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 The local government unit (LGU) of Looc, Romblon in partnership with Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), assistance from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) MiMaRoPa, and under the leadership of Honorable Mayor Leila M. Arboleda endeavored to intensify the nutrition programs in the barangays of Looc, Romblon through the conduct of Barangay Leadership for Nutrition and Development (BL4ND) Training last 22-23 February 2018 at KOICA Hall, Looc, Romblon.

The activity was attended by representative members of the BNCs of Looc, Romblon which included the Barangay Chair, Barangay Councilor on Health, Rural Health Midwife, a school representative, Barangay Health Worker (BHW), and Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS). The training was divided into two batches, the first batch was conducted on February 20 – 21, 2018 and the second batch was conducted on February 22 – 23, 2018 both at KOICA Hall, Looc, Romblon. The training team was composed of the ZFF headed by Project Lead Mr. Axell M. Alterado together with Nutrition and Health Leadership officers, Ms. Angelique P. Santos and Ms. Anne Y. Chan; selected officials of the municipal government of Looc headed by Honorable Mayor Leila M. Arboleda, Sanguniang Bayan (SB) member on Health Hon. Iluminada Galindez, Nutritionist-Dietitian of Looc District Hospital Ms. Edna Felia, Municipal Agriculture Technologist Ms. Elsa Torres and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) Mr. Dale G. Mortel; and NNC MiMaRoPa Nutrition Officer II, Mr. Francis Erik P. Bacena.

The training aims to capacitate the BNCs in strengthening their leadership skill for effective and efficient management of nutritional programs through the six sessions, namely: Session 1: Sitwasyon Pangnutrisyon ng Bansa; Session 2: Sitwasyong Pangnutrisyon ng Munisipyo at ng Barangay; Session 3: Pang-ako at Pananagutan; Session 4: Mga Gawain at tungkulin ng Barangay Nutrition Committee; Session 5: Wastong Nutrisyon at Kaunlaran sa Kamay ng Komunidad; and Session 6: Prosesong Referral sa Nutrisyon. After the discussions of the six sessions, the BNCs applied their learning through presenting their planned actions.

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With the combined efforts of the municipal government of Looc, ZFF and NNC MiMaRoPa, the training elicited commitment and support from the BNCs to further improve their nutrition situation through intensified and innovative nutrition program implementation. To apply the knowledge and skills obtained from the training, the BNCs initially scheduled their respective BNC meetings on March to formulate their respective Barangay Nutrition Action Plan (BNAP) which will further be incorporated in their Barangay Development Plan for 2018.

The BL4ND Training is part of the strategies in the Prototyping Leadership and Governance in Nutrition for the First 1,000 Days project of ZFF in the municipality of Looc, Romblon and Gamay, Northern Samar. The ZFF hypothesized that despite of the intensive implementation of national programs; there is still a gap in the operationalization of these programs. Therefore, the ZFF partners with LGUs and other organizations to pilot a leader-driven change strategy to address poor maternal and child nutrition primarily in the two pilot municipalities in Romblon and Northern Samar. Key interventions for the project include Leadership Training and Coaching for Nutrition (BL4ND and other related trainings), Technical Competencies Development for Nutrition, and Socio-behavioral Change Communications for Nutrition. These interventions aims to contribute to the improvement of maternal, infant, and young child nutrition at the household, community and municipal levels by focusing its nutrition interventions on the first 1,000 days.//fepb