Friday, March 14, 2014

Feature: Dream on for School Children of ARMM

Dreaming Exercise in progress (Photo courtesy of Alsid Pakam, RN)
By Christine Tawasil-Sangkula, RN

(Note: This reflection was written after a dreaming exercise in the on-going Program Implementation Review and Planning Workshop for School Health and Nutrition Program, March 9-14, 2014, Cecille's Pension House, Zamboanga City. The program was organized around the Appreciative Inquiry Model.)

As I lied down on the wooden floor, slowly closing my eyes while listening to the instructions, narration of what to think of, and to dream for the school children of ARMM...I cannot help myself but reflect on the daily scenes that I used to see...

Looking at the public schools of the region and the school children will tell us that these kids truly need some help. Many of them go to school with worn- out shoes and bags, torn shirts, others do not even have decent bags and still others go to school with no 'baon'. A number of them are undernourished as reflected in the nutritional status report and bear some ailments of respiratory in nature, dental and skin problems. Diseases that are preventable when given the proper attention.

The DepEd ARMM has the largest number of nurses in schools compared to the DOH hospitals and RHUs. What a relief somehow. But what can the 400+ nurses do to help change the scenario?

We, Nurses among all professionals assume multifaceted roles that differentiate us from the rest. TLC - Tender Love & Care, are known to be
our best qualities that have put us in a pedestal giving us the recognition all over the world. So therefore let us make use of these qualities to help improve the health and nutrition status of our school children...

I love to see school children of ARMM who go and attend school with a sweet smile in their faces showing their pearly white teeth, children who have clean hands with well trimmed fingernails, smooth skin, full of energy and vigor. As claimed by experts "a healthy child is a bright child". And I say a healthy child is a happy child.

My dear colleagues, let us be reminded by our pledge to be of service to others. Let us give our TLC with genuine concern. Let us be compassionate, to see and understand the plight of our pupils and think of ways to help alleviate their pains and suffering in our own TLC. Let us keep our passion burning and sustain our high spirits in our commitment to bring forth ARMM children achieve maximum health and nutrition well being...

B@#$%^&M!!! My dreaming was interrupted by the noise of the microphone!

As I opened my eyes and said "good morning" in mid afternoon one by one everyone started to get up with a smile, perhaps they too had a beautiful dream.

Immediately, after the dreaming exercise, participants were requested to write on a piece of paper a word from the dream that they can associate with the health of the ARMM school children.

The facilitator serving as a wordsmith, wove together all the individual inputs into something like this:


We see amazing and wonderful (2x) children
Free, happy (7x) and smiling
Full of laughter, active and alert!

We want them fit, caries- and worm-free
Nurtured, nourished and care for (2x)
God-fearing, full of potential, enthusiastic!

Healthy (3x) they are, ready to learn
Responsive, adaptive, committed
Skilled, intelligent (3x), top-notch and globally competitive!

Main text:

Group output:

"Moral Governance"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful BARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju BARMM na sambu maka salamat"

Bahasa Sug - "Dan mabuntul tudju pa BARMM masambu iban mahatul"

Meranaw - "Mathitu a kandatu sa BARMM ko katagompiya go kalilintad"


"Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE)"