Community of

PROJECT PROPEL

 
MNL_2__1071.jpg

Communities in

Metro Manila

Metro Manila is a sprawling metropolis of more than 12 million people.  It is estimated that as many as 20%-35% of its inhabitants live in an informal setting.  Project Propel works with communities mostly located along the city's waterways.  

 
20200818_152645.jpg

Indigenous

Communities

Project Propel works with indigenous communities on the main island of Luzon.  The Pamihahaup EcoFarm Project of the Aeta tribe is located in Tarlac, two hours north of Metro Manila.  The Manide EcoFarm of the Manide tribe is in the southern Bicol region of Luzon.

IMG-20190913-WA0038 (2).jpg

THE

TEAM

 
 

Board of Directors

DSCF8280.JPG

ELIZABETH A. LANNING

Founder & CEO

Elizabeth Lanning’s early journeys to different parts of the world, many of which alongside her father,  made a profound impact on her passion to listen and deeply connect with humans of diverse cultures and traditions. It also helped cultivate the empathy and love that propels her life’s work. The first Project Propel urban garden began in 2013, stemming largely from her graduate research among riverside communities in Metro Manila. Harnessing her background in Social Work and Public Health, Elizabeth promotes a vision of holistic health for all, and the importance of being responsible stewards of Earth’s abundance. She fervently believes that an integrated approach to development is the key to sustainable positive change. One of her favorite aspects of Project Propel is witnessing women empowered by informed health choices, and in turn teaching their families and leading the community at large!

2019_1101_11272700_edited.jpg

AMANDA S. BARIZO

Chair & COO

Amanda S. Barizo has been based in the Philippines since 2012 and joined the Project Propel team in full capacity in 2019.  She combines her experience in international non-profit management and her work as a global health educator to help bring the mission and vision of Project Propel into realization.  Coming from a family of educators, she is a firm believer in empowerment through education. Amanda is driven by a sense of responsiveness to those most affected by systemic imbalances—societal, economic, or environmental. In Project Propel, she finds joy in listening and learning from others.  She also loves planning, organizing, and all things involving systems, numbers, tables or charts! 

ROBERTA PLANTAK

Founding Board Member & Program Director

Roberta Plantak was instrumental in establishing Project Propel as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, before moving to the Philippines in 2016.  She has a diverse background in international political science, children’s wellness and advocacy, and non-profit marketing and fundraising.  Roberta’s infectious energy inspires and propels action within the local communities, while she brightly reflects the spirit and mission of Project Propel to the donor community through fundraisers and marketing campaigns. While in the Philippines, Roberta spearheaded program development, community organizing, and she continues to keep the Project Propel network engaged and growing. The Fresh Perspectives (children’s arts & writing program) and the EcoWings (sustainable, eco-conscious livelihood) both came to fruition thanks to Roberta’s drive and passion for women, children & the environment.

SARA-MAY COLÓN

Board Secretary

Sara-May Colón grew up throughout the globe, and her exposure to different cultures, customs, and climates has contributed to her remarkable adaptability.  During her board visits to the Philippines, she has immersed herself among the indigenous mountain tribes, and also stayed with community members living along the San Juan River during flood season.  Sara’s diverse skill set stretches far beyond her formal education & work experience in Business, Theology, and Art. Whether it be on projects or during strategic meetings, her positive & team-building spirit, as well as her keen ability to problem-solve, organize, and mobilize others, have been a true asset to the organization.  We also have the Project Propel logo thanks to her graphic design skills!

BORYANA ALEXANDROVA

Board Member

Boryana Alexandrova is a professional photographer and cinematographer, who as a board member offers her gifted field of awareness and discerning eye, both around the conference table and behind the camera. Based in New York City, she first travelled to the Philippines in 2018 for the first Project Propel face-to-face board session.  While in the Philippines she engaged with community members, documented programs and program members, filmed in-depth interviews with Project Propel volunteers and staff, and used her skills to accurately capture and portray the heart and vision of Project Propel. 

Team on the Ground

71008518_2962208880461756_15151915807287

SHEILA MARDAY

Administration & Finance

Sheila first got involved with Project Propel in 2013, volunteering in various program activities.  Sheila offers support and guidance on administrative and financial matters as her busy schedule allows. She is adept in our Oracle NetSuite database and has helped in developing a business model for the EcoWings livelihood program.  An MBA graduate herself, she truly enjoys seeing other women achieve economic empowerment!

