Mass feeding benefits 776 Bohol kids

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Mass feeding benefits 776 Bohol kids

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DepEd Bohol Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos (upper photo, extreme left) clarifying the data on wasted and severely wasted children in a meeting with BRRP and HNU. Other stakeholders include Tyrone Hora (HNU), Evelyn Marapao (DepEd), Joy Garrote (HNU), Gementiza (DepEd), Derie Deligero (DepEd), and Fr. Val Pinlac, BRRP Director. Lower photo shows (l-r) Dr. Bongalos; BRRP Program Director, Fr. Valentino Pinlac; and HNU Director, Fr. Francisco Estepa, SVD signing the memorandum of agreement for the School-Based Feeding Program.

The Bohol Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Program (BRRP) of the Diocese of Tagbilaran and Nursing Department of Holy Name University carry on its partnership with the Department of Education Bohol Schools Division in implementing the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP). This year, the partnership has identified 494 wasted and severely wasted pupils from elementary schools in four (4) municipalities of Bohol namely: Clarin, Loay, Loon and Balilihan. The SBFP is the feeding program of the Department of Education to address malnutrition through a 120-day feeding program.

During its first year of implementation in 2015, the collaboration was able to address malnutrition among 776 children from pilot municipalities of Loboc, Cortes and Clarin. After the 120-day feeding program and health education, 76.29% of these pupils have achieved normal weight. The remaining 23.71% represents the number of wasted children with already zero of severely wasted.

Specifically, for the BRRP partnership, SBFP is complemented with health education designed and implemented by HNU Department of Nursing. The health education includes teaching children and their parents on nutrition and proper hygiene such as handwashing and tooth brushing. The endeavor has also given parents particularly mothers the opportunity to cook lunch for their children utilizing vegetables found in the schoolyards. This has taught mothers not only on the importance of preparing healthy food for their children but on how to cook simple and nutritious vegetable dishes.

For this year, the collaborators have focused more on eradicating malnutrition, considering that the country has an alarming rate of malnutrition. Based on the recent data provided by DepEd Bohol Schools Division, BRRP and HNU have chosen eight (8) schools from the municipalities of Clarin, Loay, Loon and Balilihan with the highest number of wasted and severely waster children. The data is the result of the weighing done at the start of the school year and 494 wasted and severely wasted children have been identified as potential beneficiaries of the program.

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BRRP is a three-year program of the Diocese of Tagbilaran with funding support from the Italian Bishops Conference to rehabilitate, rebuild and help the Boholano community recover from the 7.2 magnitude quake that hit the province in 2013. Other than the component on Health and Sanitation, BRRP also conducts skills trainings and livelihood development initiative in partnership with Bohol Island State University and TESDA. In partnership with University of Bohol, it has designed a core house for those who have lost their homes to calamities. BRRP also has components on values formation and construction of classrooms, community and training centers.

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