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Roots of Health

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Human Rights

Mission: Roots of Health empowers women and girls to secure their right to health and freedom from violence, and to support and protect the health and well-being of their children. Roots of Health conducts educational workshops and provides health counseling and nutritional support. Our activities are guided by the international human rights framework, which includes a core belief that health is a human right, and are carried out using a community-based approach.

Target demographics: Underserved communities in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. We focus on mothers because we believe that healthy mothers have healthy children, who become healthy families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,512 students, 1,036 women, 243 children, 158 vertical gardens, 17 community health advocates, 54 out of school youth

Geographic areas served: Puerto Princesa City

Programs: Adolescent Health Education Financial Literacy Classes Pre and Post Natal Services Reproductive Health Classes Reproductive Health Services Vertical Gardens

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a graduate researcher working on a study on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the Philippines, with a particular focus on teenage pregnancy. I have had the privilege of witnessing how Roots of Health works in its communities in Palawan, and have only the greatest respect for all the members of this organization and the incredibly important work that they do. Not only are they qualified, competent professionals - they also work with HEART, and this is evident in the way that their clients trust, return to, and tell others about them. I am excited to continue observing as Roots of Health expands its territory to help even more women, young people, and families in the Philippines.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that I'm a nurse and a teacher at Roots of Health! It's been a year since I’ve become part of Roots of Health family and I’ve never been so fulfilled as when it comes to providing clinical services and education campaign especially for our young people. As a member of the Youth Team I teach in schools about comprehensive sexuality education with age appropriate modules comprising of puberty, reproductive health and HIV; which is quite relevant and timely nowadays. We also conduct teachings among out-of-school youth, in order to address problems like teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. We also train teenagers to become part of our Youth Advocates Program which helps us to disseminate information about reproductive health, and conduct community outreach with different communities.

Roots of health gives me the privilege to provide reproductive health services and health education in far flung areas and also to support the full empowerment of our young people. Kudos to all the staff!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to complete a 6 week university placement at ROH in early 2018. It was inspirational observing the work that Ami, Marcus and their staff do everyday to empower women and youth in the community. They create a safe and comfortable environment for anyone to learn about sex-education, while also providing quality clinical treatments for a range of health concerns.
They truly are leading the way to a smarter and safer generation of women and youth in Palawan!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer for Roots of Health in 2016 from South Korea. It was a wonderful experience to get to know one of the greatest local NGOs in Palawan. They have kind staffs who are willing to help women for their rights. Also it is one of the best client centered clinic in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Keep the best work!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

LOTS OF FREEBIES!!

Great experience!! I've been receiving my DMPA injection since 2016 and this year I decided to have my implant. Unlike in other health centers, the nurse (I think his name is Mark) explained to me the benefits and disadvantages of having an Implanon. He provided me information on how it works in the body and gave me comparison of different contraceptives. All my questions were answered in details. So I had my implant insertion with no worries.

I brought some friends as well and the time we had our check up together, they gave us free dental kits. :)

So nice!!! We hope that Roots of Health will continue their work for a long time. Thank you so much!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best choice for prenatal check up for teenagers like me.

It wasn't the best thing that happened to my life getting pregnant at the age of 15. My mom and I was so close that I couldn't keep a secret from her so I decided to tell her that I'm pregnant. I could tell my mother was disappointed, but she wasn't mad. I think that's because she had my older brother when she was only 17, and he turned out great. Anyway, after the shock wore off, both of us felt a little nervous but excited.

We then decided to have my first ever prenatal check up with a male OBgyne doctor. The check up was quite expensive but I'm too hesitant to do my prenatal in barangay health center. I'm too scared to be judge by others that I don't even know.

When I went out of the doctor's clinic, one of the patient told me to try doing my check up with Roots of Health. I actually don't know where it is but I was able to find it. It's not the typical clinic that I've expected but all the staff were friendly and I didn't have to wait for a long time to have my check up. I even had a free ultrasound which really amazed me. Ma'am Karen was so nice to me and she even told me the foods to eat and not to eat, the things to prepare before delivery, and what to expect before giving birth. There were lots of things I've learned during my check up. I have no regret of climbing such high stairs just to be part of Roots of Health.

It's really a great experience and I'll definitely return for my follow up check up until I give birth.

More power Roots of Health.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am Nurse from Palawan and being a health care provider I know the current Reproductive Health status of our Province. Palawan is not only Best Island in the world but also number one in Region IV-B with problems relating to Reproductive Health like mother dying from complications of pregnancy, teenage pregnancy and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The percentage of this health indicators are continuously rising. The Provincial Health Office and other Government agency cannot battle this problem alone. Other Civil Society Group like Roots of Health which is based in Palawan is helping out to drop this number.

Roots of Health have been in Palawan for years, their mission is to provide education and health services to women. The organization believes that being healthy, a woman should decide for their health. Roots of Health have various programs to foster self-reliance among women.

One of this is Youth Program. This program focuses on sexuality education conducted by professional teachers on Secondary Level to raise the students’ knowledge on how their body works specifically Reproductive Systems. In addition with this program teacher of Roots of Health train teens to become a Youth Advocate which there responsibility will become peer educator and counselor, with this program, teens who want to use contraceptive will be more confidential and they will gain more self-confident when it comes with their Reproductive Health.

