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19 July 2019 Volunteers for Nutrition

Zero hunger is one of the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Philippine Plan for Action for Nutrition (PPAN) is an integral component of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022. Undoubtedly, addressing malnutrition is among the top development priorities at the local, national and international levels.

Volunteers serve as able partners of the private and public sectors in the conduct of various programs targeting the country's development priorities on nutrition. They help ensure that services to reduce malnutrition reach the marginalized, especially in far-flung areas.

As PNVSCA joins the celebration of the National Nutrition Month, we are featuring two National Awardees of the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) who have helped address problems of malnutrition in their respective communities.

Keep Hope Alive (KHA), a youth volunteer organization based in MIMAROPA, developed and implements the Agropositibo Program which addresses the malnutrition of Mangyan children through feeding activities and nutrition and health education. They also engage the tribal parents in establishing and maintaining a school-based garden where they get the ingredients for their feeding program. Meals served were based on the Mangyan Healthy Menu Book which are prepared in consultation with the Mangyan communities. More than a thousand children improved their nutritional status because of this program.

Referred as the human resource strategy of the PPAN, the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program recruits, trains, and deploys volunteers to monitor the nutritional status of children and help ensure that nutrition-related services reach beneficiaries. Ms. Marivic Boholts, has devoted more than two decades of her life both as a Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) and a Barangay Health Worker (BHW). With her dedication to reach disadvantaged communities and ensure that they will have access to nutrition and health-related programs, she went beyond her tasks as a BNS and BHS by spearheading the establishment of 43 Botika ng Barangay in the island barangays of Surigao City which enabled thousands of people to avail of affordable medicines.

Contributions of these outstanding volunteers like KHA and Ms.Boholts are just a few among the countless unrecognized volunteers who devote their time and resources to solve problems of malnutrition of disadvantaged groups. In this month of July, we salute all volunteers who are making this world healthier one nutrition-related activity/project at a time.

The proclamation of July as the National Nutrition Month under Presidential Decree 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines was signed on June 25, 1974.

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