Beyond school requirements-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
WHEN a group of 28 Special Education students from Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) had been required to experience a community immersion for their National Service Training Program (NSTP) requirement, they thought of an outreach program and they pursued it single-mindedly until a wonderful proposal was conceived.
Republic Act 9163 of 2002 has provided the guidelines for the community projects that students of NSTP-CWTS are required to undertake to finish the collegiate course and be integrated in National Reserve Corps.
Simply put, college students are required to do community service works.
With the objective of rendering public service to Adela, Barangay Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City, their chosen community, they have set the following goals: to station a feeding program; to conduct health teachings, particularly the correct technique of hand washing and tooth brushing; and lastly to render health teachings specifically, family planning among parents.
When asked why such a project, a member, who would rather robe herself in anonymity states, “We noticed that the community [is] faced with some usual problems mostly regarding: nutritional issues; proper hygiene and personal sanitation; and family planning awareness.”
Knowing that such a grandeur project necessitates funding, these highly motivated students had sent out letters of solicitation for such purpose.
Sadly, since they were working under time constraints, it was not feasible to wait for their potential donors’ responses.
Still fueled with determinism, the students had decided to dole out a little from their daily allowances to finance their immersion.
Fortunately, the members had knowledge and contact with Adela Youth Movement, (AYM) a youth-oriented non-government organization of Adela Subdivision. As such, AYM was tapped for the shared goals.
In strong collaboration, AYM members gave helpful tips on how the MUST students had to go about their lectures during the immersion.
“Since we know the audience very well, we suggested ways that the MUST students could best maximize their immersion experiences here at Adela,” says Al Rashide Galaura, AYM moderator.
“We also provided them with utensils and cooking area for the feeding program and arranged for the venue of their lectures,” he adds.
The group has also organized themselves in committees in order to appropriately divide manpower within their small number.
One committee was in charged for the feeding program while another was for the Information, Education and Communication that included family planning and handwashing didactics.
Finally, when everything was set, they carried out their benevolent plans last October 6, 2013.
They started with a brief orientation by gathering women, children and men from Adela at 8:30 a.m. To 9:00 a.m.
At 9:00 a.m., the group had a lecture demonstration about the correct handwashing technique.
By 11:00 a.m, feeding program was on. Children were given topmost priority on this.
By 1:00 p.m., family planning was discussed to the parents.
A round-up of the activities was then carried out at the end of the day.
Raeshal May S. Bolanio, project overall leader of the immersion shares, “At the onset of the immersion we were nervous; we never had experiences like this before.”
“But when everything was done, we felt a deep sense of fulfilment,” she maintains.
The said immersion activity was attended by 79 participants.
For Galaura, “It does not take a giant to move mountains.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 08, 2013.