Roots of Health also have Clinical team consists of dedicated Nurses which provision of clinical services such as prenatal, contraceptives and family planning counseling is their primary function. Roots of Health believe that education should always partner with health services to become effective and efficient. These Nurses conduct community visit every month to reach far flung area within the city to extend and render their services. They want to make sure this mother will receive the commodities and unique care that they needed. Not only in the city, they also do missions in the province to provide long acting contraceptive to prevent unwanted pregnancy and proper birth spacing.

Roots of Health a non-profit organization base in Palawan which objective is to improve the quality of every women’s life and I'm proud to be part of this organization in making their goals possible.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a proud member of LGBTQ and as part of Roots of Health, I can clearly understand the need for education and counseling of people who doesn't have any idea of health problems of Palawan such as HIV and teenage pregnancy.

This is the thing that ROH goes extra mile. We have educations for different age group, our clinic is youth-friendly, and the clinic service deliveries are FREE. How awesome is that! It makes me feel great to be part of the service delivery of family planning and reproductive health education.

We have this Youth Team who does the teaching to highschools and other out-of-school youths about Puberty, Sex Education, and Adolescence.

I'm part of the Clinical Team that mainly focused on implementation of Reproductive Health such as assessment of client's health, providing all infos of different modern contraceptives, giving the contraception that suits the client, providing pre-, ante-, and postnatal care for pregnant client, and giving education to mothers about their health.

We have the Monitoring and Evaluation Team who does the analysis and encoding of all the records from Youth and Clinical team making sure that we are progressing not only on proper sex education but also on changing the behavior of women, young girls and boys when it comes to RH issues. When it comes to data, it is surely kept on track.

We may be small in number of staff but we do BIG stuff to do major impact to our nation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a teacher and a single mom but I do have a partner.Honestly speaking, I do have sexual relationship with my partner so I'm worried that I might have an unplanned pregnancy and in a society that I deal with, it will be a moral issue getting pregnant out of marriage. Getting contraception from Barangay Health Centers could lead to gossips so I'm very hesitant to ask about birth control methods.

I've heard that one of my students is a youth advocate in Roots of Health so I asked details about the services given by ROH staff. I felt like going there but a bit hesitant because of what my students would say but then, I still decided to go. When I came to the clinic, I just waited few minutes and was interviewed after a while then went inside to talk to one of their health care providers. At first, I'm a bit shy to ask but the staff seems friendly and she explained to me that everything we discussed between us are highly confidential. I asked everything I wanted to know and was advised to have DMPA Injection. I got my first shot and now my worries are gone. ROH staff are friendly and they will not judge you in any matter. I'll definitely get my 2nd shot in their clinic and would highly recommend to my closest friends who are too shy to ask about sexuality, reproductive health and birth control methods.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am one of the client that avails services of Roots of Health. As a mother of two and a working mom, it's hard to do both office work and mother's work so I decided to use DMPA injection as my Family Planning Method. I am very much satisfied with my current birth method and thanks to ROH for giving it for free. In Barangay Health Centers, I have to pay 100pesos for this method as "donation" so I transferred to ROH Clinic to avail their free service. The staff are friendly and approachable, that's why I invited some of my friends as well to transfer to ROH Clinic to get free services.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Stars Foundation http://www.starsfoundation.org.uk/, has been working with the Roots of Health team for just over a year now, having awarded the organisation an 'Impact Award' in 2016, which recognise and reward outstanding locally-led organisations improving the lives of children and young people. My role is as Senior Programme Officer for the Asia-Pacific region.

Throughout the assessment process, the Roots of Health team highlighted and celebrated their successes and strengths, but were also open and transparent about their learning as an organisation, and the challenges they face. There is a strong 'learning culture' embedded across the organisation, which is very much to their credit.

We are so proud to be supporting Roots of Health’s efforts in raising awareness of reproductive health rights and addressing the knowledge gap in family planning information and the lack of access to reproductive health services, and would highlight the the participatory and community-led approach they take.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knowing about this organization is really a big privilege to us especially in our communiry. I really love the advocacy Roots of Health, in terms of Reproductive Health. They have the program for Young Women to be protected in terms of using Contraceptives in which they prevent Early Teenage Pregnancy. Also they provide and feed young minds by means of giving awareness about HIV, Teenage Pregnancy and Maternal Death Cases. They also teach young people in schools to be open minded of what is reality in the community. I really reccomend this Organization to sustain the program and advocacy for long term, for them to provide more services for our community. Kudos to the whole team of Roots of Health. Thanks for the Big Help!

1 AllanaDonnabelle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a client before, became a youth volunteer now, i can say that Roots of Health did a great job towards the life of every individuals specially in the life of every young people. Sulong ROH!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ugat ng Kalusugan had great impact on our family. When they had the financial literacy seminar, I learned a lot on proper budgeting and how to run microbusiness. Today, I have grown my store from grain retailer to sari-sari store with the capital they provided to me. It was such a great privilege to be one of the beneficiary of the FinLit. Because of what I've learned, I'm not only able to generate income but also save money for my children's education and emergency fund.

