Reaching Out and Bearing Witness to Improve Total Well-Being of Disadvantaged
Country of Operation
- Baptist Missionary Association of the Philippines (BMAP)Not-for-profit
- Provincial Health DepartmentGovernment
- Operational Health District and Health CenterGovernment
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryThe Reaching Out and Bearing Witness to Improve the Total Well-being of the Disadvantaged is a project in Ratanakiri Province by the Baptist Missionary Association of the Philippines (BMAP) to improve the living conditions and welfare of indigenous groups living in Ratanakiri province.
Indigenous or tribal communities are the group of people who are generally remote or peripheral to society. Cultures, norms, beliefs, poverty, limited capacity and geographic constraints are known as some of the detriments leading these groups of people to be marginalized from society and have limited access to quality health care services – Reaching Out seeks to solve this problem.
Key program components
The Reaching Out project primarily works to establish and support tribal associations that play a key role in addressing social and health detriments. The composition of each association varies depending on the context. Tribal leader, elder community people and other respected persons are the key association members who have the most influence on the community. BMAP, in collaboration with public health facilities, organizes training courses for association members. The training courses cover disease prevention and basic case management such as recognizing suspected cases and danger signs of diseases and where, when, and how to refer sick persons. Normally, community health mobilization is conducted by frontline public health providers. However for indigenous communities, norms, cultures and geographic constraints create difficulties for outreach activities organized by the frontline public staff. Thus, it is ideal that community health education and basic case management are conducted by tribal association members. With financial and technical support from BMAP, trained association members organize their regular health mobilization activities in the communities. Health education and promotion is also integrated into religious and cultural events that are normally led by tribal leaders. Another important task of the association members is to keep BMAP staff and public health providers informed of health situations in the community, mainly those which need special interventions from outside health providers. At public facilities, BMAP sends different international health advisors (U.S.A and Philippines) to train and coach health providers on practical skills in health care provision. Besides supporting the improvement of the health situation in the community, association members also play a role in facilitating and/or supporting the development of tribal communities’ economic status. Trained association members mobilize indigenous people with skills in raising poultry, livestock and producing crops.