April 13, 2020
I. Community-Based, Barangay-Focused COVID-19 Response
After a thorough collective discernment, Balay Mindanaw has decided to get directly involved by launching our own modest COVID-19 Response.
Exactly one month after we decided to suspend all our field activities, we have decided to undertake modest calibrated and selective field activities related to COVID-19 Response subject to appropriate protective and safety measures for both staff and partners.
We have begun implementing some interventions to provide assistance to our partner communities and groups as part of our COVID-19 Response.
We may not be considered as among the physical frontliners but we can also give our share to the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and the spread of hunger and despair.
After several weeks of this crisis, we have come to realize that the communities are the first line of defense, the hospitals the last. Therefore our community-based work in our partner barangays can still be a most relevant approach and response to this crisis.
II. Our Initial Response During the Early Stage of the Crisis
1. Our foremost concern is the health and safety of our staff and partners. We issued two internal advisories on March 9 and 13 suspending all field activities that involve physical gathering and interaction, prohibiting staff travels, and advising concerned staff to consider self-quarantine.
2. Despite the suspension of physical field activities, we continue our work with our partner communities thru calls, social media and other means of communication. We have established a communication system and have been conducting regular virtual meetings among Balay Mindanaw staff and with community and resource partners.
3. We initiated a process of Virtual Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) with all our partner barangays in Lanao del Sur and Marawi, Basilan, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Aleosan, and Cotabato City. The Consolidated RNA results and analysis are very useful in formulating our response despite the limitations. These helped us determine the priority and most urgent needs of the communities, identify the gaps (i.e. what among the needs have been responded to, and what remains unanswered).
4. We negotiated with our resource partners for realignment of current project budgets so that we could use some of these to respond to the urgent needs of our partner communities and groups. Most of our partners were ready and quick to approve our request for realignment.
5. We will soon procure and deliver food packs and hygiene kits to crisis centers in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. Surigao del Sur and Norte, Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.
6. We have been providing safe drinking water using the SkyHydrant from Disaster Aid to the displaced people from Marawi as as result of the enhanced community quarantine now temporarily staying at the Bakwit Village, Matungao, Lanao del Norte though the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
7. Some Balay Mindanaw staff are also actively involved as Barangay Health Emergency Response Team volunteers.
8. We have produced and distributed COVID-19 information and education materials in various languages and dialects.
9. The Germany-based, Philnetz, has asked us to be the channel for their assistance to Amay Pakpak Medical Center.
10. And finally, Balay Mindanaw is now directly involved in the efforts of containing the spread of the virus by helping provide shelter, food and psycho-social support to persons who are in quarantine facilities.
III. Our Commitment
1. Our partner communities are among the poorest and the most vulnerable. The resuts of our Rapid Needs Assessment show that these communities urgently need support especially food and other essentials. We shall work with the Local Government Units and other government and private partners as we strive to fill the gaps.
2. Those in the isolation facilities have lost their jobs. They need support for food for their families and milk for their children. We shall strive to fill the gaps.
3. We shall continue journeying with our partners during these most trying times. While we strive to fill the gaps for material things like food and non-food relief goods, we shall not forget that we are also called upon to accompany and help them survive the emotional trauma caused by this crisis. Thus the need for creative psycho-social support interventions.
IV. Our Call
We urgently need additional resources to support and sustain our response.
We need your support.
We refuse to be victims. We choose to be resources.
FOR YOU DONATIONS:
Balay Mindanaw Bank Accounts
Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc.
East West Bank – Pueblo De Oro, CDO Branch
Current Account # 200040008313
Banco De Oro. – Xavier, CDO Branch
Swift code: BNORPHMM
Banco De Oro – Xavier, CDO Branch
Account # 301760191866
Swift code: BNORPHMM