MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Non-profit organization Batang Matatag has long recognized that a child’s health and nutrition during their formative years are essential to achieve their full development, and one of the major challenges in achieving good health is the lack of access to clean water. This issue is most pressing in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) where almost one out of three families do not have access to clean drinking water. Batang Matatag sees this challenge and aims to address this moving forward in their initiative.
The #BatangMatatag movement puts the health and education of Filipino children front and center so that they may be resilient to illnesses and could thus, be able to realize their full potential. The movement also recognizes that this is an urgent matter in conflict-affected areas in the country, such as BARMM, this is why the partnership between Save the Children Philippines and Erceflora Kiddie is focusing on BARMM.
“A child’s environment and their access to basic resources such as clean water have a significant effect on their survival and overall development. We’re concerned that due to the lack of clean water and access to clean food, children are likely to have diarrhea, which increases undernutrition,” said J. Ann Mirasol from Erceflora Kiddie. “This is where the Batang Matatag movement comes in, and we’re happy that as a company, we have the capacity to provide better opportunities for them to access improved health services and nutrition,” she added.
Empowering the #BatangMatatag Community
While Save the Children Philippines and Erceflora Kiddie are leading this movement at the national level, its final success depends on the actions of families and stakeholders via a strategic whole-of-community approach. Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Alberto Muyot emphasized that to address illnesses such as diarrhea, solutions must be implemented at the community level by empowering families and communities so that they can act on the issues that most affect their health and sustain these actions.
“We want to raise consciousness, we want to educate families, we want them to adapt practices that will ensure better health and nutrition for children,” said Atty. Muyot.
J. Ann also encouraged everyone to join the movement to raise awareness of the importance of equitable and inclusive access to health and nutrition services for the children in BARMM. “BARMM is one of the most underserved areas in our country, we must take action to help improve their lives and the future we share,” she said. “This movement, after all, is built for the nation’s children. With this, we can all be part of the solution.”
Batang Matatag Ambassador Carol Ann Stewart emphasized that with an initiative as big as Batang Matatag, they need every help and partner they can get, even as simple as food suppliers or as fundamental as the local health authorities, but most especially the general public’s support to make the initiative more sustainable.
“It needs to be something more enduring for the community, something that will last after we leave that day, that they can embrace as their own, to make a daily, sustainable, meaningful difference beyond just giving the gift of food and pleasure for one day. We need to do something genuinely lasting,” Carol Ann concluded.
To help realize the #BatangMatatag vision, Erceflora Kiddie will be supporting the movement through the sale of Erceflora Kiddie. For every purchase of Erceflora Kiddie, a portion of the sale will go to the #BatangMatatag movement, giving children a chance to survive and thrive thus changing the course of their future and the country’s future.