Stairway Organic Farm
The Stairway organic farm is a land area located in a beautiful mountain setting around 450 meters above sea level in the village of Baclayan, Oriental Mindoro, in the Philippines. The farm aims to inspire community members in sustainable and effective methods of agriculture. Stairway has been working in the Baclayan community for more than a decade, and the farm plays a significant role in terms of food production as well as a venue for training and inspiration for especially the children and youth in the community.
As a volunteer on our organic farm, you will be helping us to cultivate and harvest food sources in collaboration with our two resident agriculturists. Depending on the season, we expect the workload to be around 5-6 hours a day, 5 times a week. The organic farm was initiated in 2009 and produces a large variety of crops, vegetables, and fruits. It is located right next to the school, and it has delivered a significant portion of the products consumed at the school feeding program. Since the implementation of the feeding program, school attendance has drastically increased 10 times from around 20 to 200 children. The program has successfully pulled most of the indigenous children in Baclayan into school. Aside from providing the food, Stairway is also distributing school supplies for all the children at the beginning of the school year.
Volunteering at our organic farm will give you an opportunity to learn about sustainable organic farming in practice with the planting, maintenance, and harvesting of various food sources. Simultaneously, you will be contributing to the development of the indigenous community of the Baclayan village through nurturing of the local children. The Stairway organic farm living facilities were renovated in 2022, and it offers accommodation through lodging in two dormitories of up to two people in each. Food for making breakfast and dinner will be provided while lunch is served at the Baclayan Mangyan School during the weekdays. The fully operational kitchen is available in the living quarters for when the volunteer wishes to cook. The facilities also offer a large common area in connection with the kitchen which can be used by volunteers on demand.
Motivated volunteers may also offer their free time and assist in running the Stairway’s Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Learning and Resource Center at the Baclayan farmhouse. The center aims to teach children and interested adults the use of computers and critical thinking to combat misinformation, fake news, and promote cyber safety.
During your stay at our organic farm, you can enjoy some of the cultural activities in Baclayan, the nearby cities of Puerto Galera, or White Beach. You can explore the beautiful mountainous nature by hiking to nearby waterfalls, and discover the unique marine life, local coral reefs, and sea turtles by diving with Stairway EACY Dive School.
In the future, Stairway Organic farm envisions a community with additional livelihood based on sustainable and organic methods of farming. Learn more about Stairway Foundation’s missions and projects on our webpage https://www.stairwayfoundation.org.
At present, we have two licensed agriculturist and eight farm workers, who are all dedicated in advancing the daily operations of the farm. For 32 years now, we have been accepting volunteers from all over the world, and providing them a sense of community while championing various advocacies.
By agreeing to volunteer at the Stairway organic farm you are required to read, agree, with Stairway’s Child Protection Policy (https://tinyurl.com/SFIChildProtectionPolicy) and the Handbook for Volunteers (https://tinyurl.com/SFIVolunteersHandbook) issued by Stairway Foundation Inc.