13 volunteers were in Bohol, Philippines (in the village of Villalimpia) on a medical and nutrition mission from 24 January – 9 February 2019, where they implemented a waste management program, installed a community garden and constructed toilets and showers. Implementing the project of Reledev, Creston College partnered with Foundation for Professional Training, Inc and Banilad Center for Professional Development (BCPD).
Agata Wanigaratne, 6th year UNSW Medical Student shares her insights on her recent work on the Philippines service project.
Running our nutrition program and medical mission, on the rural island of Bohol was eye opening. I had a strong urge to help the local people after completing two months of medical rotation in Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, a government hospital in the capital city Tagbiliran.
The poverty was shocking. Some Boholanos would only go to hospital if they were extremely sick. It could mean sacrificing a day’s wages and no rice for their families.
Our team wanted to do something to keep Bohol’s children healthy and out of hospital. We were 13 university students from medical/allied health and education backgrounds so, we coordinated a paediatric medical mission under the guidance of Dr Grace Araneta, in Loay, Bohol. It involved screening 150 school children for acute illnesses and monitoring their growth to check the effectiveness of a feeding program started in two schools, Tocdog and Vilialimpia Elementary Schools. It was amazing to also teach the children about the importance of good nutrition, safe food handling and regular exercise to prevent disease and then see them teach their families.
The project made us grateful for the quality public healthcare we receive in Australia, which Bohol hopefully can have one day through empowerment and education. We are also truly grateful to the hospitality and openness of the Boholano families during our stay and hope to see them again someday!
We need your support as so many others can benefit from Reledev’s projects. You can also volunteer overseas like Agata with a service project in the Philippines. You can help by donating to the Reledev cause. A little goes a long, long way.