Around 300 Lumad students benefited from the community outreach program conducted by the Philippine Army’s 67th Infantry Battalion at Tigbawan Elementary School in Barangay Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental on Saturday.
1Lt. Jei-Em Tagufa, the 67th IB Civil-Military Operations (CMO) officer, said pupils of three schools – Tigbawan Elementary School, Luyong Elementary School, and Limot Elementary School – received basic school supplies, vitamins, stuffed toys, and hygiene kits.
The activity, done in cooperation with the Fenixia Foundation, Inc., included Career Awareness Lectures, Games and Recreation, and Supplemental feeding to the pupils.
“We are here to give hope and happiness to the children of far-flung barangays in our area of operation,” said Lt. Col. Louie Dema-ala, the commander of the unit also known as the Agila Battalion.
“Securing their future is very important for us and seeing smiles on every face of these children gives us the inspiration to perform our duties well to achieve lasting peace and development,” Dema-ala said.
“Collaboration, cooperation, and involvement of various stakeholders with the same goal of reaching to far-flung sitios… is the key to the success of the outreach program,” the army officer said citing the participation of Fenixia Foundation Inc. headed by Ms. Robbie Jimenez and other volunteers
According to its facbook page, the US-based Fenixia Foundation Inc. is “dedicated to helping special needs children and their families thrive.”
“Our mission is to help children realize their potential, help families support their kids, and help caregivers and educators develop their capacity to make a positive difference in children’s lives,” its Facebook page said.
“The ultimate goal of our nonprofit is to bring diagnostics, resources and interventions to children, families and communities all over the world with sole intent of improving the lives and outcomes of those with special needs.”
The 67th Infantry “Agila” Battalion is under the 10th Infantry Division, based in Mawab, Compostela Valley, which covers, among others, Davao Region.