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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

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just had my 1st implant removed and reinserted my 2nd subdermal implant. I feel so secured with this contraceptive because I don't have to worry for another 3 years of getting unplanned pregnancy. Thank you so much Roots of Health. May you continue your advocacy in Palawan.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a DMPA user before and I got my implant just this year when I heard an advertisement in the radio. I was a bit curious on what kind of services they have so I visited the Youth Clinic which is really near from my work. I was interviewed and counseled about different kinds of contraceptive and right on the spot I decided to switch to Implant since it can last for 3 years. I really don't want to get pregnant anymore. I'm a single working mom and it's really hard to meet all my baby's needs. I do have a boyfriend which is not the father of my child and I'm too scared of getting pregnant again and left me in the midst of pregnancy. Now, I have nothing to worry and I'm confident enough of not having unplanned pregnancy. Thank you Ugat ng Kalusugan.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am officially 4 years implant user and I'm very much thankful in Roots of Health for giving it for free. All their nurses and staff are very kind and approachable and that is why I'm very comfortable with talking to them about any sensitive topic like Reproductive Health and sex. I hope they will continue their advocacy for longer time. They are one of the most helpful team during lockdown. More power and God bless them all.

Daisy E.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a reproductive health nurse, being a part of this organization and a part of life changing of women in reproductive age is really a big opportunity. Based on my experienced, after we reached those Palaweno women, they more become empowered and can make their own decision when it comes to family planning/ reproductive health and have more healthier lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I thought I could never get any contraceptive during the lockdown. I was so happy to know that ROH was doing barangay outreach during the ECQ. They did a thing other health facilities can't do. Kudos to ROH!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a first time mom and I don't have any idea on how or when to use contraceptive. A friend of mine suggested to send an SMS to ROH Hotline. I just texted the hotline and they scheduled me for DMPA injection and they are the ones who came to my house. It was a good thing because I didn't have to go out to get my contraceptive. I'm thankful that ROH is continually giving services despite the pandemic.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Roots of Health is an organization that helps me to build my confidence to teach about Reproductive Health. I started as a Youth Advocate Student way back 2012 at Palawan State University after a year as a volunteer I decided to go back to Manila for more career opportunities and left Palawan for 5 years. Last year I decided again to stay in Palawan and while looking for another opportunity I was shocked that Roots of Health is still on the operation to help to empower a woman in Palawan I tried to apply as a teacher and finally I made it last year September. Now I continue working as ASRH Educator part of Youth Team. This organization taught me a lot of things that I can say was a blessing. Aja Roots of Health!!!

1 Jester John S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Volunteer of Roots of Healh I am very Glad thag this Organization help a many people not only in the city but in the whole province it is my pleasure to be a part of this Organization that gives a another hope to the other people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Noong una hindi ko alam ang Ugat ng Kalusugan, di ko kilala at di ko napapansin. Ngunit marami akong katanungan at kuryusidad tungkol sa reproductive Heath, sa mga sakit na pwedeng makuha at sa mga contraceptives, sapagkat hindi naman ito detalyadong tinuturo sa paaralan.
Nagsimula ito nang may isang pangyayari sa aking buhay na di ko inaasahan, pangit, at ang alam ko lang ay hindi ako handang magkapamilya dahil sa bata pa. Nakilala ko ang isang kaibigan na makakapagpabago ng takbo ng buhay ko at pananaw ko. Isang YA. Hinikayat nya akong sumama sa institusyong ito, upang maliwanagan ako at masagot ang mga tanong ko sa isipan.
Katulad ng ibang kabataang naga adbokasiya , sumama ako ng walang pag aatubili, sa kadahilanang gusto kong palawakin pa ang natutunan ko.
Nagseminar ako katulad ng ibang YA, at ngayon isa nang ganap na active youth advocate educator. Marami na din akong nadalang kabataan sa clinic, nabigyan ng contraceptives at higit sa lahat natulunga silang maliwanagan ang isip sa kuryusidad nila. Sa ngayon nakikita ko sa mga kabataan kung paano ako na curious dati sa mga usaping sexual.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hi I'm clint, isang youth advocate nang Ugat ng kalusugan. Isa rin akong CBS motivator (skl ) isang malaking karangalan saakin na mapabilang sa organisasyon na ito. Marami akong natutunan, marami akong nakilala at marami akong naging kaibigan. Masaya ako kasi binigyan ako nang pagkakataong manatili at tumagal. Marami akong natutunan lalo na kung paano gamitin ang contraceptives at kung ano ang naitutulong nito upang makaiwas sa maagang pagbubuntis. Lalong lalo na sa HIV/AIDS kung paano natin ito malabanan at maiwasan. Masaya ako sa mga taong nakapalibot sa organization na ito. At iba sa kanila pamilya na ako turing ko malaki rin ang nabago nito saken dahil sa org na ito kaya big credits ito pag naging successful ako ☺️. Tanging hiling ko lang na sana tumagal pa ito at sana forever na itong org na ito. Masaya ako kasi marami akong natutulungan na tao, Lalong lalo na mga kapwa ko kabataan. So keep up the good work guys. Sa ngayon ito lang muna thank you so much.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am one of the client of Roots of Health, I am very happy with their service. They gave me very comprehensive information about my fp method and how to take care of my reproductive health.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is my story worth sharing to Roots of Health

