Imagine descending a mountain on steep dirt roads, for four hours, just to get to the nearest health facility, and possibly being denied of services. Now consider doing so while you are sick. For our families in Calawis, it is not difficult to imagine, because they have to go through this exact ordeal every time they face serious health concerns.
Since 2013, we have been giving health education to over a hundred families in Calawis. More than fighting for their right to health, we have been able to get to know them more intimately. At present, we go on monthly visits to the mountains, and constantly look forward to seeing our ates, kuyas, lolos, and lolas, who all share the genuine desire to improve the health of their community.
Through the generous sponsorship of GT Foundation, 120+ families are covered by life-saving PhilHealth insurance.
Each time we see the humble, rainbow-colored houses of our families in Galvaville, we are reminded of the resilience of this community. In 2009, typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) ravaged their former fishing village, and through the help of various NGOs, our families were relocated to their current homes. Though the community is now more safe from flooding, many families are still at risk, because of the many barriers to health care.
At present, we continue to see this resilience in our families as they learn with us on how to protect their health, and assert their rights to health with confidence.