I am also one of their contraceptive acceptor and it greatly helps me to avoid unplanned pregnancy which in turn, able to take good care of myself and also my family. I can work well because my kids are big enough.

I hope UNK will continue to help needy people like us and be able to learn more that can uplift our way of living.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an opportunity for me to thanked Roots of Health for the services that they have given not only to me but for my whole family. Their services are very helpful especially to poor people like us and I want to point out some of these;

- I was able to conceive a child because of one-on-one counseling on how to get pregnant which is not really done in other health centers and they explained to me the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins before conceiving a child. The good thing, it's not just ferrous sulfate, the free prenatal vitamins they are giving are combinations of different nutrients.

- I feel assured that pregnancy is easy, and me and my baby are safe all throughout my pregnancy because they have free prenatal check up.

- Lastly, I am worry free that I will not have unplanned pregnancy because of the free contraceptives that are given by ROH and I know now on how to take the contraceptives properly due to proper counseling with less worry of possible failure.

Because of all of these benefits, I'm able to take good care of my family.

Rest assured, I have a happy family c",)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Because of the help of Roots of Health, our life become more convenient because we were able to plan the number of children that we want, and because we had our desired number of children, we were able to budget our money properly for our daily needs.

I hope they continue to provide free services to people like us. Kudos to ROH!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am very much impressed with the work of ROH to advance the SRHR of especially adolescents in Palawan. The teaching team is highly qualified and made of young people, including young volunteers (youth advocates) having been trained by ROH. They are able to relate easily to young people in schools and communities. The local and cultural context in which they are operating is challenging and demands for e.g. a high level of sensitivity and diplomacy. The need of young people in Palawan to access SRH services, non-judgmental and correct information is just huge. ROH serves and informs them, so that they are able to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV… in an environment that vastly ignores or does not respond to their needs.

Donor

Rating: 5

Where do I begin? My team and I were always very impressed by Roots of Health's (ROH) reporting and storytelling abilities. Not only did we receive regular and impressive metrics (which always exceeded the original goals), through storytelling and analysis, we felt we had a better understanding of how our funds were effecting positive change in the lives of women and girls in Palawan. This is an organization that always goes above and beyond!

I had the pleasure of meeting Amina and it's very clear that she is an advocate for the Palawan community. She is always ready to raise her voice for the rights of women and girls, and is able to communicate her thoughts, concerns and ideas clearly to local and national decision-makers.

It was an honor to work with ROH and this is exactly the type of organization that we should all be donating to!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I visited Roots of Health (RoH) in late 2016 as a representative of Philanthropic Investors who were considering funding RoH. I was so impressed by the organisations achievements and future plans that I have since recommended them to several other potential donors.

During the due diligence assessment and the subsequent site visit I undertook, RoH staff showed themselves to be very transparent, open and dedicated to their reproductive health work. RoH passes all the necessary requirements of major donors (i.e. good governance, necessary compliance, the organisation is needs driven and addressing the root problem and the symptom of the issue they focus on etc.).

Some of the reasons RoH particularly impressed me are:

RoH's work not only empowers women and young people to have healthy reproductive lives but also ensures the beneficiaries are active members of the decision making process of the organisation.

RoH is very keen to share its successes and has provided its training and curriculum to other NGO’s wishing to use their model. RoH is also part of networks and advocacy groups to share its resources and knowledge - resulting in a much wider impact.

ROH has run its core programs since 2009 and has a track record in achieving its goals or adjusting where necessary.

ROH is the only NGO in Palawan providing comprehensive reproductive health services - this is in spite of the many challenges faced by the government on a local and national level. ROH operates in a socially challenging environment regarding attitudes to sex, rigid gender norms, cultural taboos and geographical isolation. This makes the success they are having even more impressive.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the diseases dreaded by people is dengue fever and lately, it's zika virus. They are, not to mention malaria, caused by mosquito bites if left untreated to prevent the onset of the illness.

I had known crushed sili (labuyo) leaves ever since I got stung by bees years ago to be very good on insect bites so I had been teaching people about its efficacy in preventing dengue or any other diseases caused by mosquito bites.

A mother was so thankful that her eight month old child was spared from any ailment when she got bitten by mosquitoes on many parts of her body after one hour that the crushed leaves were applied on the bite marks.

So, too, was a grandmother whose grandchild was left uncovered in the crib and was also bitten on the face and arms by several mosquitoes. It only lasted an hour after the medicine was applied and the red marks were all gone, which meant that the virus was expelled and would cause no harm anymore.

The idea is to prevent the viruses from entering the blood stream so they will not develop into diseases that are costly and sometimes fatal. Malaria had remained incurable because people did not bother to think that the cure can be found in a simple plant that grows anywhere around us at all times of the year.

I had been conducting a personal research since December on how long mosquitoes bite their victims and recording them on video. I did not fear any bite that usually lasted for more than three minutes because my medicine is always near me and sure enough, nothing untoward happened to me as soon as the insect flew away.

Thank you and may you take notice of this information which I hope would be beneficial to many people particularly in remote areas there in Palawan.