I’m a korean tourist in Palawan and not so good in english too. I have tiny infected wound in my thigh and can’t sleep well for 2 nights because of pain so I asked filipino friends to have appointment with doctor. It was Saturday and I’m trying to look for cheaper check-up but most public clinic is close until some bystander told me to try to go to Roots of Health clinic. So we look for it and able to find it. I didn’t know that the clinic is for birth control consultations but still all staff gave me advice on how to take care of my wound and also gave me free antibiotic. All of them are so friendly even if we mistakenly went there for different consultation.

Thank you for their extra effort to help me. In case my girlfriend needed birth control, I will bring her to them

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a youth advocate of Roots of Health since 2016. I got interested when I learned about the objective of ROH so I decided to undergo Youth Advocate training and that's when I gained more confidence in dealing with my own body and sharing knowledge to my friends. Until now, I'm still doing volunteer work in ROH clinic as clinic assistant because I am enjoying serving clients and doing health teaching about reproductive health especially to teenagers. I know that most of the teenagers nowadays doesn't have enough knowledge about reproductive health and sexuality. Being part of ROH really made me feel that I am vital agent of change.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I haven't heard Roots of Health until a friend of mine who recently had her IUD told me that she was able to get it for free. I am working in a government organization and I know most of the health care facilities are giving out contraceptives for free as well but not all family planning methods are always available like the implant and IUD. So I decided to try and check on the ROH Clinic. It's good that even on Saturday they are open. I decided to have IUD since I don't want any children anymore and as the nurse explained it to me, IUD is good as long term birth control method. So far I had my IUD for 2 months now and I'm feeling great about it because I have no worries of getting pregnant anymore.

More power to Roots of Health!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Being a nurse, it is very crucial to deal with different types of clients with different needs. I am happy to say that it is a privilege for me to be a part of the Roots of Health team and to learn more about reproductive health, not only for myself but also for the benefits of women who want to learn more about reproductive health. I admire the advocacy of this organization to improve the lives of women especially teenagers with reproductive concerns and how the employees primarily we nurses are taught to deal with clients in need of the services to render the service without discrimination and judgement but with respect and confidentiality.
In a world wherein everything should be paid, there is Roots of Health that gives reproductive health services free and accessible to every women who wants/needs to avail it and i am very proud that now I am already belong in a team that gives importance and priority to women. Another job, another journey in my career as a nurse is very fulfilling, knowing that i was able to help others by answering their queries and concerns and helping them know and see the real answers by being their counselor and it's because Roots of Health gave me the opportunity to be one of them. Thank you Roots of Health. God bless us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Beverly and I am currently working as a Police Officer in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. I have one daughter and my husband is also working as a Police Officer in different municipality of Palawan. I first heard Roots of Health from a friend who had prenatal check up with them and she informed me that family planning services are free at roots of health clinic. I find it hard to locate the exact building of the clinic but luckily I found it.

