Friday, December 18, 2015

Thank you friends for your continuing support

Dear Friends,

Greetings for the Holidays 2015 from WAND Foundation. We continue to make breakthroughs with our work and expanding from our base in Libertad, Misamis Oriental to Zamboanga del Norte and Leyte and Samar. Our work in Leyte and Samar started in the early days when Typhoon Haiyan struck and up until now. In Leyte and Samar, we focus on implementing safe sanitation, food security via vegetable gardening and small-scale agriculture, local livelihoods, education for girls

and provision of needed supplies. Thanks to so many friends who donated money, goods, time and effort in order to make our work successful. We are proud to say that we are the few local organizations who are still providing much-needed relief to the typhoon survivors. We are geared to do some more initiatives starting early next year.

Our initiatives in Samar and Leyte can best be summed in the article, "harvesting hope" with this link,

Again, to all friends and supporters, thank you very much.

Very sincerely yours,


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jed as our Program Manager for Livelihoods in Leyte

Jed Christian Sayre is deployed as our Program Manager for Livelihoods in Leyte to support survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. He is based in Ormoc City and travels daily to neighboring municipalities. Jed's was graduated from Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro and from the Coady International Institute in Canada. His profile is presented below;

Awards and Partnerships:

a. Fellow, Philippines 21 Young Leaders Initiative. Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. The fellowship is awarded for his efforts towards the development of an equitable and just Philippine Society.
b. Winner, Asia-Pacific Future 100. Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Social Change-makers. 2009. One of the most prestigious awards for social entrepreneurs in Asia.
c. Grantee, Idea Wild, USA. Biodiversity and Youth Rural Improvement Project.  November 2009 to present.
d. Grantee, Japan Fund for Water, Japan. Project to Conserving Water, Promote Ecological Sanitation and Improve Food Security. August 2009 to February 15, 2010.
e. Co-winner, International Competition on Integrated Rural Development, Rehovot, Israel, December 2011.

Work Experiences:

a. Program Manager, Local Livelihoods and Sustainable Small-scale Agriculture, Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation, Inc. June 2012 to present. Provide organizational, technical and management support to the promotion of local livelihoods and sustainable agriculture.  I also promote and manage youth entrepreneurial activities in the project areas.
b. Municipal Councilor, Libertad Municipality. July 1, 2010 to May 30, 2013. I promote agricultural development and local livelihoods and assist in  in Libertad Municipality, Misamis Oriental.
b. Founder and Adviser, Association of Locally-Empowered Youth-Northern Mindanao (ALEY-NM). May 2007 to present.  Youth empowerment through ecological sanitation, home-gardening and local livelihoods. I designed the community development approach of the association, write project proposals, join project competitions and liaise with prospective partners and supporters.
d.  Originator and Proprietor, Jed’s Kofi. January 2008 to present. Jed’s Kofi is locally-made coffee from corn, coffee, moringa and lemon-grass designed to provide forward-linkage for farm products of small farmers at the same time employing local women in the production process.

e. Co-founder, Ecosan Club Philippines. April 2009.  The Ecosan Club promotes ecological sanitation and the safe re-use of human waste in agriculture and small-scale forestry in order to close the loop between agriculture and food consumption.

Leyte Disaster-Resilient Conference and Multi-purpose Training Center

When Super-typhoon Haiyan ravaged Leyte and nearby provinces it lay waste too vast agricultural lands. Leyte is a coconut producing area and the strong winds destroyed most of the coconut trees uprooting the trees or cutting them at the middle. The government is not responding well in terms of helping the small farmers either because they have no resources or because the damage is just too massive in scale.
Aside from the coconut trees, all other subsistence crops especially in the upland areas of Leyte has been destroyed, exposing the farmers to extreme famine and hardships in the short and long-term.
The WAND Foundation started responding to the needs of the Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Leyte 4 days after the typhoon struck by sending 2 elf trucks full with emergency food packs and pre-fabricated toilet facilities for installation and use by community residents. The WAND is a recipient of international awards some of which are the, Bill and Melinda Gates Award for Global Health Explorations, Israel International Award and the Tech Awards for Technology Benefiting Humanity.

The WAND Foundation is now implementing 2 major projects in Leyte, a. Low-cost safe sanitation project, and, b. Food resilience through root crop production and vegetable gardening.

