Network Building



On March 15, 2021, the Open Heart Foundation (OHF) monitoring team, Ms. Linda, Saleah, Mark and Tatet, were given a chance to visit Pangasinan and conduct CYDP meeting and courtesy call, since the community quarantine protocols became lax.  Ever since the pandemic, meeting the beneficiaries has been a challenge.  Although the use of online platforms was resorted to, there is nothing better than a face to face meeting.  Saleah, the assigned social worker was able to conduct kumustahan and consultation with 12 beneficiaries regarding their current experiences.  According to the beneficiaries, they have been able to adjust to the remote learning system.  However, there are still some challenges they encounter which affect their performance in their studies.  Some of the beneficiaries had a hard time complying in their activities due to challenges in internet connection and lack of better and working gadgets.  Some of uncontrollable condition in their house also affects them like sudden death of a loved one, household chores, and different situations/conditions inside their house.  Some also are affected by the limitations imposed by current system like unable to conduct thesis defense and product presentations.  According to the beneficiaries, they need to be flexible in order to comply in their activities, both in school and in their home.  Yet, they also hope that their school professors will be as flexible as them and have considerations in their activities.  As agreed during the meeting, OHF will still give them the chance to comply to the rights of their incomplete grades in one semester.  Mark, then, distributed their allowance for January-March 2021.

After meeting the beneficiaries, the team had a chance to conduct a courtesy call in the Local Government Unit of Bayambang, Pangasinan.  A meeting with Mayor Cezar Quiambao with his wife, Mr. Rafael L. Saygo from Supervising Tourism Operation with his team, Ms. Ryza representing the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office was conducted.  The meeting was an opportunity to get to know the local government of Bayambang and their current best practices.  They also presented the Municipal Plan of Action, a comprehensive document consisting the agenda of the local government in addressing the needs of the community.  Also, Ms. Linda was able to present the existing programs and services of the Foundation.  This meeting is vital for the community assessment to know where can the OHF program best meet the needs of the community.  A Memorandum of Agreement between the OHF and the LGU is the next target to serve best the community, especially the children and youth.

Prepared by: Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW/Program Area Coordinator