It was my first time to encounter such thorough counseling before getting any family planning method. I was a pill user before but through their counseling I realized that I was taking the birth control pills the wrong way. I was just lucky of not getting pregnant. The way they explained the advantages and disadvantages of different methods is not the same with barangay health centers. They even taught me what to do in case of missed pills.

I wasn't able to get the contraceptive that I want during my visit because of the assessment of the nurse but she recommended to temporarily use condom and then return three weeks after my last sexual contact for pregnancy test. I took their advice because it was clearly explained to me. Hopefully on my next visit the PT will be negative so I can get my depo shot.

I would highly recommend roots of health to my friends and I am planning to meet up with my colleague to talk about the possible invitation to roots of health as resource speaker on family planning and reproductive health. More power and bless them all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My time with Roots of Health has been by far the most rewarding of any of my professional experiences. It is evident how passionate the staff are about the work they do and the people they serve. The executive team is transparent and approachable creating an incredibly positive and collaborative environment. I would definitely recommend a fellowship/internship opportunity with ROH.

1 Abed R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with the Roots of Health organisation as an intern for a month and I have been pleasantly impressed more and more every day with their determination and motivation to make an impact in the Filipino community in regards to sexual health and reproduction. The running of their organisation is always seeking to maximise its productive capacity in order to make the most significant effect within the community. The workers are able to maintain a very friendly and welcoming environment without the compromise of productivity. Tasks are delegated to specific groups within the organisation in order to maximise the focus level and efficiency of the tasks at hand. They are a growing organisation slowly but surely impacting many families and communities in a way which will cause a positive long term generational change in regards to sexual health awareness and the empowerment of women and children within the society. From the day that I started here it was evident to me that a strong team environment has been established between everyone and they project that positive team reinforcement through their work and how they welcome new workers and interns allowing them to adjust quickly to the work environment.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working at Roots of Health for a month and a half as a summer intern in the clinic, and see on a daily basis the impact that each of the midwives, nurses, youth leaders and teachers, and directors have on the lives of women and adolescents in Puerto Princesa and in various provinces.

Each of the staff members in the clinic is always incredibly kind and welcoming to all, and medical services provided, including prenatal checks, provision of contraceptives (DMPA, IUD, Pill, Implant, Condoms), vitamins and ultrasounds, and birth assistances, are high quality and free. These services make crucial differences in the lives of clients-access to free, high quality family planning tools gives these women agency and control over when/if they choose to have children, as well as the tools to have a healthy pregnancy.

The clinical team not only provides medical goods and services, but also helps women across the Philippines on a daily basis by providing information regarding different contraceptive methods, STIs, menstruation, and multiple other topics both in the clinic and on the Facebook page. This information helps dispel some of the common myths regarding pregnancy, STIs, and menstruation that are widespread throughout the Philippines and throughout the world.

Interning at Roots of Health this summer has given me a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the wonderful staff on a daily basis to help women take control of their reproductive health. The work they do is invaluable-reproductive agency has a cascade effect on bettering the community as a whole. The nurses and midwives are some of the kindest, most welcoming, and judgment-free individuals I have met, and always do their best to ensure that each client has the opportunity to make informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

1 Olivia W.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roots of Health is one of the most incredible organizations I've ever had the pleasure of working with! The staff is committed to providing accurate and judgment-free reproductive healthcare and education to women and girls in need throughout Palawan. Beyond this, you can tell everyone who works with ROH is truly passionate about the work they do! Great job, Roots of Health!

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Roots of Health's friendly and knowledgeable clinical staff provided me with prompt yet compassionate, and complete RH service. They answered all my questions about contraceptives, and they gave me a full range of options. Their service did not end when I was able to procure the supply of my choice. I was able to contact them for health-related concerns. It was also easy to arrange for follow up consultation.

