The event was held on January 20, 2023 at Barangay Estrella, San Pedro, Laguna.
An activity for the benefit of the people of Barangay Estrella, especially children. The event consisted of medical, dental, and optical services provided by partners and volunteers.
IBIT must hold an event in January as a tradition. This year is the same except for the organisation of activities. There will be no “lugaw” with boiled eggs today, but we maintain to provide hygiene kits and breakfast food packs, with additional Mana Packs for the undernourished children.
The medical mission was held one day before my birthday – January 20. They invited patients from Barangay Estrella, prioritising people with disabilities and older people. The IBIT team have specific targets – children under 5, children with disability, and undernourished children with the list provided by their barangay health worker (BHW), at least 100 children. The day was packed. Over 300 people went to medical check and a little less than 200 for optical services, and we’ve reached our target. Parents brought their kids to the table and registered; all received hygiene and food packs, and some not pre-identified underweight children got an additional 1k pack of Mana Packs, a fortified rice that can be cooked and eaten like porridge, or soup together with meat and vegetables. IBIT provided information to the health workers about the Mana pack and how it can help the children improve their nutrition and eventually graduate to the healthy kids category.
The local government has a nutrition program that identifies stunted, undernourished and severely acutely malnourished children, teaches parents how to prepare healthy food at home and provides food items that can augment the child’s needs. The BHW oversee the program and submits reports of improvement regularly. IBIT will use the same information to monitor the children’s progress after consuming the mana packs for stunted and undernourished children.
The information will help the organization plan its activity and reach more children that need nutritional support.
IBIT is a tiny organisation, a new player in community development. Still, we know what we want to do and whom we want to help – children because we see the impact it will have on their physical and mental growth. It will affect their social life, participation in classes, and activities of daily living.
That is why we need partners to be successful.
The parents and caregiver have a vital role to play, ensuring responsive caregiving is provided and supported by the community. We also want to tap into a local government program to ensure that IBIT projects are aligned and that we can maximise the utilisation of resources towards children’s development.
Let’s all be part of the solution, and help children survive and thrive as they grow.
— Dhidhak Bandalan
In a candid moment, IBIT President Dhidhak Bandalan explains what “MANA” is to a participant.