JonJon.jpg

JONJON VALLE

Manide EcoFarm Manager

Jon's innate ability to connect with others and with nature has been essential to the growth of the Manide EcoFarm. He possesses a genuine care for preserving the health of the natural environment. He has enjoyed forming of relationships and learning the cultures and traditions of the Manide people. He also loves to exchange farming tips with the Manide and other organic farmers on YouTube! As EcoFarm Manager he has discovered more ways to harness the abundance of natural resources available over store-bought farming products!

EIANNA LONTOC

EcoWings Program Coordinator

A graduate of the University of the Philippines - Dilliman BS Clothing Technology Program, Eianna "Yang"  Lontoc first joined Project Propel as an intern in 2018 during the initial creation of the EcoWings livelihood program. It was Yang that designed the EcoWings menstrual pads and trained five ladies of the EcoWings team how to sew.  In 2020, Yang rejoined the team, this time as the EcoWings Program Coordinator, to help propel this livelihood into an independent microenterprise. She enjoys being able to use her skills to better the lives of others and the environment.

MERCEDITA LUMANAG

EcoWings Quality Control Officer

Originally from Negros Occidental, Philippines, Mercy took her first job with Project Propel at the age of 65. She is always early and takes pride in her work. Mercy is also an urban EcoGardener, growing vegetables to provide for her and her grandchildren. She enjoys keeping the environment clean, preserving the trees, especially for future generations. Attributing it all to God, Mercy serves as a pillar of strength in her home, in the community, and in the Project Propel office.

LIZA RED

EcoWings Production Officer

Liza Red comes from the province of Samar. She is a vibrant member of the EcoWings team.  She enjoys working with Project Propel's EcoWings livelihood because it provides her extra income to support her family. She also is happy to make products that are good for the environment!

20200808_075249.jpg

CHERRYS ABRIGO

EcoFarm Project Coordinator

Project Propel was first introduced to Cherrys "Che" Abrigo in 2018, when visiting the organic farms of indigenous Dumagat farmers that she helped establish in Tanay, Rizal.  Since then, Che provided friendly guidance as Project Propel endeavored to start the EcoFarms. In 2020, we asked her to officially bring her expertise to the team as the EcoFarm Project Coordinator. Her extensive experience in project management & organic agriculture is only eclipsed by her humble determination and compassion to improve the health and livelihoods of indigenous farmers.

DSCF1158_edited.jpg

ROWENA MENDOZA

Program Assistant

Rowena joined Project Propel in 2020, helping with various program needs. She comes from Sorsogon, Bicol.  She cares deeply for the environment,  actively teaching the community to "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle."  When asked what her favorite aspect of working with Project Propel is, she said “the way we treat each other like a family, and also planting vegetables!”

EMELITA VALENCIA

EcoWings Head of Production

EcoGarden President

Emelita is originally from the province of Pangasinan, She brings her positivity and natural leadership abilities to the EcoWings and the urban EcoGardens. Her favorite vegetable is eggplant, but she grows a wide variety of vegetables and medicinal herbs. She is always inviting others to join the EcoGardens, wanting to share the benefits of growing your own food, including during times of crisis.

NORA AFABLE

EcoWings Production Officer

Nora is originally from the province of Eastern Samar. She was an active Project Propel EcoGardener before joining EcoWings. Her positive and hopeful attitude always brightens the room. She enjoys growing vegetables, especially okra and talong (eggplant)!

TEODORA VILLACO

EcoWings Production Officer

Teodora “Dora” is a part of the EcoWings production team. Her positive attitude keeps the EcoWings team moving forward. As a mother, she is proud to share the EcoWings with her daughter, and has become passionate about positive environmental action. She enjoys vegetables and cooking, and often has a yummy vegetarian dishes to share during potlucks in the office. She enjoys sewing, but especially enjoys the time shared with fellow EcoWings teammates.

Follow & Connect With Us:

Make a Donation:

Sign up for Project Propel Updates:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

E-mail: admin@projectpropel.org

US Office: +1 240 391 7757

Philippines Office: +63 2 8 256 7640

Philippines Mobile: +63 927 115 9073

Project Propel is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with EIN: 47-2655630

© 2020 Project Propel, Inc. 

Professional photographs used on this website are credited to Boryana Alexandrova © 2018