Story from the Field: A Wheelchair of Her Own

For ten years, Norcaisa Macapasir has become acustomed to using her hands as legs as she lives with paraplegia. Despite her condition, the sixty-two year old is known to maintain a cheerful disposition.

After her husband passed away in 2010, Norcaida started feeling numbness in her legs. Not long after, her lower body was paralized completely. Now, she and her 25-year old son, Alanoding, live together in a bahay kubo in Saguiran, Lanao del Sur. To assist her with her personal hygiene, Alanoding made a hole in their wood flooring where she would defecate and urinate.

Because of Norcaida’s situation, Action Against Hunger in coordination with the municipal health officer (MHO) and the local government unit (LGU) focal for health provided her with logistic support by giving her a wheelchair of her own. On February 23, 2021, the wheelchair was personally delivered to her home.

“Thank you… I don’t have to borrow a wheelchair from the neighbors anymore whenever I have to do something important,” she says in tears, overwhelmed with joy from the assistance she received.

The logistic support received by Norcaida is one of the health and protection interventions under our ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Conflict-Affected Populations in Mindanao’ (REACH). The REACH project is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is implemented together with CARE Philippines, and their local partners.

For Many Filipinos, Access to Food is a Daily Challenge

For many Filipinos, access to food is a daily challenge.

All over the world, about 20 million more people are facing crisis levels of hunger as compared to previous years. Issues like conflicts, natural disasters, and COVID-19 contribute to this alarming increase. We all have a role to play to change this.

𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 & 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝘀.
Visit: https://actionagainsthunger.ph/what-we-do/…

(Photo by Daniel Burgui for Action Against Hunger)

We are looking for a Deputy Country Director in Manila

We are looking for a Deputy Country Director (Programmes) in Manila! For further details please go to this link: https://bit.ly/3eDI9LA

How to apply:
1. Click the link
2. Read the details thoroughly
3. Go to the bottom right corner of the page
4. Click the “Apply for this Position” button

Given the urgency of this position, the vacancy may close on or before 11 May 2021.

We provide equal opportunities to candidates regardless of their origin, nationality, race, gender, regional and sexual orientation. This vision aims to integrate equal treatment and opportunities among women and men in all HR processes and policies within the organization.

Health Volunteer Saves Allowance to Support Family

The onset of the global pandemic severely affected displaced communities brought by earthquakes in North Cotabato. They become more vulnerable as their mobility has been limited and opportunities to earn a living and provide for their basic needs have been hampered harshly. Their already limited capacities were further impeded by health official’s implementation of lockdowns, curfew, and disallowing of social gatherings. This situation is extremely difficult for the people living in the evacuation centers and camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North Cotabato Province.

Joan Bayawan, 27, a mother of one, residing in the Barangay Ilomavis, City of Kidapawan, Province of Cotabato was one of those severely affected by both the Mindanao earthquakes and the COVID 19 pandemic. Her barangay was greatly hit by a series of strong magnitude earthquakes that devastated the province during 16th, 29th, and 31st of October 2019. After being displaced for more than a year following the disaster, Joan and her family thought they would slowly regain economic security, and little by little find way back to their normal life. Unfortunately, everything blushed off as COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected their livelihood, causing them poor access to basic social services such as health and nutrition, education, transportation, and information.

Despite having been affected by the Earthquake and the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Joan became one of Action Against Hunger’s health volunteers in their barangay. She was among the trained water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) committee members who underwent Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) training conducted by Action Against Hunger on August 8, 2020 in Kidapawan City under the project “COVID-19 Emergency WASH Assistance to Conflict and Earthquake Affected Communities in Mindanao.” Since then, Joan and her colleagues have been conducting regular health and hygiene messages, demonstrate hygiene promotion activities, and communicated updates to the project team.

Because of her dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to help her community, Joan was able to play a significant role in helping earthquake affected communities prevent the spread of the life-threatening disease.

In recognition of the effort and time spent, Joan and her fellow volunteers were given support through cash and in-kind incentives for their rendered hours. As a volunteer, she received an allowance amounting to $62.78 (PhP 3,150.00) for 10 working days—$ 6.2 (PHP 315) per day based on the minimum wage in North Cotabato. This amount was also allocated for phone credits to update the project on its progress, to provide feedback from the communities and to communicate changing local situations from their respective areas.

