Monitoring Visit in Lobo, Batangas

Open Heart Foundation’s partnership with the Jaybanga Integrated National High School started way back in 2007.  Under the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP), OHF supports Senior High School/College students from Jaybanga Integrated National High School for the academic year 2021-2022, a total of 15 students are being supported.

Before the actual visitation, careful coordination with the volunteer coordinator and school Head of Jaybanga Integrated National High School was done.  They helped the OHF team to inform and gather the students since signals/connection is one of the problems in the area.

On April 27, 2022, the Monitoring Team of Open Heart Foundation consists of the following:  The Executive Director Ms. Linda, 2 of the Admin Finance Jerry and Mark, and 2 of the Program Area Coordinators (PAC) Mae and Frank went to Jaybanga Integrated National High School and assisted by the School Head and the Volunteer coordinator.

The PACs conducted a face-to-face first learning session in Lobo Batangas for this year 2022 entitled Mental Health Resilience. The objective of this session is to heighten the participants’ understanding and awareness on how to adapt to environmental stress based on conscious or unconscious choice and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort.

As the attendees are in the room, the PACs started the program with a getting to know you portion, since this is the first meeting of the PACs and the Beneficiaries of Lobo. The Session turned to discussion and sharing of their experiences.  The School head participated and shared to everyone her experience on how she became resilient in life.

The PAC shares 5 tips on how to become mentally healthy, thus, resilient while there are challenges encountered in life. The 5 tips are being self-aware, being nice to yourself, create a good habit, practice gratitude/optimism, and reach out for help.  Under the number 1 tip, the participants were encouraged to have a self-reflection and ponder the question presented to them. What am I trying to achieve in my life, what am I doing that slowing me down and what can I do to change.  Most of the participants wants to achieve their dreams like being able to graduate and help their families at the earliest possible time. One thing that slowing them down was having low self-esteem and the problem of internet connection that affect their online submission of requirements.  They challenged themselves to be more optimistic and remain focused on their studies.

In the latter part, they were grouped into 2 to share their good habits that strengthen their mental health. Most of the good habits were playing sports games, praying, exercising, and dancing. They challenged themselves to establish good habits like sending inspirational quotes and having kamustahan to each other.  The PAC encouraged them to apply all of those 5 tips to help them be more resilient in their mental health.

Challenges are what makes life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes a life meaningful.

Prepared by: Maejorie U. Ortega, RSW, Program Area Coordinator 1