SOME 300 Murciahanons benefited from the medical-dental mission spearheaded by Manila-based non-government organization Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. (OHF) at Brgy. Blumentritt, Murcia last September 8.

Of the 300 beneficiaries, 150 are adults and 150 children, who received free medical consultations and medicines, dental services which include dental examination, tooth extraction and oral health education, as well as snacks, hygiene kits and tennis shoes.

Conducted in partnership with the provincial government headed by Negros Occidental Eugenio Jose Lacson and Murcia town headed by Mayor Gerry Rojas, the medical-dental mission was part of OHF’s 30th Founding Anniversary.

The celebration is anchored on theme “OHF’s 30th: Reliving the Bayanihan Spirit Amidst the Pandemic”.

“We congratulate Open Heart Foundation for 30 years of service for the empowerment of children and the youth (and) we thank them for, once again, choosing Murcia as the beneficiary of one of their programs,” Rojas said in a statement.

He said they welcome such participation and partnership with non-government organizations (NGO) and private groups in delivering more services to Murciahanons.

Rojas added that the medical-dental missions in the barangays is one of the ways by which his administration delivers its service right at his constituents’ doorsteps.

“The program, which has been conducted in several barangays already, proves our commitment to continuously improve health services delivery to our constituents,” the mayor added.

OHF is a non-stock, non-profit NGO founded by American barrister Robert LeGore, who served as a public defender for youth offenders in the USA

LeGore believed that, if the children and youth are given the opportunities and experiences to develop their potentials, they can become self-directed responsible, creative and productive members of society.

Together with a Chinese educator and three Filipinos who believed in the inherent worth and dignity of every child, LeGore established OHF in June 1992 to realize this vision.

In its 30th year, OHF conducted medical missions in partnership with the LGUs in the three major island groups in the country.

For Luzon, it was held at Kabugao, Apayao on August 11 and at an Indigenous People’s community in San Fernando, Bukidnon on August 31.

The OHF team was led by Executive Director Ms. Rosalinda T. Perez and Board Members Marlyn Fernando and Atty. Natalia Guinto.

For its part, the municipality sent its health personnel composed of doctors, midwives, nurses and volunteers headed by Municipal Health Officer Dr. Raymund Antonio Maguad.

The Provincial Health Office, headed by Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, sent six dentists and a dental aide, while Blumentritt Punong Barangay Ronald Olvido provided barangay health workers, barangay tanods and other staff to ensure the smooth and orderly conduct of the activity.

Murcia has been a partner of OHP since 2019, through OHF’s Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP) which provided financial assistance in the form of monthly allowances to selected senior high school and college students. During its Murcia activity, OHF also conducted a monitoring meeting with the students-beneficiaries.

OHF thanked Miriam Marfil, Emily Belleza, Lourdes Garcia, Tina dela Cruz, Remedios Quintan, L’Oreal and Maybeline Philippines and Venice 66 Fashions (Vans Philippines) for their support to OHF and the foundation’s programs. (PR)