Saturday, 16 July 2016 was a bright, sunny day for Sta. Brigida, Barangay Karuhatan. It was the day that the Social Orientation and Community Involvement (SOCI) of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) launched special projects jointly-planned with Sta. Brigida, SOCI’s newly-adopted community.
Themed “Yep, Heal & Clap”, the modest program unfolded In a spacious, tented area. The SOCI Coordinator for the College of Nursing Arnel Buencamino began with a heartfelt prayer, while SOCI Director Neil Jason Suñer welcomed the participants. He then introduced the SOCI Coordinators from the different colleges of OLFU so that the community would be familiar with the people who would be regularly visiting them during the program implementation.
SOCI Coordinators Mikhail Valdescona and Engineer Eric Homoroc from the College of Medical Laboratory Science and the College of Maritime Education, respectively, presented the details of the community programs to be undertaken. An open forum followed to allow residents to raise questions and concerns.
The program concluded with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and some appreciative remarks from Sta. Brigida Neighborhood Association President Joel Lipata. He thanked OLFU for adopting their community and expressed the hope that OLFU stays committed for at least five years. Mr. Lipata promised that residents would actively participate.
The event was hosted by Edwin de Guzman, SOCI Coordinator of the College of Computer Studies.
Immediately after the affair, SOCI rolled-out the very first seminar on welding.
It will be remembered that earlier this year, SOCI conducted community profiling and needs assessment on Sta. Brigida residents. The goal was to identify their issues and concerns. This study evolved into both parties signing a MOA on 30 May 2016, formalizing OLFU’s “adoption” of the Sta. Brigada community. Consultative discussions after led to the crystallization of three main programs:
Youth Empowerment Program (YEP)
With the aim of developing future leaders, the focus is on supplementing the learning of children through tutorials and training that will enhance their performance in school. Leadership training is one action plan that will that zero in on capability-building.
Healthy Environment and Lifestyle (HEAL)
The objective is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by preventing lifestyle-related diseases through monitoring and intervention. It also promotes the protection and cleanliness of the environment. A series of visits, seminars and information campaigns are in plan.
Community Livelihood Advancement Program (CLAP)
Espousing the mission to help families find alternative sources of income, this effort will offer training and will help the community create sustainable livelihood projects that will benefit the whole community.