Communities can try out the following initiatives to address their nutritional, psychosocial, educational, financial, and other needs.
Since the start of the pandemic, many communities have implemented their own initiatives to deal with their various needs, showing that Filipinos are “capable agents and are not idle players waiting for government subsidy.” Communities all over the country can use the following examples as references for starting their own local programs that tackle their immediate to long-term needs.
This is a food bank stationed in streets, puroks, and barangays where citizens can give what they can and take what they need. As the pandemic continues, communities must adopt new ways to cope with hunger and reduce food waste by sharing food from household to household and linking farmers and fisherfolks’ surplus produce to consumer households.
e.g. Maginhawa Community Pantry
This is an area where community members can prepare, deliver, and pick up nutritious food. During the pandemic, many households have had to rely largely on food packs which may address acute hunger but may not contain sufficient nutrients to promote and maintain health. As such, communities must take on new strategies to prepare food that boosts community health and lessens the community’s risk of disease.
e.g. Sitio San Roque Kusinang Bayan
This is a place where community members can produce and distribute fresh vegetables to meet their households’ nutritional needs and cultivate a green space for recreation and relaxation. By managing a community garden, community members can also reduce food transportation and water runoff, improve air and soil quality, minimize waste through composting, and improve the biodiversity in the area.
e.g. Gulayan sa Pamayanan Kontra COVID-19, Kabalikat ng Kaunlaran sa Baseco, Sitio San Roque Tanimang Bayan
Community Learning Center
This is a learning hub where community members can continue the education of their youth given the shift to distance and hybrid learning. Many young people are unable or reluctant to participate in classes during the pandemic due to a lack of finances and digital infrastructure. Given this, communities must help bring education closer to the youth and give them access to the necessary learning resources.
e.g. Sitio San Roque Eskwela Maralita
This is a set-up wherein community members can pool their contributions into a common fund and take turns receiving the payout. Many urban poor Filipinos struggle to create and maintain their own accounts in financial institutions. Community savings bypass formal identification, as they are founded on trust and commitment between community members. They also provide instant access to money, which is particularly helpful when emergency expenses arise.
e.g. SUTAB Paluwagan