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Robredo's Angat Buhay inks pacts for mental health support, children's nutrition

The Angat Buhay initiative of former Vice President Leni Robredo has entered into agreements with various organizations for providing mental health support and home-based nutrition for children.

In a statement, Angat Buhay said it signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Project: Steady, an initiative under Rock Ed Philippines that seeks to respond to the mental health needs of Filipinos due to natural disasters as well as address mental health concerns brought about by the pandemic.

With the pact in place, Project: Steady will provide mental health decompression sessions twice a month, either onsite or through virtual platforms, for staff, partner communities, and volunteers of Angat Buhay. These sessions include the use of creative arts therapy for its participants.

Project: Steady has also agreed to provide certifications as peer counselors for participants who will be able to attend all sessions.

Present during the signing of the agreement were Robredo, Angat Buhay Executive Director Raffy Magno, Project: Steady founder Gang Badoy Capati, and Project: Steady Operations Director Melinda de Jesus.

As of June 2021, Project: Steady Asia has become a part of the Therapeutic Alliance of the Trauma Research Foundation based in Boston, USA.

As this developed, Angat Buhay also entered a deal with Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC) Foundation, Inc. for continued implementation of a home-based six-month nutrition program targeting children aged five years old and below who are identified as undernourished.

The program aims to address the problems of malnutrition and undernutrition, especially during the formative years of a child’s growth and development, as well as fill in the gap in terms of the nutrition of preschool aged children.

Under the program, children will be fed once a day with Mingo meals that are manufactured by the NVC Foundation. These meals contain rice, monggo, and malunggay as per the recommendation of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) and are available in different flavors. All ingredients used are sourced from local farmers.

The children’s nutrition status will be monitored at least every two months.

In addition, Angat Buhay and NVC will also conduct seminars for the parents and community about proper nutrition and how to provide nutritious food for their children through various means like home gardening of vegetables.

Robredo, Magno, NVC Partner Mariel Tolentino and NVC President Milagros Kilayko were the signatories of the agreement.

Angat Buhay also inked a MOA with Adarna House, Inc. represented by its President, Asa Almario Montejo, for continued implementation of the policy wherein 50% of the sales of Dancing Waters storybook published by Adarna House, Inc. will go to Angat Buhay programs.

The storybook Dancing Waters, first released in 2021 and was written by Yvette Fernandez and illustrated by Abi Goy, tells the story of how Robredo “grew up to be the person she is: from a child watching the dancing waters in Naga to the second highest position in the nation.”

In the same year the Dancing Waters was published, 50% of the sales of the storybook was donated to the previous Angat Buhay program under the Office of the Vice President which supported its initiative on Community Learning Hubs.

Last July 4, 2022, Adarna House reached out to Angat Buhay and expressed their intent of publishing an updated edition of the Dancing Waters. —Llanesca T. Panti/KBK, GMA News