Our plan is for us to be able to build a “Leyte Disaster-Resilient Conference and Multi-purpose Training Center.” The Center will serve the needs of marginalized farmers and artisans in their search for sustainable solutions to the ravages of Typhoon Yolanda and subsequent super-typhoons. They said that with climate change, super-typhoons will be more and more frequent and Leyte is one favoured path to this calamitous situation, hence the need to be prepared.

We will negotiate for a 5-year agreement a 1-hectare land where the center can be built with Barangay officials of Barangay Hugpa, Ormoc City. Barangay Hugpa is an upland barangay in Ormoc City and most people are dirt-poor. Of the 175 families only 2 have toilets! This is indeed an ideal place for a conference and multi-purpose center due to its precarious location and accessibility from the city.
The area around the center will be developed into a sustainable perma-culture farm with fruit and timber tree, root crop and vegetable demonstration, coconut seedling growing and fruit nursery, vegetable seed production and small animal raising. The local people will work and learn and earn income from the farm and then become certified “barefoot” agricultural technicians able to help others.

For sustainability, the center will invite trainees and eco-tourists as well as sell the products namely vegetables, vegetable seeds, coconut seedlings, fruit tree seedlings to visitors and the market in Ormoc.
Aside from seeing the activities of the center, the visitors will also be able to visit the houses of neighbouring farmers and see their own implementation of gardens, rainwater harvesting, organic fertilizer production and sustainable livelihood activities.

The requested amount will be used to build a typhoon-resilient center made of coconut lumber and bamboo, ecosan toilet system, ferrocement rainwater catcher and an organic fertilizer vermi-composting facility. The signage of the donor will be displayed permanently in the entrance of the center.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vegetable Gardening as Food Security Measures in Leyte

The WAND Foundation is partnering with the Association of Locally-Empowered Youth in Northern Mindanao in implementing urban gardening with Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Leyte. This initiative will be led by Jed Christian Sayre and Michelle Frances Sayre. According to Michelle, "our project is about urban gardening, mainly because it is close to our hearts having parents who are small farmers (and NGO leaders) and because we think our approach in urban gardening best embodies the Ten Accomplished Youth Organization ideals of generating impact to the stakeholders, able to harness the spirit of volunteerism, creativity and innovation, sustainability and effective use of resources." The impact generation is because most of poor urban youths have nothing to do and maintaining vegetable gardens means income and improved nutrition for them. People should realize that gardening is fun and recyclable resources around the house can be used to start one. Filipinos according to the Food and Nutrition Research Council also suffers from what is called “hidden hunger” or the lack of micro-nutrients in the diet and eating vegetables can help solve this.

In terms of the ability to harness the spirit of volunteerism especially among the youth, we made it a point to recruit and train volunteer youth promoters who go from communities to communities to recruit youths to start gardening activities. In terms of creativity and innovation, we promote what is called hydrophonics or soil-less gardening, which means that the roots of the plants get the fertilizer directly from the water-based fertilizer solution. Another innovation we already mentioned is the use of recycled materials such as sacks and containers as garden materials and collecting organic matter in the house as fertilizer.

In terms of sustainability and effective use of resources, we focus on the use of open-pollinated seed varieties which can be matured and re-use again for the next planting season. In this way, the youth is not dependent on seed companies but is able to sustain their initiative. We encouraged them also to start small-scale vegetable processing activities and sell their organic vegetable menus and products to neighborhood markets.

The target area are 5 barangays in Ormoc City

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ecosan-Based Tree Planting Guide: The WAND Foundation Experience

By: Elmer Velasco Sayre, Ph.D. and Jed Christian Zayas Sayre

Special Publication by the: Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation (WAND);    Lubluban, Libertad, Misamis Oriental

This publication details our experience using humanure from the dry toilets into tree growing activities with small farmers as partners in the endeavor. The problems of biodiversity loss, poverty and deterioration of soils in the rural areas is a vicious cycle which if left unchecked would lead to a downward spiral of poverty and pauperism. Meanwhile tree planting activities suffer from lack of fertilizer thereby mortality of trees is high and growth stunted. Why not use human waste in tree growing activities? This publication demonstrates the various dry toilet systems we are using, waste collection and fertilizer production techniques, seedling nursery development, tree growing and field management activities. This is our contribution to the dearth in literature on the use of human waste in agriculture. Although this publication describes humanure-based fertilizer for medium-scale agro-reforestation initiative, the techniques can well be used in small tree planting schemes and household-level tree planting activities. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

