The City Veterinary Office (CVO) of Legazpi City launched Handog Tsinelas: Feeding and Wellness Program for children with special needs from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) on Tuesday, August 1, at the EIP Center, Brgy. Bitano, Legazpi City.
The program is part of HELP or Hope for Especial Children Livelihood Program and aims to provide psychosocial intervention to the families and guardians of special children in the area in partnership with Albayanihan, 1-Rider Partylist, CSWDO, DSWD, and Legazpi Livestock and Poultry Raisers Agri Coop. (LLPRAC).
According to Dr. Emmanuel Estipona from the CVO, the Handog Tsinelas program is a way to acknowledge the sacrifices of parents and guardians who take care of special children 24/7.
In an interview, he added that this program is meant to pay tribute to their sacrifices while also providing a wellness program to help them unwind and reduce stress.
During the program’s launch, Legazpi City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal and Sustainable Livelihood Program focal person, Merlizza Vergara, were present, and the program received financial assistance of 20,000 pesos from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Dr. Estipona also states that starting on August 11 at 1-Rider partylist headquarters in Cabangan, Legazpi City, the livelihood program will provide training including rag making and pekin duck century egg making, with the goal of creating sustainable livelihoods for families by training them to produce add-on products that LCC and DTI have pledged to purchase.
The program initially focused on providing aid to special children, but they are planning to expand to include other marginalized sectors such as Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL).
“Growth should be inclusive, not just for normal people but also for heavily challenged families. Let us help and unite to provide hope through this livelihood program because we are not promoting discrimination,” Dr. Estipona said.
Dr. Estipona emphasized the need to offer sustainable livelihood options to prevent dependency on aid and the government’s initiative to promote self-sufficiency through livelihood training, programs, and support systems such as DTI and DSWD.
Meanwhile, the CVO warmly invites and encourages all interested groups to reach out and join them in making a positive impact on the marginalized members of the community. | Jeric Lopez