This year, the Philippines has been struck by calamity after calamity, both natural and man-made. Typhoons, earthquakes and armed conflicts have left many of us feeling hopeless at the need of the millions of people who have been affected by these tragedies. When faced with the magnitude of what needs to be done, one may be led to wonder, “Can just one person helping out really make a difference?”
The answer is yes.
Read on and be inspired by the stories of these “ordinary” moms who have found ways to help others in need, and believe that you, too, can do something today to make a difference in the lives of others.
Jenny Ong, one of the movers behind Bayanihan Para sa Mag-ina
Jenny Ong, a lawyer, breastfeeding advocate and peer counselor, and mom to two kids 6 and 2 years old, shares what she and fellow LATCH members did:
“We organized Bayanihan Para sa Mag-ina, which is composed of a consortium of projects and a coalition of organizations who aim to support mothers and protect infants and young children during disaster situations. It promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding and proper nutrition for infants and young children.”
LATCH (Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, Help) is a hospital-based non-profit organization that offers quality lactation education and peer counseling services to mothers who wish to breastfeed. “We are actively involved in the back-end, logistics and organization of the Nanay Bayanihan Tent in Villamor Airbase,” says Jenny.
"We are also involved in The Cold Chain project, which aims to bring refrigerators and generators to affected areas in the Philippines, allowing them to have a place to store breastmilk which can be used to support the efforts of Nanay Bayanihan."
Based on LATCH’s experiences from previous disasters, Jenny says, “A lot of well-meaning donors are under the misconception that powdered milk is necessary. Mothers, infants and young children are most vulnerable in times of disaster and often, in evacuation centers, their needs are not addressed and they are lumped with the general populace. Our project ensures that these individuals are protected and their needs are addressed correctly.”
Jenny encourages others to help people who are victims of tragedies like Yolanda even in little ways: “…by focusing on the end-goal — to help the survivors.