ON the 5th of September, Pres. Fred & Menchu Pascual, PP Freddie & Jojo Borromeo, and Ferdie Ordoveza motored south of Manila, to Bay, Laguna, for a mid-week day of service. Bay is one of the project sites long served by our Club.
Two activities had been programmed in coordination with our brother club, the Rotary Club of Bay, with whom we have collaborated on many humanitarian projects in the areas of health, nutrition, education and disaster relief.
This time, we were covering three areas of focus: maternal and child health, with a supplemental feeding program; basic education and literacy, with a donation of bikes to poor students; and peace and conflict resolution and prevention, with a donation of bikes to local security forces.
We initiated two modules of our supplemental feeding program for a total of 60 undernourished children in two barangays in Bay—30 in Brgy. Puypuy and 30 in Brgy. Sto. Domingo.
The launch took place at the Municipal Hall, with the beneficiaries and their parents in attendance. The first feeding projects for this year, the two modules bring to 132 the total number of modules and to nearly 4,000 the total number of kids covered by the program since PP Freddie started it in RY 2004-2005. It is also the second feeding project in Bay in the past year, with the last one launched in September 2017 during the term of IPP Jun Jun Dayrit. Per project design, feeding will go on every day for six months and will end in January 2019. As in the past, we are partnering with Kabisig ng Kalahi for the entire program and, for these particular modules, with RC Bay and the municipal government of Bay.
In the program, Ms. Vicky Wieneke of Kabisig gave an overview of the project while PP Freddie impressed upon the parents the value of good nutrition especially for the young and how people can eat healthy without having to spend a lot of money. He spoke of brain foods and nutrients derived from vegetables, and made them understand what Rotary is doing for them—kick-starting a nutrition program that they themselves should continue after the prescribed 6-month feeding period.
For his part, Pres. Fred Pascual emphasized the importance of organizations coming together for a good cause—in this case Rotary, Kabisig and the government—and the value of good nutrition in ensuring that every child has a fighting chance at doing well in school and later, in life. He also made the parents understand that Rotary help is not forever and that they need to help themselves by using the lessons they learned to their advantage and that of their children
Bikes to School Project
Partnering with RC Bay, we gave away 100 bicycles, the most we’ve ever given, to as many students from two high schools—Masaya National High School and Bitin National High School, and to the security force (tanods) of 15 barangays in Bay.
The bikes donation to students is an RC Bay’s project that aims to stem the rising tide of school dropouts in the town. This was traced to poverty—the fact that many students often have no money for transportation, prompting absences which in turn constrains them to stop schooling altogether. In 2008, as fate would have it, PP Freddie Borromeo, offered the bikes to RC Bay Pres.Gary Hidalgo, who saw it as a godsend at a time when the incidence of school dropouts was on the rise. This led Pres. Garry to initiate SARDO—Students At Risk of Dropping Out, which RC Makati’s Bikes to School Project provided a perfect solution to.
The donation to the barangays, on the other hand, makes possible better mobility for the members of the local security force.
The bikes we give away are donated to us by the NPO Wind of Asia, a Japan-based organization, through Rtn. Masaaki Oshima, and the Bicycle Parking Facilities Provision Foundation. The project has been handled by our project chairman Hiro Oba since its inception in 2008.