“I am very happy with the allowance I received. Aside from the fact that this amount should be used for communication and reporting, whatever amount I save in excess is very useful. This is really a big help for me and my families’ finances supporting our daily needs. It is hard for us to find resources because of COVID restrictions and protocols,” said Joan.

Not only was Joan able to support her community by raising awareness and educating them about COVID-19, her volunteer stint also somewhat serves as a much-needed temporary employment for Joan, providing income as well as appropriate social protection. Her activities for the project also prevented Joan and her family from resorting to negative coping mechanisms due to the hardship brought by two calamitous events in the province.

Joan’s family was also among the 6,350 families that received non-food items (NFIs), hygiene kits, and received direct hygiene promotion sessions in North Cotabato.

The COVID-19 Emergency WASH Assistance to Conflict and Earthquake Affected Communities in Mindanao was a nine-month emergency response project which aimed to support 151,081 individuals from conflict and earthquake – affected populations across the province of Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, and province of Cotabato. The project was implemented by Action Against Hunger, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and CARE Philippines, and funded by Bureau of Humanitarian Affairs (BHA) of the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID).

Our Teams Distribute Hygiene Kits and Build Latrines and Hand-Washing Stations to Prevent Outbreaks of Diseases During a Crisis

Prior to the pandemic, our teams distribute hygiene kits and build latrines and hand-washing stations in the communities we work with to prevent outbreaks of diseases during a crisis. In communities at risk, we construct water filters made from basic materials and teach healthy practices like hand-washing, cooking with clean utensils, and drawing water from protected sources.

Read more about our WASH projects and find out how you can support us: https://actionagainsthunger.ph/what-we-do/#water-sanitation

With The Coronavirus Pandemic Far From Over, Many Families From These Vulnerable Communities Continue to Rely On Relief

Communities that are heavily affected by natural disasters or conflicts face food insecurity among other potential problems and risks. With the coronavirus pandemic far from over, many families from these vulnerable communities continue to rely on relief.

Help us enable them to have better access to livelihood opportunities, health assistance or clean water and hygiene facilities. Your support can help these families get back on their feet.

DONATE NOW:

Photo by Agnes Lavarraine for Action Against Hunger

Climate Change Continues To Be One of the Biggest Problems We Face Today #EarthDay

Climate change continues to be one of the biggest problems we face today—a threat multiplier for communities suffering from hunger and malnutrition. We know that ending world hunger is only possible if we have a healthy planet, which is why we are committed in protecting and caring for the environment.

Let’s all do our part to reduce negative impacts on the environment. Happy #EarthDay from Action Against Hunger Philippines!

𝗙𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝘂𝘀:
www.actionagainsthunger.ph

Real Life Heroes – Abubakar Balabagan

As humanitarian workers, our field teams have time and time again shown great dedication at ground level in reaching even the most isolated communities. One great example would be Abubakar “Bhaks” Balabagan who has always given his best efforts despite the risks and challenges.

Get to know Bhaks and what makes him one of our #RealLifeHeroes!

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗲𝗿?
My purpose, which is to help people in the community who are suffering during disasters, and saving lives as well.

𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲?
It makes me fulfilled. I am happy to help vulnerable people in the community through Action Against Hunger and be able to have a role in providing free and direct access to beneficiaries – because it is one of the organization’s principles.

 

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗰?
The pandemic is very challenging because the risk of contracting and/or transmitting the virus can happen anytime and anywhere if not careful. Because of this, we have to limit gathering beneficiaries in small areas for activities like hygiene promotion sessions.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀?
My motivation comes from the people I serve. When I became a humanitarian worker, I became more conscious of the people’s daily struggles and have a deeper understanding on how different their situations are. For instance, many of them are striving to survive the economic downturn during this pandemic.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗱 𝗼𝗳?
The thought that the work that I do, in some way or another, will have a ripple effect that will impact the lives of the people I serve.

Bhaks has been working with Action Against Hunger for more than 4 years. Now, he is currently part of our #TyphoonRolly Emergency Response Team as one of the Project Assistants. Our 𝗘𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗻 𝗔𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗮𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝗹𝗯𝗮𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 is funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and co-implemented together with CARE Philippines.

