Malnutrition reduced, food quality improved
To prevent growth stunting among children in Camarines Sur, Pilipinas Shell Foundation (PSFI) recently launched its health and nutrition program Roots to Shoots (RTS) in two of the province towns, in partnership with the Manila Water Foundation (MWF) and World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF)
Inspired by how plants absorb vital nutrients at the roots in order to grow, the Roots to Shoots program will address growth stunting by preventing malnutrition in Bombon and Pasacao through activities related to food security, setting up WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities, and conducting breastfeeding and nutrition sessions among child caregivers.
“Let's take this program seriously," Pasacao Municipal Mayor Niño Tayco remarked during launch of Roots to Shoots in his municipality. "A family's health is of the utmost importance nowadays. "
Roots to Shoots MOA Signing in Pasacao, Camarines Sur held on July 14, 2020
IN PHOTO: From top left, Felix Morandarte Jr. (Municipal Administrator), Melchor Baesa, MD (Municipal Health Officer), Melinda T. Sambajon (ABC President), Aurora Nora Dela Cruz (Development Management Officer (DMO) IV, DOH), Nonito M. Tolentino (Municipal Councilor, Committee Chair, Health and Nutrition), Roberto V. Dazo, (Program Manager, WVDF)
PSFI Executive Director Sebastian C Quiniones, Jr. said, “We are in high hopes that this new program, through close collaboration with trusted and expert organizations and LGUs, will truly bring lasting impact to the communities. We believe in investing in the next generation, and this is our way of ensuring that they and their families are given the opportunity to become responsible and productive members of society.”
RTS’ holistic approach is supported by each foundation taking on a specific role.
PSFI leads the food security and livelihood component through the implementation of a capacity-building program which trains farmers and community members in the use of farming technologies. It also diversifies their livelihoods through finance while providing infrastructure support for community-based enterprises.
MWF, on the other hand, brings in WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) interventions to respond to the need for clean water, safe sanitation, and awareness on good hygiene behaviors.
As for the nutrition education and the mother and child-care components, WVDF will administer related activities that aim to sustainably rehabilitate underweight children while also building the knowledge and skills needed to improve parenting practices at the household level.
The program launch formalized the partnership between PSFI and the two LGUs through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA). Aside from the MOA signings, turn-over ceremonies of anthropometric measurement equipment (e.g. weighing scales, tape measure, calipers, etc.) were also held with representatives of PSFI, WVDF, and Rural Health Units present. This vital equipment will aid the local health workers in assessing and improving the nutritional and growth status of children in the communities.
Turn-over of anthropometric measurement equipment to LGU/RHU Bombon
IN PHOTO: From left, Dale Kevin S. Egwaras, (RTS Program Coordinator, PSFI), Judy Z. Reforma, (Municipal Health Officer, RHU Bombon), Ma. Luisa DC. Angeles (Municipal Mayor, Bombon), Roberto V. Dazo (Program Manager, WVDF)
During the July ceremony in Bombon, Municipal Mayor Ma. Luisa DC Angeles also expressed her appreciation to the program, “On behalf of all the Bomboeños, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our partner-organizations. Thank you, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., World Vision Development Foundation, and the Manila Water Foundation for your dedication to help and to support this kind of program which aims to uplift our fellow countrymen.”
Roots To Shoot Program is aligned with the national government's National Nutrition Month with the theme "Batang Pinoy SANA TALL. Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL," which emphasizes that stunting is a preventable illness when mothers are given access to nutrition, health, and social services in the first 1000 days of raising a child.
Now more than ever, it is vital that communities build resilience against health hazards and the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. It all starts with proper healthcare and sufficient nutrition. You can learn more about the Roots to Shoots program by visiting the social media accounts of each respective organization.
#RootstoShoots #RTS is a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral initiative aimed at nurturing and transforming human potential by fostering the right conditions for child development especially in its earliest stages.This is also supported by Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., World Vision Philippines and Manila Water Foundation.