Samaritan’s Purse (SP) is a non-denominational evangelical Christian Organization which supports in meeting critical needs in troubled regions of the world including victims of war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and persecution in over 100 countries since 1970. In the Philippines, SP started following the aftermath brought by typhoon Yolanda in 2013, which is now operating in Cotabato City since February 2016.
Last December 8, 2016, representatives from Samaritan’s Purse (SP), led by their Area Coordinator, Mr. Wiranta Tarigan, paid courtesy visit to NNC Regional Office XII to give feedback or report their accomplishments. One of their projects is the Scaling Up Nutrition-Cotabato City (SUNC), a one-year project which started in November 2015 and bound to end this December 2016. SP used Care Group/Mother-to-Mother support Group Model for IYCF Mother’s support group as the SUNC project strategy and aims to decrease morbidity and improve the health of infants and children by addressing poor practices of mothers and women of reproductive age in relation to breastfeeding, complementary feeding and other nutrition practices, taking into consideration the culture of Muslims and indigenous peoples group.
Samaritan’s Purse recently organized and hosted a Breastfeeding Awareness campaign where over 700 women gathered to breastfeed in public, the first of its kind in Cotabato City as said. Thus, SP also works reaching vulnerable women in meeting their needs holistically.
To date, SP has already successfully established 37 Mother-to-Mother (M2M) Support Groups from 25 barangays in Cotabato City, comprising 1 leader Mother and 20 neighbor women (with under five children enrolled in the Daycare Center) who will roll-out trainings to their respective M2M groups. Moreover, SP had also conducted Children’s fairs which promoted awareness of healthy Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) practices.
This nutrition-centered project is just one among those several projects lined to help those who are in need. Among which, part of their mission is to also emphasize the importance of Water, Hygiene and Sanitation by primarily providing clean water, hygiene education, and provision of latrines in some remote areas.
Moreover, with this spirit of altruism, NPC Latonio is more than happy of welcoming this effort that will help orchestrate other sectors in addressing hunger and malnutrition especially in the region.
Non-government organizations are nowadays given much attention in unleashing new strategies in ensuring utilization of both government and non-government resources efficiently. More importantly, they serve as vehicles for assistance to produce positive outcomes in the facet of nutrition.