Monday, November 14, 2011

PPP project for individuals with special needs

PPP project for individuals with special needs
November 14, 2011
Manila Bulletin

With sweet and genuine smiles, the children of Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) welcomed their guests from The Hershey Company-ROHQ and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) for the turnover of a unique simulation room especially built for them.

Elsie Gaches Village is the only government residential care facility in the Philippines which houses more than 600 mentally challenged individuals from five to 65 years old.

Recently, The Hershey Company-ROHQ teamed up with United Way Worldwide and PBSP to kick off the Life Skills Enhancement Project for people with special needs.

This long-term project is to benefit 100 upper and lower trainable clients of EGV that will equip them with adaptive skills and behavior in the mainstream life. This training will also enable them to effectively deal with the demands of a standard routine.

The simulation room is a specialized area where the trainees are assigned to do functions that can boost their morale in doing possible tasks in the workplace. It has complete tools used in the kitchen, dining and living rooms, bathroom, bedroom, and garden.

Monisha Raut, The Hershey Company HR business partner, is very optimistic with the project which will run for almost three years. “It is our responsibility to share our blessings,” she added, referring to The Hershey Company’s commitment to community and children welfare.

During the turnover ceremony, Ma. Alicia Bonoan, NCR director for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), expressed her gratitude to the project’s donors and implementers, emphasizing the great help of PPP (public-private partnership) programs in creating a better society for the marginalized ones.

Moreover, PBSP executive director Rafael Lopa asserted this promising project, putting value to partnerships as a way to improve lives.

The Life Skills Enhancement Training will have four batches covered by the grant. Each batch will enroll 25 participants into a two-hour session for three days a week in six months. It includes a classroom-type exercise, laboratory, and on-the-job training.

The existing module to be used will be enhanced by the EGV rehabilitation team composed of social workers, psychologists, therapists, and staff. There would be less use of writing and more on drawing, role play, scenario building, and simulation exercises.

EGV was established in 1964 with the assistance of UNICEF. Aside from caring for people with mental retardation, the center also attends to children with autism, Down Syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

One out of 100 babies born in the country is with mental retardation (PopCen 2007). This has become more alarming today due to poor access to basic services and maternal healthcare.