GNE did not go to the Philippines this year. We are looking for new partners interested in nutrition education.
GNE traveled to the Philippines in March, 2019, for 2 weeks.We took 200 bottles of prenatal supplements and 11 digital tablets loaded with the GNE nutrition apps in English, Tagalog and Tuwali.We returned with suitcases that were full of memories.
The first week was spent in the provinces of Leyte and Biliran.We were hosted by our partners and friends Pastors Nick and Bryan of the Philippine NGO Local Community Outreach.We were joined by a young Indonesian woman, Cindy Natasha, who had found the GNE website and was intrigued by our projects. She expressed an interest in science education and animation and volunteered to join us.The pastors organized 4 clinics in coastal communities attended by barangay health workers, local women and families.We showed the apps and distributed the supplements to women of child-bearing age.They were uniformly delighted.
The second week was spent in the mountains of Luzon in the Hungduan District of Ifugao Province.We were hosted by Dr. Julie Ann Dulawan, the Municipal Health Officer. She is a young filippina physician doing 3 years of community service that we met last year.She invited us back and set up 3 clinics in rural villages that were up to a 3 hour walk from the nearest road! We shared our wares with another 150+ women.
One day we met with the Ifugao Provincial Health Officer to show her our apps and explain our mission. She invited us to send a proposal for a province-wide nutrition education project.
Both of our hosts had received grants of micronutrient supplements from Vitamin Angels with our help.Both were very receptive and appreciative of GNE programs.Both struggle with how to scale up our project.We look forward to finding ways to advance our work in the Philippines and hope to find a new partner in the Ifugao Department of Health.
In April 2018, GNE accompanied Mountaineer Outreach (MO), a local NGO doing humanitarian missions in the Philippines. Peter, Marie and Miao flew to Manila and then north to the mountains of central Luzon. We stayed in a very comfortable parador-type hotel in Banaue, Ifugao Province. For the next 2 days Peter worked as a doctor with 3 MO Filipino doctors at medical mission clinics in rural Hungduan district. One of these was accessible only by foot (a 40 min walk) or by “tram” in a 2-person basket strung across the valley. Marie and Miao worked alongside MO: talking to women and community health volunteers or testing the tablets with the education app in English and Tagalog.
We then had 3 days to work on grants, hike on the rice terraces or partake of the Banaue festival celebrating the end of rice planting season with traditional costumes, crafts, parades and wooden scooter races.
From there we drove back to Manila and flew south to Tacloban with 3 young women who came to be known as the “3 monkeys” for they could do no evil. We were met by the pastors of Community Outreach and went to rural Naval, Biliran Province for 2 medical clinics. Again Marie and Miao were able to demo the tablets and meet with local women and volunteers. Afterwards we got a tour of Tacloban and heard harrowing stories about the 2015 Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) not to mention General MacArthur and WWII.
Then we were off to Indonesia for the next leg of our travels. Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. We hope to parlay some of the enthusiasm we encountered for education and nutrition into future partnerships.
Please feel free to view this slideshow from our trip, GNE in the Philippines 2018 (pending).