PWC and DACUN schools go on psychosocial mission
By Anita Jabla, TED Community Extension
DACUN volunteers with the Brgy officials of Brgy Molopolo, Kiblawan, Davao Del Sur
With the series of earthquakes that hit the provinces of Mindanao last year, some lives were lost and many were left with damaged houses and properties, lost sources of livelihood, interrupted schooling of children and most of all emotional and psychological trauma among the survivors.
The national, local government and agencies, NGOS, private, business, religious and educational institutions and all other concerned groups have worked hand in hand to help the victims.
As part of Davao Colleges and Universities Network, Inc (DACUN’s) mission of working through collaboration for service to the local community, Sr. Aida T. Frencillo, OP, President of San Pedro College (SPC) and DACUN President, believed that DACUN ought to respond to the survivors of the earthquakes. She assigned three DACUN member schools (ACD, UIC and UP) to study, search and identify hard hit communities of the earthquakes and recommend which could be the possible beneficiary of DACUN’s assistance. After visiting several evacuation areas, the organization settled with Brgy. Mapolo, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur as this barangay received the least assistance especially in terms of psychosocial support services due to its remote location.
DACUN agreed to do a psychosocial mission to give care and comfort to the distressed individuals and children and to assure them that there is hope because they are not alone in their struggles. With that, preparations for the psychosocial mission on February 8, 2020 at Brgy Polomolo, Kiblawan, Davao Del Sur started. The purchase and packing of the hygiene kits were taken care of by the office of Remark Z. Mortalla, Head, SPC CES. The orientation of the Counselors on February 5, 2020 was headed by Lea F, Elivera, Head of SPC Guidance Office.
A total of forty-nine (49) DACUN volunteers aboard the San Pedro school bus went off for the Psychosocial Mission. The volunteers came from the following DACUN member-schools: Assumption College, Ateneo de Davao University, Brokenshire College, Holy Cross of Davao College, Philippine Women’s College of Davao, Rizal Memorial Colleges, San Pedro College, University of Mindanao, University of the Immaculate Conception, University of Southeastern Philippines, and UP Mindanao.
The activity started with a prayer led by one of barangay workers. Aldrin D. Dais then gave the objective of the Psychosocial Mission and explained how the half-day activity will proceed. Sr. Aida T. Frencillo, OP, President of San Pedro College (SPC) and DACUN President introduced what DACUN is and relayed the desire of the Psychosocial Mission which is to give comfort and hope. The Brgy Captain, Prince Edilord Sasedor warmly welcomed DACUN volunteers and thanked the group for choosing to visit their Barangay.
A series of energizers was actively and enjoyably participated in by the members of the community and the DACUN volunteers as well. Then followed the distribution of hygiene kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, bath and laundry soaps, alcohol, tissue and shampoos) to the people. The purchase of these was made possible through the contribution of ₱5,000.00 from each DACUN member school.
462 participants : 64 senior citizens, 200 adults, 60 youth and 138 kids were then led to their respective groups for the activities with assigned facilitators each.
Lea Elivera, headed the psychosocial support sessions along with thirty six (36) psychometricians, psychologists, guidance counselors and nurse from eleven (11) DACUN member schools. The activities included play and art therapies for children while sharing and counseling were given to the other groups.
In the process, it drizzled and there was a slight earthquake, but these did not stop the activities.
The CES Committee Heads were in charge of counting the participants for the senior citizen group up to the teens for the proper distribution of the hygiene kits. The kids were given biscuits and crayons by their facilitators. All the extra hygiene kits were endorsed to the Barangay Captain. A photo of the barangay officials with the military men and DACUN volunteers was taken as a culminating activity.
During the volunteers’ processing of the activities, the members shared their gratitude for the opportunity to serve and for being used by God as an instrument of love. The remarkable observations among the participants are the strong faith of the people and their resiliency amidst all struggles in life. One volunteer shared, “I came to this activity to help but I am also helped in the process. I am happy because the participants left with a light feeling. This kind of activity has no monetary equivalent because here, we LISTEN to people and make them feel that they are important and that they are cared for.”