengthened collaboration in the future.

Founded in 1992, PIN is a prominent Czech nonprofit organization renowned for its humanitarian relief efforts, long-term development projects, and human rights advocacy worldwide. Operating in over 33 countries, PIN’s commitment to promoting democratic values and solidarity aligns closely with IRDF’s mission to empower rural communities.

As PIN continues to expand its global presence, the partnership with IRDF signifies a shared dedication to sustainable development and resilience-building in vulnerable regions like Davao Del Sur. Through collaborative efforts, both organizations aim to drive positive change and create lasting impact for communities in need.