Want to fight malnutrition and volunteer abroad? Malnutrition in the Philippines has been a prevalent issue, and the government and other sectors have been putting efforts in combating this. Sadly, the Philippines’ current poverty state still existent particularly in its marginal population makes these efforts still not adequate to cure malnutrition. Furthermore, lack of awareness even makes malnutrition more inevitable among growing kids. For example, some parents are not aware that it is crucial to fight malnutrition in the child’s early years for this to not continue as the child grows. Education, nutrition programs and more are the things you can help realize if you choose to volunteer abroad and share your time with the Filipino parents and children.
The 2011 national survey recorded that more than half a million Filipino kids are still malnourished. Imagine that. These are also the same children who do not have adequate breakfast before going to school, who are living in places with poor health conditions – under the bridge perhaps if it is in the crowded Manila area, who have to walk a lot of kilometers everyday to go to school if in a barrio. Don’t forget also those from the other end of spectrum – children who are overfed with wrong types of food.
Since about 1950’s efforts have been done to institutionalize nutrition intervention. Not only the government, but other countries and non government organizations have done efforts on this endeavor. Laws were also amended for this to be a multi-sectoral issue to deal with, where different government departments are tasked to handle the issue, thus the formation of the National Nutrition Council. With these are what you’d see today – steps such as the different feeding programs implemented in schools and the mandatory fortification of certain food products.
Are the efforts enough though? Let’s just say the marginal population and the government & its interventions are still trying to meet halfway. While the government should come up with more direct solutions to cure this entirely, in both economic and health department aspects; the marginal population should have self determination to capacitate themselves, to remove themselves from the poverty psychology that they are helpless by equipping themselves with education and birth control, to sustain their children and nutrition.
As a volunteer in Philippines, you can help in the encouragement in fighting malnutrition. Help children what they should learn when it comes to malnutrition. While they may have not been taken care well on their nutrition while they were babies, tell them that the right types of food are important as growing children as this will tell their health’s state as adults. If you get a chance to talk to the parents then the better for you – 0- 4 years of a child is the most important stage to eliminate malnutrition. You can even make it more fun as you find creative ways to teach all of them and share your blessings.
Good experience and memories await if you find the right organization to volunteer abroad. Consult your prospect organization on their possible activities in tackling different issues like malnutrition and poverty. This is also your chance to explore some of Philippines’ beautiful archipelago. IVI or Involvement Volunteers International has been assisting volunteers in their gap year programs. Visit http://www.volunteering.org.au to learn more.
For more information, visit at http://www.volunteering.org.au/volunteer-fees.html