Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A full stomach and a cleaner physique

A full stomach and a cleaner physique
Children from Babag, Lapu-Lapu City
receive Christmas wellness gifts

Most children from Babag, Lapu-Lapu City have never received a Christmas gift from anyone.

Having been identified by the city government as the barangay with the highest population of malnourished children, Babag presents a landscape of survival and poverty. In this barangay, struggling families have, sadly, become a common occurrence. With their meager income, parents could not afford to give their children their basic needs, let alone a few luxuries—like Christmas gifts.

“Even these children do not have the luxury of drinking milk and juice,” Olive Jabido, PBSP Senior Program Officer for the Visayas said.

This was the state Babag was in when PBSP stepped into the barangay on 2007 to assess what it can do to help. Seeing the need of the community, PBSP began organizing activities for the mothers and children.

Now, 60 children received the best Christmas gift anyone could get: a full stomach and a healthy physique. With the Philippine Business for Social Progress, employees of the PAG-IBIG Fund Employees’ Labor Association held a supplemental feeding program for 60 children in Babag.

Since 2007, PBSP has held regular supplemental feeding programs as well as free medical checkups with the mothers to help improve the health of mothers and children in Babag. Through the feeding program, children aged three to eight years old were treated to a hot and healthy breakfast nutritionally prepared by the Garces Royal Gardens, a member company of PBSP.

Belia Ibales, 44 years old, is one of those who have benefited from the feeding program. A mother of seven children, she admits having difficulty in taking proper care of her children. Her husband, who works as a tricycle driver in the area, earns PhP 100.00 a day, which is not enough to prepare three square meals for her big family.

“Malipayon jud mi ani nga programa kay makatabang gyud ni sa akong mga anak nga kulang og timbang," she added. (“We’re grateful for this feeding program which has helped my underweight children.”)

The supplemental feeding program will continue for three months with the participation of other member companies and groups. Aside from the feeding activity, children also received personal hygiene kits to help improve their cleaning habits.

“Since it's the Christmas season, we want the children to avail of gift packs, which are not the ordinary ones that have toys, goodies and candies. These are loot bags without toys but with soaps, towels, toothbrushes and toothpastes—a hygiene kit—since most, if not all, of these children do not have proper sanitation at home,” Jabido said.

Aside from the feeding program, the PAG-IBIG Fund will also grant for the construction of a potable water system worth PhP 65,000.00 for a community in Cebu. 


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