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Youth org proves small acts from big hearts can change the world

By JULES VIVAS

Photos courtesy of ALIBATA

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If there is an upside to the current crisis, it’s that we’ve seen a surge of global kindness. Humanity has re-discovered compassion and cooperation as imperative elements for our survival. People are taking proactive steps to aid one another and generate solutions for all. Many of us, regardless of age, gender, and social status, have been helping in whatever ways we can.

In the Philippines, Akbayin, Linangin, at Ingatan ang mga Bata (ALIBata) has shown that sometimes those who have less give more. This non-profit organization was established solely to help ensure that children enjoy life to the fullest.  It consists of youth leaders from various schools and non-government organizations, all of whom, so far, come from the poor sector of the community. The team is currently comprised of 10 core student members from Malabon City, plus an adviser.

Since ALIBata has always been actively participating in charity work, many have learned and acknowledged their advocacy. People have come to support the youth-serving organization’s cause through volunteerism or by providing funds in cash and in kind for community projects.

Among ALIBata’s recent initiatives was “The Go Give, Let’s Stop Covid,” a donation drive of 800 pieces of hygiene kits that each contained a bottle of alcogel, hand soap, and washable face masks. The org chose the people most vulnerable to the pandemic, namely the elderly, the pregnant women, the children, and of course, frontliners, as recipients of the sanitation packs. In addition to this, ALIBata also allocated 30 kilos of rice and 30 pieces of canned goods to the most needy. All the kits were distributed in Malabon City: 50 went to the frontliners of the City Social Welfare and Development Department of Malabon, 150 were turned over to frontliners of the Department of Education (DepEd) Malabon City, 120 were handed out to the frontliners of several barangays, and the remaining kits were given to the listed beneficiaries from other barangays.

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ALIBata volunteer delivering relief goods.

ALIBata has done all of these while holding a livelihood program that gives jobs to young tailors. Supplying 800 washable face masks with a tight budget has proved to be a challenge, forcing the organization to look for more manpower. Fortunately, more volunteers have joined and, seeing how well their operations on the face mask production is doing, ALIBata has decided to use the opportunity to hire the youth who can sew, and proceeded to supply essential face masks to those who need it.

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Aside from the donation drive and the livelihood program, the organization has had other projects during the Covid-19 outbreak such as he “ALIBata Got Talent: The Quarantine Edition,” “Fullo Biscuit Distribution,” and “KKK – Katapangan, Kalakasan, Kagalingan: Istoya sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”

“ALIBata Got Talent: The Quarantine Edition” was designed to have everyone stay at home during quarantine. Six activities have been carried out, where winners receive prizes taken from the remaining fund of the “The Go Give, Let’s Stop Covid” project. These competitions range from a slogan making contest, a calligraphy contest, a Covid quiz to a poster making contest, a cooking contest, and online Zumba.

“Fullo Biscuit Distribution,” on the other hand, is a simple distribution project where wafer snacks are given out to students under the enhanced community quarantine. It’s a sort of reward for staying home.

Meanwhile, the “KKK – Katapangan, Kalakasan, Kagalingan: Istoya sa Gitna ng Pandemya Project” is aimed to spread positive vibes and hope in the middle of these difficult times. Inspirational stories of Covid-19 survivors are being posted on ALIBata’s Facebook page.

Projects in the planning phase are the “Isipan ay Linangin, Iwas Covid-19” and an untitled one for mental health. The “Isipan ay Linangin, Iwas Covid-19” project aims to address the problem in the education of children amid the health crisis by giving them modules to complete in their homes. There will be incentives such as rice, canned goods, and instant noodles, to motivate the students into taking their studies seriously. ALIBata is currently in discussion with DepEd Malabon on how to implement the campaign. Funding is also needed.

For the untitled mental health project, the plan is to approach mental health and legal experts and convince them to give free service to those who need it the most in these extra challenging times.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/05/08/youth-org-proves-small-acts-from-big-hearts-can-change-the-world/)

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