Access To Safe Water Is Crucial In Preventing Infectious Diseases Like COVID-19

𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵. However, around 7 million Filipinos are dependent on unsafe and unsustainable water sources.

In fact, even before the pandemic, those residing in congested dwellings in informal settlements, transitory sites, and evacuation areas were already facing problems with inadequate water, poor sanitation and waste management, and limited access to health care facilities.

We help these communities through our programs on water, sanitation & hygiene. 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/call-for-donations/

Photo by Lys Arango for Action Against Hunger

Real Life Heroes: Nino Renz Santos

One of our Nutrition Assistants shares his story of how he became a humanitarian worker and his experiences following this decision. Get to know, Nino Renz Santos, one of our Real Life Heroes:

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗲𝗿?

It all started when I volunteered on a project in Bohol last 2013. The decision of engaging a volunteer work was made out from my unrewarding work at my hometown. At first, my family was not in favor with it because of the distance and personal reasons. Eventually they gave their blessings to me because they believed that this would make me happy. During my work and stay in Bohol, the province suffered from a strong earthquake and shifted the project on emergency relief.

Despite the trauma, lack of sleep and demanding work required for disaster response, it never gave me reasons to complain because I felt that the communities’ needs for help is more important than my own. Less than a month after the earthquake, a strong typhoon devasted the Visayas islands which led to project’s suspension and sending off the volunteers out of Bohol. In spite the rollercoaster ride of emotions, the volunteer experience significantly changed my life and became my personal calling in doing humanitarian work. It opened doors for me to help and work with the communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Samar.

Now that I’m with Action Against Hunger, I remain as a humanitarian worker because I always believe that humanitarian work is more than a job; it is a calling to make a difference in the lives of people in times of distress.

 

Why are you making this sacrifice?

My life now as a humanitarian worker has been different from the one I had back home. Going out of my comfort zone requires self-sacrifice but in return it taught me to be independent and raised the bars for my personal and professional growth. It also led me to practice my profession as a nutritionist-dietitian particularly in the field of public health. Public health nutrition was my Achilles heel back in college, but it has now become my professional expertise and strongpoint in development work. The various exposure to the realities of the communities and personalities adds yearning to further improve myself so that I can better respond to the changing and varying needs of the communities. Finally, these experiences helped me understand life outside than what I’m used to, and I hope that my simple contribution can suffice to improve the lives of the people I work with.

 

What have been the challenges to your work because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I was worried that I might contract COVID-19 while working in the communities. But through self-care and precautions, I am blessed that I didn’t acquire the virus to date. To worry and fear of one’s health while working on this time of pandemic is already challenging for us humanitarian workers. But to put one’s mental health to test during these trying times hits different and I was not spared from it. Prior to the pandemic and unbeknownst to me, I was already experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. It got worse during the height of the pandemic and it affected my work that I had to reschedule my planned health and nutrition activities. To overcome this, my physician recommended me to consult with a clinical psychologist and undergo psychometry. With the support of my friends and workmates, my mental health gradually improved, and I can now manage my anxiety.

What motivates you to keep doing your work despite these challenges?

While I was recovering for my mental health, there were people who pushed me to my boundaries and helped me realize of why I’m doing humanitarian work in the first place. If it wasn’t for my supervisor – Levy Marcon, who encouraged me to implement the activities while my psychometry was ongoing, I would have applied for sick leave and succumbed to sadness for doing nothing. If it weren’t for the enthusiastic and proactive health workers and local leaders of our partner communities in Lanao del Sur, there would have been more children or mothers suffering from double burden with the ongoing pandemic. It’s okay not to be okay during this pandemic but I chose to be in service of others and give them a sense of hope.

 

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my contribution in helping communities rise from adversities. Not everyone can have the opportunity to be able to work directly with vulnerable populations and help them to recovery. Despite the added challenges working through this pandemic, the experience brought me feelings of accomplishment by fulfilling my duties as a humanitarian worker. And for that, I am blessed and grateful that I can continue this calling: to bring positive impact and lasting changes to communities.

Nino Renz Santos is currently working as one of the Nutrition Assistants of our ‘Response to the Unmet Humanitarian Needs of the Most Vulnerable Conflict-Affected Populations in Mindanao’ (REACH) Project which is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and is implemented together with CARE Philippines, Oxfam Philippines, and their local partners.