5 Paola G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to volunteer with the wonderful organization Roots of Health over the past months and it has been an amazing experience. This organization works within communities all over the island to provide quality services to some of the most underserved women and young people in Palawan. The services ROH provides allow women and adolescents to take control of their own reproductive health in hopes of achieving brighter futures. The best part of this organization is their dedicated staff who are so passionate about the work they do. While working closely with the teaching team, I have witnessed the energy they exude when discussing topics like puberty, relationship and sexual health to over 300 students at a time. For many young people, their lessons with ROH teachers are the first and only time they will learn and discuss about such important topics. Roots of Health is providing invaluable services that are desperately needed by some the most vulnerable populations in Palawan. Keep doing great work ROH!!

3 Federico M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of visiting Roots of Health just a few weeks back as part of an independent review of their organisation on a research trip - looking at their governance, programme impact, their accountability to the communities they work with, their processes, and their structure. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone that they support the work that they do. Their strength lies in their team and the fact that they work closely with their communities and local health actors who they consider as genuine partners in their activities. All those who volunteer from amongst the communities are extremely motivated, and it was not hard to see the impact that they have. Their structures and processes whether financial management or general administration are solid. Thats not to say that there aren’t areas that they can improve on, but I guess what impressed me most was the fact that they actively seek ways to do so in the way they operate. I know a few well known international NGOs who could take a page out of their book. If anyone is interested in more detailed information about them - email me at info@fieldworksfoundation.org and I would be happy to oblige.

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

I learned many things about maternal health, its essence. I am happy to be part of Roots of Health as Community Health Advocate (CHA). I’ve learned many things about maternal health on how to get a blood pressure and sugar testing and especially how the modern contraceptive work. In our monthly monitoring with our client I got the chance to know them more and met more people. By meeting regularly with our clients it made them more comfortable to ask questions about contraceptives and their bodies. It is also the chance where I can impart the things I’d learned from our workshops and seminars such as hormonal contraceptives and Tuberculosis.

In our CHA quarterly meetings I get the chance to meet with my fellow CHAs from other communities and know them better. I also got the chance to be a part of doing a baseline survey for our new community - Bucana.


Being a CHA and a member of the Advisory committee I also got the chance to meet the organization’s visitors and guests from Korea, and took part in an implant mission in Aborlan. I can say that I am happy being a part of ROH and being a CHA in our community. I hope that ROH can reach more people in Palawan so that they can help those who are in need of reproductive health services.

Geralden

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being part of the Youth Advocate program of Roots of Health helped me in so many ways. It helped me to motivate myself and to know much about myself. I also learned from it how to become a good leader, and gain more knowledge about reproductive health. Thank you very much Roots of Health.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern at Roots of Health (ROH) this summer, I was given the privilege to work with a team of people that was dedicated to their mission and the people they served. ROH helps fill the gap in reproductive healthcare and sexual education in Palawan, and does so by forming meaningful partnerships and creating sustainable programs. I admire how sensitive ROH is to the needs of the communities they serve. They actively seek feedback from their clients and value their thoughts and opinions. During a community visit, I spoke with a community health advocate and asked her about ROH's influence. She answered that the organization has taught her about her rights to her own health and body, and that it is up to her to decide when she is financially, emotionally and physically ready to have a child. Her words showed me how important ROH's work is in helping women and girls identify their autonomy. Although I am back at school, I have kept the stories and memories dear to heart, and continue to support ROH as it expands to reach more women and their families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was such a pleasure working for Roots of Health as an intern! While I was only able to spend two months with ROH, I felt right at home and wish I could have stayed longer. My first week at ROH, I immediately saw how important the work they do is to the community and how much of an impact they have in Puerto Princesa. I believe they truly empower young women and young people with their work and know they will continue to do so for many years to come. As a public health masters student, this organization is truly a great example of helping the health of the public! It was such an honor to have worked with them and I hope to volunteer again for them in the future!

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

From being a participant of ROH maternal health session to a Community Health Advocate to my community and becoming a member of the ROH advisory committee was a privilege for me. I accepted my role because I felt the need of the people specifically women and I saw what is lacking in our community. Year 2011 when I first accepted my responsibility as a CHA, I helped with the clinical services being held in our community twice a month; I assisted pregnant clients during their prenatal check-up up to when they are giving birth. I learned the art of counselling women of reproductive age about the importance of birth spacing to their health. I have also experienced teaching financial literacy to my fellow women from my community. from then on, my experience flourished and my learning has developed through time.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am happy to be a part of the Youth Advocate program of Roots of Health. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know before. Roots of Health imparted a lot to me. I will share many of the information I have learned from Roots of Health to my fellow youth. I have learned a lot, and will still learn more.

