The Different Recipes of Helping- UnYPhil-Women’s

In communities where life becomes harder and harder each day due to the existing conflicts and calamities- natural or human made, people get used to way of life far from what is called normal life.

The various yet interrelated problems in the communities continuously hampered the  endeavor of man towards his survival- poverty rooted from conflict, conflict causing destruction of life and properties, destruction of life and properties bringing poverty, poverty due to lack of education, lack of education to ignorance, ignorance to becoming vulnerable to abuse and human rights violation- all but an acute illness to the society needing special care and hard work.

United Youth of the Philippines-Women (UnYPhil-Women) as dvocate of peace and human rights looking after for the protection and welfare of the most vulnerable group, the women and their children who suffered most during disasters works on different programs in its service to the community.

Experienced working in areas both affected by conflict and disasters, the organization learned it best ways and practices in reaching out to the people in need.

The Lomopog Rido

The rido in Brgy. Lomopog, Midsayap North Cotabato was once settled in year 2012 through the joint effort of different groups and organizations. However, despite the settlement, the conflict happened again this year. And again many are affected and displaced.

UnYPhil-Women may not be able to take lead in facilitating the settlement, but its concerned on the welfare of the people, especially the women and their chidren is the most above all, above the selfish personal interest of the any warring groups.

Needs Assessment

In a need assessment conducted, it was find out that the the people displaced are in need of shelter, food, medicines and latrines. Many children are suffering from common illnesses such as colds, diarrhea and fever. Two children were wounded during the conflict.

Photos: (Upper Left) Old woman receiving food items; (Upper Right) Distribution of medicines; (Lower Right) Lecture on Health and Sanitation; (Lower Left) Psychosocial activities.

Photos: (Upper Left) Old woman receiving food items; (Upper Right) Distribution of medicines; (Lower Right) Lecture on Health and Sanitation; (Lower Left) Psychosocial activities.

There was no access to health services. Education of the children was also affected since class suspensions. All have evacuated including the teachers. Some children transferred to school in nearby barangay while the other are studying through classes conducted in evacutation centers despite the unfavorable learning environment in the place. The evacuation centers serves not only as temporary shelters (at night time) but also temporary schools (at daytime) for the hundred (300) students from Kinder-1 to Grade VII.

Lobbying

To be able to realized the conduct of relief operations to the affected families, UnYPhil-Women has to do coordination with different concerned agencies in getting resources for the activity.

Through the Provincial Social Welfare Office of North Cotabato and Municipal Social Welfare of Midsayap, food items such rice, canned goods and noodles were distributed to the displaced families.

The Department of Health Region XII is partner in providing medical assistance with their health workers and with provision of basic medicines to the affected families. International organizations such as UNHCR and UNICEF helped towards strong coordination with other agencies.

Distribution of Food Items

Five hundred ten (510) families received food items during the activity. Each family received (5) kilos of rice, (2) cans of canned goods, and (2) packs of noodles. “ Manot inya tabang Bai uged kadsukur, masla den inya sya salkami (Small in quantity but kadsukur (be thankful, this is already a big help for us), according to one old woman upon receiving the food packs.

Medical Assistance

Basic medicines for common illnesses lke cold, fever and diarrhea were distributed to affected families. Health workers from Municipal Health Office of Midsayap provided brief descriptions on the dosages of the medicines. UnYhPhil-Women staff who has knowledge in health care helps in BP (blood pressure) taking to some adult evacuees.

Psychosocial Activity

Through parlor games, affected families especially the children enjoyed and had fun in the evacuation areas. Facilitated by UnYPhil-Women staff, children participated in different activities such as singing and dancing. Even for a while, the children at their young and innocent life, suffering the effect of selfish deeds of the other, at least forget their poor situation.

Meanwhile, their parents and other adults enjoyed watching the children having fun. Some have made their self available for a converstation with some UnYPhil-Women staff telling stories of their life before and after the conflict. Shown in their stories are their struggle to survive their poor life conditions in the midst of war and disaster.

Hygiene Promotion

A brief lecture on hygiene and its importance was also one way of helping the displaced communities. As found out in the needs assessment conducted, poor hygiene conditions due to the poor situation in evacuation areas is one of the major reasons causing common illnesses to the children.

Women especially mothers are oriented on what cleanliness and hygiene is and its importance to one’s health. UnYPhil-Women staff explained the causes of common illnesses and emphasized that cleanliness is one of the main preventive measures to keep the children healthy and ill-free.

Discussion includes proper waste management, personal hygiene and water and sanitation.

Women and children in special condition

During the armed encounter in the rido in Lomopog Midsayap, two children were wounded. UnYPhil-Women staff were there in the barangay conducting their regular field visits. Upon the call of service, UnYPhil-Women staff immediately helps in attending the need of the wounded children. They help in bringing the victims in the nearest hospital for immediate medical response.

Committed to serve the “women and children in special condition”, UnYPhil-Women staff helps in the facilitation of proper health care to the victims through coordination with concerned agencies who shall be serving and helping the children belonging to poor families. It so happened that the mother of one child just gave birth and cannot look after for the wounded child at the hospital, while the father has to look for income to feed his family.

Coordination with concerned agencies resulted to better health care for the child-victim; result which may not be possible if not of consistent and repeated ringing-of-bell to the agencies who shall be leading this services.

Support to Education

Lomopog has its own primary school serving hundreds of children from the barangay. According to the  Barangay Needs Assessment (BNA), the school lacks of rooms and facilities to accommodate the needs of the students. Under the project with CORDAID, the Lomopog school has been targeted for assistance. However, due to the effect of rido causing constant evacuation to its people, the project cannot be implemented especially that the barangay is also affected by the recent flooding in the provinces of North Cotabato and Maguindanao.

Barangay Lomopog in Midsayap North Cotabato is one of the community beneficiaries of the project Supporting Children by Complementing the to 4Ps Conditional Cash Transfer Program of DSWD in Selected Moro and IP Communities in Central Mindanao”. The project is  implemented by UnYPhil-Women in partnership with CORDAID.

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