News Release

Church Strengthens the Promotion of Child Nutrition Program with DOH

The Welfare and Self-Reliance Services Committee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited barangay Lambunao in Iloilo to assess the administration of the Child Nutrition Program in barangay Lambunao, Iloilo, on Monday, October 17. 

The committee was headed by Brother Luis Manoel, Senior Manager of the Church Humanitarian Services, and Sister Elissa McConkie, Welfare and Self-Reliance Consultant for Asia.

Mayor Reynor Gonzales of Lambunao, Iloilo, welcomed the group before heading to Barangay Maete Pequeño, where the Helen Keller Barangay Nutrition Program operates.

Barangay Captain Adrelito Flores spoke about how the program started in their community and how it has helped mothers understand the importance of proper nutrition. He mentioned that they are now focusing on the Barangay First 1000 Days (BF1KD) program of the government.

"This program effectively promotes proper nutrition for pregnant mothers and their children. It is my dream that every community can be supported with a nutrition program," Hon. Flores highlighted. "With the help of the LDS Charities, we can produce more healthy and smart children," he added.

The committee was privileged to witness the BF1KD class, where more than ten mothers, some pregnant and others with infants, attended that day. 

Sister McConkie shared her thoughts upon witnessing the class, "I am amazed by this class. The power the moms are indeed great for nurturing their children. It was a wonderful experience for me to witness this class. I have learned a lot about breastfeeding from them." 

Among the members of the WSRS Committee were Brother Jairus Perez, WSRS Country Manager; Brother Abenir Pajaro, WSRS Manager in the Philippines; Brother Gerry Gerra, Brother Kenneth Lee, Brother Erwin Boiser, Brother Ronald Aban, and Sister Darlene June Casas. 

The committee also had the privilege of meeting with the Department of Health Regional Office in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

Mrs. Ma. Azucena Arroyo, RND Nutritionist- Dietitian IV,  accommodated the group. She started discussing the causes of malnutrition in the country and reiterated the importance of the first 1000 days of the children's life. Furthermore, she oriented the guests on the different factors that hinder the implementation of the nutrition program in the country. 

"We can do better than this. We have the people. We have some of the resources," Luis Manoel emphasized during the discussion. He wanted to focus on how the church could help these programs. "We need someone with expertise who can train our people to help you on this. Our priority is caring for God's children. We are an extension to assist the growth of these people," he continued. 

The Department of Health proposed a Memorandum of Agreement to utilize better and widen the program. In addition, the Welfare and Self-Reliance Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aim to strengthen the relationship with the agency in promoting the Child Nutrition Program. 

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