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From the Field

VFV teachers a welcome addition at Tugop Elementary

Surrounded by panoramic views of rice paddies, banana trees, and sprawling mountain scenery sits Tugop Elementary School. Located near the recently devastated town of Tanauan, the school provides education to 205 children in and around the small village.

Volunteer Tom, from Australia, leading a Science class.

Newly arrived VFV volunteers Tom and Kat were a welcome addition to the small group of teachers that keep the remote school running. “The children and the staff are just amazing” said Tom. Despite the enormous challenges caused by Typhoon Yolanda, the school continues to provide an essential service to the community. “The school does have major issues including a lack of school supplies. The school has one science textbook which is heavily water damaged,” said Tom.

Aside from a need for basic school supplies there is also a need to repair some of the schools critical infrastructure. “Following Typhoon Yolanda the school’s only mechanical pump and filter were completely destroyed. Now we draw water from a dirty hole in the ground” said Principal Jason Gaduena. As a result of the poor conditions many children regularly suffer from diarrhea and other illnesses.

A local boy draws from the school water hole.

Aside from a need for clean water, an ongoing nutrition program is critical to ensure the continued development and health of the students. “Most of the children come from farming families, so the poverty faced here is seasonal. During non-harvesting periods children often eat very little. Families have little money to buy enough food let alone school supplies such as stationery and uniforms,” Principal Gaduena explains.

With the assistance of the Adopt-a-School program, Volunteer for Visayans hopes to improve the conditions at Tugop Elementary School. To join the program and improve the lives of 205 children in need, please click here and let us know!

*Written by Robin White, media intern from Australia


 

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Improving the wellness of 29 Barangays

Pastrana Rural Health Unit is a government run health clinic staffed by one doctor, Dr. Rolando Sulla, one dentist, Dr. Irma Lerios, and ­­­­11 nurses. Pastrana RHU caters to 29 Barangays in the area with a population total of over 17,000 people.

The 11 nurses, along with volunteer Karen, who ensure Pastrana RHU gives the best possible care to the residents of 29 Barangays

Pastrana RHU is able to provide services due to the support of the Department of Health, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The DSWD offers local families incentives to visit the clinic, such as receiving money for bringing their children to Pastrana RHU for their monthly check ups and necessary immunizations. However, the services provided are free to all and do not require health insurance.

A few of the services Pastrana RHU is able to offer include consultations, maternal and child health care, immunizations, and laboratory examinations. In a typical day at the clinic, it’s common to have consultations with patients who have fevers, coughs and colds, infections, as well as those seeking treatment for Tuberculosis. For anything requiring hospitalization, PRHU is able to transfer patients with the use of their ambulance, though it’s stretcher was lost among the chaos of Typhoon Yolanda.

Volunteer for the Visayans provides a constant stream of volunteers to the clinic, often times those with nursing experience, or science degrees such as psychology or behavioral science. These volunteers, much like Karen from England who has been working at Pastrana RHU for 7 weeks, work side by side with the local staff to provide health care for the impoverished.

Karen, volunteer from England, enjoys the company of a 2 month old patient

Karen described, “all of the nurses here work very hard with the little resources they have and I’d like to give them the recognition they deserve. The clinic wouldn’t run without them. The entire staff has made me feel very welcomed during my time here. I thoroughly enjoyed this program and I hope we’ve learned from each other. Volunteering for VFV has inspired me to continue aid work in developing countries.”

Pastrana Rural Health Unit was recognized this past month by the Department of Health along with the Governor of Leyte, Leopoldo Dominic Petilla, for providing “outstanding Measles-Rubella coverage during the MR-OPV Mass Immunization for 9-59 month old children.”

Francis, a nurse at the clinic, explains, “This award signifies that 95-100% of children in the community received their vaccinations. Out of 44 towns, the Pastrana RHU ranked number 7.” This is an accomplishment the entire staff surely should be proud of.

Would you like to experience the fulfillment of providing aid to a country in need? Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities with VFV!

*Written by Courtney Cunningham, media intern from the US

 

Posted in Child Welfare, Medical Clinic Volunteers, News, Public Health, Public Health Volunteers, Uncategorized, Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines, Volunteer Program | Leave a comment

Building the foundation for a brighter future

Situated in Mohon, a Barangay located in the municipality of Tanuan, Carl Dominic and his family’s newly constructed home stands tall and proud just steps away from their previous house.

The Doyola's new home (left) in contrast to their current home, which suffered damages from Typhoon Yolanda

Carl, a Volunteer for the Visayans sponsored child, lives with his Uncle Egardo, his aunt, and their two daughters.

The Doyola’s new place is part of over 90 houses built by VFV since the Build-A-Home project began in 2005. It is the second residence constructed in Mohon since Typhoon Yolanda devastated the village last year.

Supplies and paid wages have been provided by VFV to Egardo and his crew during the one-month period it has taken them to build the house.

It is important, VFV staff member Maila points out, that one person from the family help with the construction. Since Egardo is being paid for his work, he does not have worry about finding employment elsewhere. The benefit of this is a two-fold; Egardo is able to provide his family with a steady income as well as a beautiful new home.

The construction of this house affords the Doyola family with the foundation for a solid future. One that looks very bright for Carl Dominic, who attends the Tanuan School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries.

Carl Dominic stands contently in his newly constructed house

Carl shows a great deal of academic potential, especially for being only 11 years old. “He complains about being ranked number 4 in school”, his uncle says, “but he does very well, particularly in math.”

The efforts of VFV have not gone unnoticed as Egardo credits the work done by Maila, who he acknowledges as being fundamental throughout the project. He adds, “she is a small woman with a very big heart.”

The Doyolas will move into their new home this week, once the finishing touches are complete.

Just over three thousand US dollars is enough to build a home with VFV. If you’d like to donate to this ongoing effort, click here!

*Written by Courtney Cunningham, media intern from the United States

 

 

Posted in Build-A-Home, Child Sponsorship, Donate, News, Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines, Volunteer Program | Leave a comment
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