2020 Relief & Medical Mission and Community-Based Learning Program
Locations: Metro Manila, Batangas, Panay | Dates: July 30 – August 11
If you are interested in applying, kindly fill out this Application Form!
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is an action-oriented alliance of Filipino organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals in the United States that promotes the health, well-being, and rights of Filipinos in the US and in the Philippines. We respond to the concerns of marginalized communities in the Philippines and work to uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
NAFCON regularly conducts relief, rebuilding, and health missions to the Philippines. This year, communities in Metro Manila, Batangas, and Panay will be the areas served by NAFCON in partnership with various organizations and institutions in the US and the Philippines. These three areas have experienced natural disasters and limited access to medical resources.
It is in this light that NAFCON invites health professionals, documentation folks, and concerned members of the community in the US to a mission to provide much needed relief and health services to and learn about the conditions and needs of these communities in the Philippines.
- Provide relief and health services to community members.
- Integrate with communities and learn about their conditions and needs.
- Share lessons and experiences back in the US to encourage participation and support for future missions.
Where are we going?
Though highly urbanized, the Philippine capital city of Manila is home to some of the poorest families in the country. Many residents are minimum wage earners in the harbor and factories while others are part of the informal sector working as vendors, pedicab drivers, and even scavengers. Poverty and malnutrition rates among children are high. Basic services are sorely inadequate and even non-existent in many barangays (villages). Residents are threatened with eviction to pave way for so-called disaster preparation, environment protection, and business promotion. Many areas in Metro Manila also became the center of drug-related extrajudicial killings in the country. Police operations have orphaned many children aside from inflicting trauma on many survivors, hampering the delivery of vital services such as health and education.
Batangas is ground zero in the disaster caused by the eruption of Taal volcano. This event has displaced thousands, disrupting their economic livelihood and will continue to affect them emotionally and economically in the foreseeable future. As of February 17, a total of 151,486 families / 584, 795 persons were affected by the eruption. Of which, a total of 1,688 families / 6,157 persons have taken temporary shelter in 33 evacuation centers. Meanwhile, countless evacuees have been recorded to suffer from various illnesses like diarrhea, sore eyes, and chicken pox in several evacuation centers. Majority of them suffer from respiratory ailments due to the ash fall produced by the volcano. Hence, most of the evacuees need immediate health services and supplies of medicines
Samar and Leyte provinces became the focus of disaster relief and rehabilitation work after Haiyan while other affected provinces in the Panay region that were on the typhoon path did not get the same attention. For hard-to-reach areas, help was almost nil or none at all. In Panay, immense damage affecting infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries resulted in a virtual standstill for the lives of many. School buildings, public markets, ports and other important infrastructures were destroyed. Many houses were either totally or partially destroyed because most were just made of light materials. As a response, NAFCON partnered with local organizations to provide different types of assistance such as materials for shelter repairs, food packs, tools and equipment for agriculture, carabaos for production, rice and vegetable seeds, and fishing boat and fishing gears. Six years after Haiyan, we will visit the communities to provide free health services and learn the status of rehabilitation and rebuilding in their area.
Who are we looking for to join this medical mission?
Nurses, doctors, dentists, and other health professionals: If you are a surgeon, doctor, dentist, nurse, nurse assistant, physical therapist, medical aide, or health student, you can greatly contribute your knowledge and skills to this medical mission.
Artists, photographers, filmmakers, writers, and other documentation folks: Even if you are not in the health field, there is a place for you in this mission! You will be oriented in your role during the medical mission for tasks that do not require medical expertise. If you have experience working with kids and youth, your skills will come in handy. We also plan to create a documentation project for the mission and community-based learning experience, including articles, songs, photos and videos, that can be used after the mission for our ongoing work to support the communities.
Community members: Any community member who would like to offer their time, skills, and energy to support people in the Philippines is welcome to join the mission. As we contribute, let’s engage with, listen to, and learn from those in need.
How You Can Support
- Apply to join the mission! Apply at nafconusa.org/event/mission2020
- Donate medicines, medical supplies, or host a supply drive. Supply list can be found at bit.ly/NAFCON2020
- Donate to the 2020 Relief and Medical Mission or host a fundraiser
Past Medical Missions
To commemorate the 5th anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, NAFCON conducted a health mission in the province of Samar, providing life-saving surgical, medical, and psychosocial services and medicines to 1000 Filipinos. In the municipality of Gamay, over 600 adults and children received free medical check up, which consisted of services such as vital signs, doctor consultations, acupuncture, urinalysis, nebulizer, and pharmacy. Elementary school students also received psychosocial intervention and training on disaster risk management. In the municipality of Pambujan, around 100 people underwent surgeries needed for afflictions such as hernia, hydrocele, hemangioma, goiter, and cysts. Another 200 received free medical check up.