We look back in 2002, when the partnership and cooperation has begun with the start-up years of Batang Pinangga, with the couple Helga and Dr. Jochen Range, both working for Amnesty International, who also founded Task Force Carabao-Aktion Wasserbueffel in their town in Juelich, Germany.
We got to know that Task Force Carabao was named based on the initiatives of the couple to help poor and displaced sugarcaneworkers in Negros start back with farming by the distribution of a carabao, the Filipino essential help in tilling the land.
Their initial contact was with Butch Carpintero for a pre-school project in Pit-os, Cebu City, and who later presented Batang Pinangga in need of support: the children houses needed repairs; water source was a problem, as well as food and provision for the children. Task Force Carabao was able to facilitate in getting support: From Misereor Germany; from The Federal State of North Rhine Westphalia; Kindergarten Dachsberg; Realschule, among others. In the years that followed, Helga, who was Chairperson, and together with the members of the Board of Task Force Carabao, found donors and sponsors through sponsored walks and other organized events, with a dedication comparable to parents to their children.
Today, there is water running in the bath and kitchen and elsewhere in Batang Pinangga-the water distribution lines run two kilometers from the source to the water reservoir; there is light when electricity is out because of solar power.
There is a home-based teacher to help the children learn at home, and particularly during the corona pandemic.
Task Force Carabao has committed to support the portion of the honorarium of the engaged houseparents, and during corona crisis, has provided for rice subsidy for the carers of the children.
Meanwhile the older children of Batang Pinangga enjoy the opportunity to start independent-living with a space and place and a dedicated program for them.
From the basic and essential, Task Force Carabao has been with Batang Pinangga, from the start, like parents watching over as the children are growing.
Now the commitment is continuing, under the leadership of Kathi Range, daughter in-law of the late Helga Range.
We know that for as long as a child needs a parent, Aktion Wasserbueffel-Task Force Carabao remains to be there.