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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

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

4 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.