Stronger Together in building a healthier post-pandemic Mindanao

Today is July 1, 2022 and with the changing of guards in our political and organizational leaderships, most of us feel a sense of excitement emerging. We are more than ready to wave goodbye to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic and begin this new era. 

When the Stronger Together Project began in 2020, it was a result of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Philippines partnering with ADRA to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impact by providing PPEs and disinfectants to health facilities, constructing and installing foot-operated handwashing facilities in public spaces, providing educational materials for children about COVID, and by providing psychosocial support for medical frontliners. 

When Stronger Together PLUS took up the reigns in 2021, it decreased its target area and focused on the island of Mindanao. It still provided medical supplies to health facilities and educational materials for children. Psychological First Aid trainings were organized to train church and community volunteers to improve people’s access to mental health care services and key messages about the Corona Virus, Vaccines, Gender-Based Violence, and Mental Health were broadcasted each week via Hope Channel SPUC to bring these “taboo” topics out into the open. 

The pandemic’s economic impact is still being felt worldwide, but for the municipality of Matanao, Davao del Sur that experienced 3 intense earthquakes in 2019, it was devastating. That is why a livelihood component was included for Matanao, to help reduce the negative economic impact by providing trainings and materials for vegetable farming and goat raising and establishing a goat and seed bank to help jumpstart and provide sustainability to their livelihood projects. Financial literacy and value-added training was also conducted to maximize their income generating potentials. 

As the Stronger Together PLUS project comes to a close, with it comes a great sense of accomplishment of the partnerships formed and new channels opened. It Provided Life-changing and United Support against COVID-19 (PLUS) and it shows that the best way to beat the pandemic is in uniting and working together.

Because we are Stronger Together.