“Shifting” Now A Permanence: Community Organizing and ADD Community Based Programs And Services

Shifting is being practiced in certain occupations requiring 24 hour services as in hospitals, certain fast food chains, pharmacies and the like. On the other hand, now-a-days, shifting,  particularly in sleeping, has already been very rampant in populous prisons like Cainta Jail and Quezon City Jail. Regrettably highlighting Zone 2297, Bgy. 13, in Pasay City, an area occupied by informal settlers, shifting in sleeping is also practiced by the residents where 2 to 3 families are occupying a residential lot measuring 2–3 sq. meters. Individuals who are awake and working during the day are sleeping at night whereas the night birds are grabbing opportunities to sleep in the day.

The residents of the said area are not only lacking but at times are deprived of sleep yet are in many ways in want or in need  of  sanitation and health amenities, of resolutions  about peace and order issues and concerns  and in other desired basic necessities making them ideal subject for Community Organizing initiated by Philippine Women’s University Community Outreach Program.

According to Arlene Johnson, “a community is a group of people gathered together in a geographic area, large or small, having common interest, actually or potentially recognized in the social welfare field.” On the other hand, “organization is the systematic arrangement of efforts of a group to cause a systematic unity of action in the pursuit of common purpose.” Wherefore, community organizing as defined by Agrinelda Miclat is ‘a process of problem solving and seeking social change for the greater good; involving the process of social interaction and peoples’ participation in planning and in implementing. Its main end goal is peoples’ empowerment.’

Community organization has been an integral part of the curricula of some of the better known professions nowadays. In fact, it is one of the major subjects in Nursing, Social Works and Nutrition. Other allied courses such as Medical Technology and Pharmacy also have community immersion subjects. Other courses like Community Development evolved from it. This clearly shows that the schools and the government are giving importance to the community with a belief that growth and development starts where the people are. C.O. aims to advocate change and improvement on the lives of the people. It promotes poverty reduction and social welfare using a gradual step by step procedure for it has rungs in phases.

Peoples’ organizations, government organizations, and non-government organizations that have programs and services catering the community play important role in the C.O. process. They are serving as external resources for the community. A self-reliant and self managed community is the primary goal of community organization which means that the community has to learn to make use of its own assets like human and natural resources. However, external resources augments the unavailable ownings in the community. Most of the time, communities belonging to the ground roots level needs supplemental aid from external resources.

ADD Foundation International, Inc. is a non-government organization classified as social welfare agency registered in SEC and at DSWD as having some of the foremostly active community based programs and services. One of which is the ‘medical mission’ categorized into two: Medical Mission 1 are confined to a certain area, just like a health center, specifically found in ADD Compound, South Montilla Blvd., Butuan City that is open every first and last Tuesday of the month and ADD Convention Center Compound, Bgy. Sampaloc, Apalit; Pampanga, being open every day; and Medical Missions 2 to prisons and other places proceeding twice a month.  All the medical services being catered regularly are delivered free of charge including the laboratory exams, diagnostic tests and medicines. Even certain medical procedures such as dental extraction and minor surgeries are served at no cost. Zone 2297 has been a recipient of the medical mission services of ADDFII on October 30, 2012.

Another community-based program of ADDFII is the Blood Donors Society already receiving numerous awards from its partners Red Cross and Philippine Blood Center of DOH. The committee is conducting mass blood lettings in different parts of the peninsula monthly aside from the regular quarterly simultaneous mass blood lettings. Every month, the BDS is attending to not less than 50 patients in need of blood transfusions by sending out live donors or by procuring blood units from Red Cross and PBC.

ADDFII is also known for its Medical Social Service program for indigent citizens. Managed by Registered Social Workers, clients are being provided with free medical assistance coupled with  free technical assistance, free medicines, and free diagnostic and medical procedures. Monthly, at least 25 dialysis, cancer and mentally-ill patients are being seen regularly and their medical needs met. Walk in and referred clients are accommodated.

ADDFII also has special services detailed to specific groups in the community particularly the Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities (VIDP or Very Important Disabled Persons), victims of disasters and jail inmates. The humanitarian services being provided are known as Special Projects.