Puerto Princesa City, Philippines—Local families and university students in Palawan will receive a major boost in health and education thanks to a 1.38 million Peso (20,000 GBP) grant from the Barclays Capital Charitable Donations Committee, announced Roots of Health, a local nonprofit organization, today.
Founded in 2009, Roots of Health works with impoverished families in Pulang Lupa, a community outside of Puerto Princesa City built on the slopes of a local landfill and former mercury mine. The organization also runs reproductive health seminars for students at Palawan State University.
“This is an incredible moment for our organization,” said Amina Evangelista Swanepoel, Executive Director of Roots of Health. “The generosity of Barclays Capital will allow us to expand our work in 2011 to an additional community in Palawan.”
The grant will fund a new health outreach program focusing on reproductive and general health education workshops for women, direct clinical services provided by the organization’s nurse, a healthy pregnancy program, and nutritional outreach activities for children.
Although birth control and other reproductive health services are available in the Philippines, much of the country—including women in communities like Pulang Lupa—are too poor to access such care. As a result, more than half of the Philippines’ 3.4 million annual pregnancies are unintended. 92% of these pregnancies are the result of not using contraception.
The grant will also fund a new outreach program at various Palawan universities aimed at helping reduce unplanned pregnancies and keep students in school. Workshops will cover a range of reproductive health topics, as well as responsible decision-making. Roots of Health will also use some of the grant money to expand its Vertical Garden program. The organization leases vertical gardens to underserved families so that they can grow safe, pesticide and chemical-free vegetables.
The grant from Barclays Capital signifies the company’s strong commitment to their employee’s charitable pursuits and helping nonprofit organizations active in the regions in which the investment bank operates.