WAND Foundation is one of the winners in the 2012 Search for Philippine Innovative Human Rights Initiatives

KaSaMa 2012
Karapatan Sa Malikhaing Paraan

Project Entry:
Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development (WAND) Foundation

We promote water and sanitation as the flagship initiative and integrating agro-reforestation and development among Higaonon Indigenous Peoples. Water and sanitation is a human right issue with the UN explicitly recognizing that clean, drinking water and sanitation as essential to the realization of ALL human rights (Resolution 64/292). In its General Comment No. 15, it mentioned that “human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity”.  Water should be sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable.  We focus on Higaonon communities because they are left alone, disadvantaged and powerless. Our proposal integrates the provision of water via gravity-fed impounding system and improving water quality via biosand filtration, promoting ecological sanitation or use of water-less toilets and re-use of human waste, agro-reforestation by the planting of bamboo and ASEAN’s most important trees to protect water sources and organizing communities so that they manage and sustain the activities. The project is innovative in that, a.  it does not provide ready solutions but menu of inputs involving water, farming development, nutrition and health for them to select depending on actual needs; b.   the participation of many stakeholders ensure that support is generated at various levels; c. eco-sanitation provide sanitation and cheap fertilizer and contain spread of diseases; d. the promotion of ASEAN’s most important species help improve biodiversity and incomes; e.  the community farmers’ groupings ensure localization and sustainability; and, f. integrating farm-based livelihood and using farm production into the scheme will help improve the incomes of the beneficiaries.

Innovativeness of the Project:

Others have already worked in the area of provision of water or sanitation but there approach suffers from defects, and that is, it is linear and not integrated, eg. provision of water alone or provision of sanitation without regard to the multiple needs of the local people. These initiatives usually fail. Our approach is different in that we integrate provision of clean water using simple, appropriate gravity-fed system and biosand filtration to render it clean and drinkable, promoting dry toilet in order to control open defecation and contamination of water sources in areas where water is scarce, planting of high-valued fruit and trees in order to improve water sources and improve incomes, promoting other livelihoods, educating and organizing local citizens especially the Higaonon communities which are often neglected, unseen and powerless. Gravity-fed water system is simple, easy to manage and cheap but previous projects focus on installation without training and no protection of water sources so the system fails in no time at all. Biosand filtration is using sand, charcoal, stones to filter microbes from the water and is a very effective and cheap way of providing drinkable water but current approaches does not utilize this. Local livelihoods using farm/forest products abound but farmers usually sell raw without value-added. Community education and mobilizing “barefoot technicians” coming from local people is an innovative way to continue and expand the process.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Semi-Finalists Announced for first Land for Life Award

Semi-Finalists Announced for first Land for Life Award

24/05/2012 Bonn, Germany - From turning human waste into organic fertilizer
to scientific breakthroughs reversing desertification, the 15
semi-finalists of the Land for Life award find innovative and inspiring
ways to restore degraded land.

Launched by the UNCCD for the first time in 2011, the Land for Life Award
will recognize efforts that promote the natural health and productivity of
the earth’s soils.

Three winners will share a prize fund of up to 100,000 USD. They will be
announced on 17 June, the World Day to Combat Desertification in Rio de
Janeiro as part of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development, known as Rio+ 20.

More than one hundred applications were received from 52 countries. The
competition was open to individuals, NGOs, governments, business, media and
others that could demonstrate contributions to sustainable land management.

The winners will be selected by a Jury of ten experts from the field of
sustainable land management. The jury includes personalities like Dr.
Vandana Shiva, a renowned seed sovereignty activist from India, Ms. Yolanda
Kakabadse, President of WWF International and Dr. Camilla Toulmin,
Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development as well as
other respected experts from government, the UNCCD, civil society and

The fifteen semi-finalists are:

Alan Savory, Zimbabwe
A lifelong champion of sustainable land management, Alan Savory has
pioneered the concept of holistic land management, promoting sustainable
grazing particularly in the grasslands of Africa.

Chifeng Muncipal Government, China
In the arid lands of Inner Mongolia, the government of Chifeng faces a
serious fight of desertification, which threatens nearly 30 percent of the
total region. Through scientific policy planning and mass mobilization,
Chifeng has rehabilitated three-quarters of a million hectares of degraded
land, and on average each hectare of shelterbelt forest prevents 10 tons of
soil loss each year.