1 Jason123

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my 1-month period of service as a volunteer worker in Roots of Health, I felt that this organization gives its utmost effort to improve the maternal healthcare of the regional society. I was impressed by how it approached the health problem categorically, dealing from education to allocation of contraceptive devices; I was also impressed by how successfully the organization managed to involve the local residents, eliciting active participation and learning.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a summer intern for Roots of Health, I was given the incredible privilege of working closely with this organization's staff and it's communities - and I can't begin to express how transformative of an experience this was!

In many small communities in Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan, where rates of maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy are some of the highest in the country, access to information and care regarding sexual and reproductive health is exceptionally limited. Roots of Health explores unique and novel ways to expand their delivery channels to get young people interested in and talking about topics pertinent to their lives, all the while serving as a fierce and energetic advocacy organization for issues of sexual and reproductive health in the Philippines.

They engage a broad range of local people to actively participate in their community health advocacy and outreach programs, forging a collaborative connection with their neighboring communities. This is crucial in a country where myths and mysteries surrounding reproductive health can be real obstacles to people accessing services, and I was proud to be given the opportunity to support their innovative efforts.

Having returned to the United States now, I look back with the fondest of memories at my experience with Roots of Health and I look forward to maintaining a relationship with this great non-profit in the future.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roots of Health is a truly exceptional organization. Their team's integrity, insight and skill are matched by their nimble and innovative approach to health education and community empowerment. After 20+ years of working in community development and non-profit management, I count Roots of Health as one of the most effective, high-impact and authentically inspiring organizations/work environments I've ever seen. If I could give a sixth star, I would!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Roots of Health (ROH) is a model of the efficacy and energy of grassroots community empowerment and education! In a highly religious area, ROH leverages local knowledge and understanding, clinical skills, scientific fact, and passion to better reproductive health and general wellbeing. Their programming is hands on, direct, and engaging.

I've been impressed over and over again during my time at ROH, by the staff, by the effectiveness of the programming, and by the enthusiastic receptiveness of the clients! I've been welcomed with open arms and will be forever grateful for how personal this experience has been. This is an incredible organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As the newest addition to the Board of Directors, I have felt a sense of empowerment and drive to share my resources and experiences for the organization. This is not your typical public health 501c3- the community health workers, clinical staff, interns, and volunteers are developing, implementing, and driving positive change in Palawan. Their open arms and receptiveness to the community members and visitors are well known and I encourage all those who visit the Philippines to be sure to include a visit to Roots of Health to see the actual on-the-ground impact they are creating and sustaining. I convinced my best friend to stay a month to volunteer with ROH and it completely changed her life. Whether it be a month or a day- they will always greet you with open arms! I am proud to be part of this epic movement with these change-agent leaders specializing in public health, community engagement, and women empowerment.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a founding Board Member of Roots of Health and am consistently impressed with how each year programming, evaluation, and organizational management improves. Honored to be a part of this group.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Roots of Health is an incredible grassroots organization that truly seeks to improve communities in need by providing crucial health education and services to women and children in the Philippines. I have been honored to have volunteered for ROH for the past 5 years and, as of this year, serve on its board of directors. The growth ROH has undergone during that short time has been astounding - it has gone from focusing on only a few small communities in Palawan to now extending its services, at the behest and avid encouragement of local health officials, beyond to other communities. While its impact has been profound in such communities, it is clear from the stories of ROH clients and continued growth of teen pregnancy and maternal mortality in the Philippines that ROH's work is far from done. Being one of only a few organizations that provide such resources and services in the Philippines, it is important that we continue to support ROH in every way possible.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2010 I went to visit Roots of Health in Palawan. I met a 17 year old with a new baby. She had that youthful eagerness and joy that new mothers can never hide. She was ready to take on the world, finish her last year of school and make every sacrifice she could for her child. Her attitude was beautiful, but Palawan is one of those places where breathtaking beauty and heartbreaking poverty exists side-by-side. Her hope and determination were in stark contrast to her surroundings, living in a squatter community on top of a garbage dump and with no steady income. But working with women like this is what Roots of Health does best. They directly provided education, guidance and health services, but more than that they helped her define her goals in life and make a practical plan to achieve those goals. With all their compassion and expertise they worked to build a scaffold of support around her. And she is succeeding, and so is her child. The beauty of her determination is winning out over the logic of her circumstances. I joined Roots of Health as a board member because I always want to be on the side of women like this 17 year old girl. I want her and her ferocious hope to win. Period. Roots of Health’s staff and leadership doesn’t just share that desire, they live it, embody it and work every day to achieve it. They are an incredible NGO.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Because the Philippines is generally a religious Catholic country, the topics of reproductive and sexual health are often viewed as taboo and therefore addressed poorly, or not at all. Roots of Health aims to fill this gap in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Through different programs that include clinical services, education teams, and even a radio show, Roots of Health addresses upstream structural issues that affect reproductive health in order to make meaningful and long term impacts in the communities, as well as motivates people in the community to lead and continue lasting change. As a summer intern, I mostly completed administrative and office tasks, but I also I had the chance to go out into the communities with a few of the teams to see program implementation in action. I saw for myself the necessity of the work that Roots of Health does, and I was never ceased to be amazed by the staff, whom all have an amazing rapport with the women, children, and students--both knowledge and laughter were exchanged during the sessions. Both staff and administration were incredibly kind and everyone was very comfortable with each other, so I felt very welcomed and lucky to be able to work with such a great group. Roots of Health is doing incredible, incredible work, and I hope to return to Puerto Princesa one day!

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

In a region where reproductive health is not prioritized although very much needed, Roots of Health is a trailblazing organization. Beyond the clinical services they provide to rural communities in Palawan from administering and monitoring contraceptive use to post-natal care for mothers who need care during and after their pregnancy, Roots of Health addresses the holistic health needs of girls and women that educate and empower them. In addition, they provide culturally relevant and comprehensive sexuality and gender education in school communities where 25% of girls experience a teenage pregnancy. They are constantly fighting for reproductive rights while enabling their community members to exercise them. As a Filipina-American and health educator, I am so proud to be a part of this organization.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member of Roots of Health since its inception in 2009. During that time I've witnessed its development from a loosely constructed group with an idealistic dream to a much larger, effectively structured and productive organization. Roots of Health's major goal is the health and well-being of women and families of Palawan, Philippines. Its efforts to increase the empowerment and knowledge of women is critical to the achievement of this goal. Utilizing both educational and clinical interventions, Roots of Health works with cultural sensitivity, creativity, and compassionate energy. Its focus on such areas as reproductive health, safe deliveries, financial literacy, and sustainability make it a dynamic non-profit with growing visibility. Roots of Health is an important presence on Palawan and merits enthusiastic support.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Roots of Health/Ugat ng Kalusugan and had the opportunity to witness the organisation's community centred approach in the provision of reproductive health services in underserved communities in Palawan, Philippines.

It was such a pleasure to work with Ugat ng Kalusugan and see the inspiring and life changing work they undertake everyday in communities experiencing poverty and marginalisation. Being the only reproductive health NGO in Palawan, means Roots of Health is the sole provider of vital services and education to women and young girls - something I was so pleased to take part in.



1

Client Served

Rating: 5

“What I can say to ROH staff and those who teach FinLit (Financial Literacy) is: I am so happy to learn from you! You all are nice and diligent. I hope you keep up this program, and continue helping more and more people!”

Client Served

Rating: 5

For me, Roots of Health's Financial Literacy Program is such an enjoyable class! The class lessens our worries. I am happy to have learned budgeting here. I hope classes continue until next time.

Aika P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What I can say to Ugat ng Kalusugan having the Financial Literacy Program is, we've learned a lot of good things shared by its staff. Even if I have to close my retail store for a couple of hours, it’s still worthwhile to have attended each and every session for additional knowledge especially on interest rates.