AS Yuletide is fast approaching, Save The Children Philippines has launched the “Tayo ang Pasko” campaign, which seeks to illuminate the complex challenges of child hunger while highlighting the intricate web of factors contributing to its existence.
This initiative enjoins everyone to come together with a shared mission to not just spread joy during this festive time of the year, but also to reflect and feel fulfilled. And what better way to do this than by being united in the spirit of giving and compassion to those in need.
With this in mind, the leading independent children’s organization urges the people to think not merely about food but also to look further than its distribution as a way to spread Christmas cheer. Hence, the traditional gift-giving should go “Beyond the Bowl.” This encourages everybody to recognize and break the root cause of hunger.
Figuratively, the bowl symbolizes the perennial problem of youth hunger in the country. Beyond this, it calls for a collective response to not just provide for their urgent need for food but also to extend support to producers of what’s on the table, who themselves are hungry as well.
“With this campaign, we aim to ignite a conversation, a narrative of change, where every participant becomes a co-actor. The bowls not only foster creativity but will also serve as a tangible commitment to filling them, ensuring that our children and farmers see brighter, more secure tomorrows,” Save The Children Philippines President Atty. Alberto Muyot said during their debut of the campaign held at The Manila Clock Tower Museum in Manila City Hall last November 23.
Face of hunger
“THE youth is the hope of the nation.” This famous quote of Dr. Jose Rizal means that children are the lights of the future and the bearers of hopes and dreams of Filipinos, yet their potential remains constrained when hunger becomes a barrier, hindering their path to education, destroying their aspirations, and slowing down their contribution to the progress of society.
Starvation has been a major problem the country has been facing since time immemorial. One of its grave effects is malnutrition, the main culprit to stunting among the youngsters.
Malnutrition is a condition that develops when the body is deprived of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it requires to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. It is evident in people who are either undernourished or overnourished.
Stunting is largely an irreversible result of insufficient nutrition and repeated bouts of infection during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. A child who is shorter than the average height for his age will grow up with impaired cognitive and learning ability, as well as memory and intellect, while unable to reach full mental and physical potential.
According to Muyot, malnutrition currently stands at more than 30 percent in the Philippines. In fact, one in three Filipino kids aged five years old and below is severely malnourished, manifested in stunting. The worst case scenario shows that 95 Filipino children die each day from malnutrition. Addressing such concerns, for him, can’t be done by the government alone.
“It has to be the concerted efforts of everyone if we are going to really come up with solutions,” he told reporters in a sideline interview. “So it’s about time that we really come together and put all of our resources together to address this issue of hunger and its effects.”
SAVE The Children Philippines is doubling its effort to promote the spirit of sharing this holiday season. It does not only count on the participation of every individual, but also the corporate citizens.
“Tayo ang Pasko: Beyond the Bowl” initiative has two programs reinforcing a message that each participant plays a pivotal role in filling the lives of Filipino children with hope, nourishment, and a brighter future. First of which is the Fulfillment Band, which serves as a symbol of hope and collective effort in the campaign.
“It’s not only a beautiful bracelet for you and your loved ones’ wrists. It shows that you’re part of a movement with unwavering commitment to addressing the food crisis and child hunger gripping the country, which I think people tend to forget, like there really is a problem. And with countless children attending school on empty stomachs, the mission remains clear: no child should be left behind,” said Ria Atayde, actress and ambassadress of Save The Children Philippines.
The second component is Give to Save project, a gifting drive for companies in line with their corporate social responsibility. The handwoven box contains a mug, pop socket for phones and gadgets, bandana, and notebook.
Citing an article published in Forbes magazine, she said that corporate gifts are an intangible representation of what an organization stands for. Atayde added: “This is the most important job of building relationships with your clients that although you may not have a big budget set up for outreach, you do have a budget for Christmas gift giving. And this is a way for you to hit two birds with one stone.”
Live the essence of Christmas through “Tayo ang Pasko: Beyond the Bowl” aimed at solving the pressing issue of hunger due to abject penury while uniting Filipinos to create a brighter future for children and farmers who deserve the warmth and joy of the Yuletide season.
“Here in the Philippines, we don’t have a typical war, but we have a war on poverty,” child actress Xia Vigor, who is also the organization’s ambassadress, pointed out. “Maybe some of us don’t realize that there are other people and children who will never know it’s Christmas. How sad is that? Because they’re busy just finding ways to survive every single day of their life. We all need each other to end this kind of war. Through our campaign, we can help them.”
For more information, contact Save The Children Philippines at 8852-7283 or visit https://www.savethechildren.org.ph/.