Community Efforts for Community Development (CECOD), Uganda
More than 85 percent of Ugandans live in rural areas, making their
livelihoods from the land. But over the years the school system has become
increasingly academic. Concerned with increasing knowledge of sustainable
development, CECOD has turned children into agents of change in rural
communities through creating a network of eco-schools, training of over
7,500 teachers and involving 34,700 children in micro projects, such as
organic farming and water harvesting.

DeCo! Ghana
Farmers in the savanna region of Ghana have low yields as result of poor
soils. DeCo! provides low cost organic fertilizer through a sustainable
business model, collecting local waste, fruit, vegetable and other biomass
residues to produce rich compost.

DESIRE-WOCAT, The Netherlands
A research network connecting people from local to global levels worldwide,
the DESIRE-WOCAT project has expanded the knowledge available about land
degradation and desertification by collecting case studies, establishing
indicators, and conducting trainings.

Dr. Liliya Dimeyeva, Kazakhstan
Working across borders and cultures, Dr. Dimeyeva has dedicated her
scientific research to creating green sea beds in the dry Aral Sea, an
important scientific breakthrough in an area facing severe land

Fight Against Desert Encroachment (FADE), Nigeria
Faced with advancing sand dunes in Northern Nigeria, FADE has planted a
wall of trees and conducted creative awareness raising about combating
desertification in Nigeria, including a reality TV show called Desert

Grupo Ambiental para el Desarrollo (GADE), Argentina
In Colonia El Simbolar in Northern Argentina, farmers struggled to make
ends meet, and large amounts of land were abandoned. GADE has led the
community to plant resilient native trees, Algarrobo Blanco, which can be
used for wood, flour and honey. The reforestation of nearly 7,000 hectares
has increased incomes of struggling farmers, and mobilized the community,
especially youth, to protect the environment.

The Great Green Wall, Korea & China
Set on the border between Korea and China, the Great Green Wall runs 16
hectares, and is surrounded by the Save the Earth Eco-Village. A
collaboration between students, governments, NGOs and businesses led by
Future Forest, the wall has succeeded in halting desertification and
preventing the encroachment of sand dunes.

Dr. Goaming Jiang, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Where many efforts to reverse desertification in northern China have
failed, Professor Jiang has proven that by ending the grazing of large
livestock and providing the community with alternative livelihoods, land
can be naturally restored.

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), Haiti
Working in some of the poorest areas of Haiti, SOIL has developed an
integrated approach to the issues of inadequate sanitation, declining soil
fertility and extensive erosion. Through community driven ecological
sanitation, SOIL helps restore soils and improve agricultural yields, at
the same time improving the dignity and health of people without

Mr. Tie Shunliang, the Director of Forestry and Environment Protection
Bureau, China
Dedicating his career to afforestation and combatting desertification in
the tough conditions of western China, the efforts of Mr. Shunliang have
led to the restoration of nearly 25,000 hectares of degraded land. He also
pioneered wolfberry cultivation, with benefits to the environment and
additional incomes for 30,000 people, most of whom are women.

Terraprima, Portugal
Through technological innovation including an innovative use of legumes,
Terra Prima reduces costs for farmers for fertilization, land maintenance
and animal feeding.  The project potentially improves the soil health of 1
million hectares of land, at the same time offering opportunities for
large-scale soil carbon sequestration.

Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA), Turkey
The largest environmental NGO in Turkey, TEMA has mobilized people across
civil society, from children to farmers, gathering one million signatures
supporting a law for soil protection, as well as providing practical
leadership in the field for holistic land management.

Wand Foundation, Philippines
Many poor farmers in the Philippines lose their land in local mortgage
schemes known as prenda. The Wand Foundation helps farmers reclaim their
land, and increase soil fertility through providing fertilizer produced by
ecological sanitation.


For more information, please visit:

About the Land for Life Award
The 2012 Land for Life award is a collaboration between the UNCCD and the
Korea Forest Service, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development (BMZ), the Global Environment Facility, International Union for
Conservation of Nature, the Qatar National Food Security Programme, the
Business Forum in Korea and the Elion Resources Group, China.

About the UNCCD
Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity,
were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development
during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole
legally binding international agreement linking environment, development
and the promotion of healthy soils. The Convention’s 195 signatory Parties
work to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land’s
productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought.