By Donna T. Darantinao
HAPI Youth Ambassador
In light of the struggles the Filipino citizenry has been going through since the start of the pandemic, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) remains an active bearer of hope through campaigns and relief drives to be able to help those who have been stagnant due to the pandemic which not only indefinitely putting a halt to different beneficial activities but also economic means that help sustain survival.
With this, HAPI Dumaguete decided to pursue an activity that would not only help provide relief kits to selected families in the city, but also provided essential information about COVID-19, explained how to stay safe from the virus, and explained how COVID-19 vaccines are important in a manner that would put confidence to those who doubt its effects; hence, Project COPE (Community Outreach and Pandemic Education) took place in Barangay Candau-ay, Dumaguete City on February 27.
During the event, Jasper Pinili Ramirez conducted a brief talk about COVID-19 and other information surrounding it that was very helpful to the selected thirty families who were also provided with food and hygiene essentials. The activity observed social distancing for the national and local protocols to ensure safety within the participants.
Aside from HAPI, collaborators from Dumaguete joined in the pursuance of Project COPE, namely Amarchem Enjambre and Camille Olasiman.
“During this time of the pandemic, we were motivated to extend our help to those in need… to share some blessings even if it was just a little,” said Olasiman. “We were planning on doing something small and did not expect that this will become a program which [is] able to help more families with the collaboration HAPI.”
She furthered, “This idea was extended to us by Angelo Tabada, the Lead Convenor of the [chapter]. It was intimidating to think of at first, as we will be working with an organization and we did not know what to expect. Later on, we became comfortable with the idea as they were easy to work with and ready to engage and throw in their ideas.”
Tabada was proud to finally be able to push the chapter’s very first program.
“The main purpose was to educate families about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines in a way that they could easily understand explanations by using Cebuano as a medium of instruction due to the low confidence of citizens towards the vaccine,” Tabada said. “Another goal was to give families food and hygiene essentials to help them stay safe from COVID-19.”
The collaborators, Enjambre and Olasiman, also mentioned that despite the constraint on schedule and distance, the program still pushed through with the help of everyone’s efforts.
“Project COPE turned out into a successful event,” said Olasiman. “Although we were not able to participate in the event itself because of our hectic schedule, we were joyful to see that everything went smoothly and our main goal of helping was achieved.”
To note, HAPI Dumaguete would like to extend their gratitude to all HAPI donors, HAPI-Duma members who lent a hand before, during, and after the program, Captain Oira, and officials of Brgy. Candau-ay, Rank-Up NegOr, and the collaborators from Dumaguete.