The first year of the Council’s operation was utilized mainly in “laying the ground work” for the implementation of the University’s commitment to engage with communities in more focused, purposeful, and sustained development work. Whereas, the second year was marked by specific activities carried out directly by the different USIC Agenda Clusters. The activities were based on and carried out in implementation of the 1st Year Plan of Action as contained in the 3-Year Strategic Development Plan (2008-2010) drawn up jointly by the University and the respective pilot partner municipalities.
Socio-economic Baseline Profile of partner communities
The socio-economic baseline profile of the four partner municipalities, namely, Cabusao, Calabanga, Sagnay, and Buhi, were completed in August and validated in the series of municipal presentations undertaken by the Council through the ASSRC in the month of October. This baseline profile shall be one of the benchmarks against which future conditions shall be compared for the assessment/evaluation of the impact of University social involvement efforts in its partner municipalities.
Pilot Barangays Officially Identified and Declared
To ensure focused efforts and as a strategy to ensure that the partnership between the University and the four (4) Municipalities would achieve greater impact, the parties decided to pilot 5 barangays in each of the partner municipalities. Thus, on the basis of greater need as compared to the other barangays of the respective municipalities, the following barangays were identified and officially declared, per Resolution passed by the respective Sanguniang Bayans, as the five (5) pilot barangays in the ADNU-LGU partnership:
MUNICIPALITY OF CABUSAO
1. Bgy. Barceloneta
2. Bgy. Biong
3. Bgy. Castillo
4. Bgy. Pandan
MUNICIPALITY OF CALABANGA
4. Punta Tarawal
MUNICIPALITY OF SAGNAY
1. Bgy Atulayan
2. Bgy Bongalon
3. Bgy Mabca
4. Bgy Nato
5. Bgy Sto Nino
MUNICIPALITY OF BUHI
3. Sagrada Familia
4. Sta. Cruz
5. Sta. Justina
Nutrition for our Children Program. The Supplemental Feeding component of the “Nutrition for our Children” Program under the USIC Health & Nutrition Cluster covers all five pilot barangays in Sagnay, Calabanga, and Cabusao, and three (3) barangays in Buhi, or eighteen (18) barangays out of the twenty (20) officially declared/identified pilot barangays, benefiting 1,412 children, 842 of whom are 7-12 years old, while 570 are 0-6 yrs old. Of the original beneficiaries of 386 children, 372 have graduated from the full program with improved nutritional status, but are still included in the feeding program once-a-week to sustain the weight improvement achieved.
The implementation of the two other components of the Program, namely, Basic Nutrition, Health and Sanitation Education, and Food Production and Income Generation for Program Sustainability began in July, spearheaded by the college of Nursing and the College of Commerce, respectively.
Access to Safe Water. As reported, the four partner municipalities of the University all have municipal water system installed and operating, but majority of the households are not yet connected to them as more pipelines are needed to reach the households especially those located outside the town proper. And although the assistance being extended by the University under this program — provision of jetmatic pumps — is a big help to communities especially those lying far outside the town proper, connecting the households to the municipal water system is the more lasting solution as water source becomes more and more scarce and the risk/danger from untreated ground water becoming higher as ground water becoming more and more susceptible to contamination due to improper solid waste disposal. Moreover, the University provided sixteen (19) jet-matic pumps to nine (11) barangays in the Municipalities of Cabusao, Sagnay, and Buhi. Three (3) more units have been approved for two barangays in Cabusao. The Municipality of Calabanga advised against installation of jet-matic pumps as untreated ground water source in Calabanga has already been established as unsafe for drinking purposes.
Livelihood Support. Livelihood support initiatives such as hog fattening and boat rental have been established in the Municipality of Calabanga, implemented mostly through the assistance of the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan channeled directly to the CCD.
Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) Project for Barangays Atulayan and Nato, Sagnay, Camarines Sur. Fundacion InteRed – a Madrid-based Spanish NGO implementing a community development project in the Caraga Region and decided to fund a similar program for Bicol, approved the project proposal submitted by the SIO in April. As the project can only fund two (2) barangays, InteRed chose Barangays Atulayan and Nato of the Municipality of Sagnay. The implementation of a Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) project approach on health and Nutrition, Governance, Education, and Livelihood was approved for a period of four (4) years. Full implementation of the project began in August, with two (2) full-time Community Organizers, one (1) part-time bookkeeper, and three (3) University employees involved in the project.
Empowerment through Literacy for Forty (40). The strong efforts of the University President to mobilize resources for the poor bore yet another fruit. On the occasion of its 40th Founding Anniversary, the Parish of St. Joseph in Rankweil, Austria, through ADNU benefactor Fr. Georg Fischer, approved ADNU proposal for enabling 40 out-of-school children/youth to read and write. The project, which kicked off in November to run for one (1) year, has hired one (1) full time teacher and four (4) assistant teachers – one for each of the four municipalities. The teachers conduct reading lessons two days per week for ten (10) beneficiary children in each of the partner. Most of the beneficiary children, with ages 10-15 years old, barely reached grade III, with three (3) children not having experienced school at all.
“Books for our Children”. In the desire to continually find ways to share, the Ateneo de Naga University-World Bank Knowledge for Development Center (AdNU-WB KDC) has put up six (6) satellite knowledge sharing nooks in its four (4) partner municipalities – three (3) in Cabusao, and one (1) each in the Municipalities of Sagnay, Calabanga, and Buhi. The knowledge sharing nooks is a mini-library designed to encourage love of reading particularly among children.
To ensure and monitor usage of the facility, a MOA was signed between the University and the Local Government Unit/Community representative, defining the role of the parties in the sustainability of this initiative. As part of KDC’s continuing engagement with the communities, a monthly “Read Aloud Story Telling” activity will be implemented, tapping the faculty, students, and personnel of the University to be the story-tellers.
To continually augment the reading materials/resources made available to the people, especially children and youth, the books that are so generously donated by golden-hearted people all over the world through the Missionaries of the Poor Sisters are shared especially with public elementary and high schools in the partner communities of the University.
Networking and Advocacy
As networking is among the strategies adopted by the USIC to advance its social involvement agenda, engagement with organizations/institutions with similar objectives is continually pursued through participation in meetings/conferences that facilitate such engagement and enable the University to pursue the eight identified development agenda through advocacy.
See full report: Ateneo Social Involvement for 2007-2010