“For marginalized and vulnerable communities—especially in indigenous communities—the pandemic is a matter of survival of resources,” said Edgardo Ligon, Executive Director of IDEALS Inc., a non-profit organization based in Diliman, Quezon City.
IDEALS Inc. organized the initiative “Care for Mangyans” which aims to assist indigenous people (IP) communities in Mindoro. “Care for Mangyans started off as an effort by IDEALs to assist Mangyans whom we've observed were affected by the pandemic,” he said. Seeking for like-minded organizations to help more families, IDEALS Inc. reached out to Manila Water Foundation and other partners for the initiative.
Sharing the same advocacy of assisting and empowering marginalized communities, Manila Water Foundation partnered with IDEALS, Inc. and Mindoro-based organization Mangyan Mission to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene products to Mangyan families. Under the partnership, MWF turned over 41 pieces of frontal thermometers and 112 pieces of safety goggles donated by Manila Water Total Solutions as well as more than 1,000 pieces of bar soaps and 7,000 toothbrushes to Mangyan Mission on October 28. These donations will be distributed to over 3,000 Mangyan families.
“With each care pack, we hope to ensure that each Mangyan is able to live with dignity, health, and security that is the right of every Filipino. Care for Mangyans is a step towards this larger goal, and proof of what the private sector and civil society organizations can do when we partner towards advocacy,” Executive Director Ligon shared.
Reinforcing the value of partnership, Fr. Edwin Gariguez of Mangyan Mission said, “This will come a long way in trying to help indigenous communities in Mindoro. We hope we can continually build on this experience of being in solidarity with the poorest of the poor and we hope—as part of your corporate social responsibility, and—as our mission to help the poor—we can continue working to assist the people in need.”
Aside from the donations, an effort to create an effective IEC materials for the rural health units in the area is also underway.