Our second day in the Philippines was a day in our program partner office, Vineyard (more information on Vineyard in my first blog!). The office is modest and functional; no air-con in the 78% humidity.
In the Philippines, INA does not have our own office, but instead partners with local development organisations. The rationale behind this is that, firstly, it allows your investments to reach more people, as we don’t pay for staff or office space ourselves, and secondly, local people often know exactly what kind of services they need, so instead of having us come into the Philippines and dictate what needs to be done, this process allows for better collaboration with the people who need the services.
INA recently received a grant to expand our Expanding Health Access and Awareness project. Baxter International, which aims to Save and Sustain Lives through selling products to treat a variety of medical conditions, supplied funding for our medical work. In the Vineyard office, we got to see this funding first-hand; as we stepped inside, stacked up high was at least 20 First-Aid kits. These kits are to be distributed to vulnerable families during first aid training so families can respond during disasters.
The content of the packs included Ponchos (flash floods are very common in the Philippines), scissors, tweezers, bandages, antiseptics, and other immediate wound care supplies.
The best thing about being in the Vineyard offices on this day was that we got to see the education session. A doctor from the medical mission came and demonstrated how to use the equipment in the packs to vulnerable families and their children.
After the training, families were then able to take the packs back home! Seeing this kind of life skills education and resources delivered firsthand made so much of the work we do in Melbourne feel real.