21 June 2012
Bajaus improve living condition
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) through its Bajau Integrated Area Development Project (BIAD-P) has taken steps in helping Bajaus create a clean and orderly community in Sitio Pungtod, Alaska Mambaling, Cebu City.
Ten cluster leaders among the Bajaus were tasked to lead the community in keeping their surroundings clean and safe. The rest of the community were also taught proper sanitation practices, like frequent washing of hands and daily bathing.
"We are now well-disciplined that we take a bath every day and keep our children always clean," Jovelyn Amad, a Bajau cluster leader, shared in Cebuano.
Another cluster leader, Lydia Jamare said that parents wake up early in the morning to prepare things and groom their children before sending them to school based on what they have learned in trainings on best parenting practices.
On Mondays, the Bajaus hold a general cleanup activity where they practice bayanihan. Each household was also encouraged to plant trees, which has become a contest in every cluster to motivate them to care and nurture their plants.
“We now know how to do waste segregation, and we have appreciated the importance of plants. This is why we plant and tend vegetable gardens in our backyards,” Amad added.
The Bajaus attested that through maintaining cleanliness, there have been very few cases of common ailments, such as cough and colds, in the community.
“There is really a difference now in the Badjau community in terms of cleanliness in their surroundings compared to when we first arrived in their locality,” Anthony Fuentes, BIAD-P project development officer, said.
BIAD-P is an initiative by RAFI through its Integrated Development unit, Presentation Sisters, and the University of San Carlos, which aims to make the Bajaus a self-sufficient, progressive, and self-reliant community with a sense of pride and belongingness.
BIAD-P is a program under the Integrated Development focus area of RAFI, helping communities overcome the vicious cycle of poverty. RAFI’s other focus areas include Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.
For more information on BIAD-P, please contact Anthony Fuentes at 418-7234 loc. 515, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.