Maagang Pamasko para sa mga Bata

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PP Rolley So

It has been 18 months since the lockdown started last year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Many lost their jobs or were out of work, many shops closed, and children were not able to go to school. It has taken an unthinkable toll on children, socially, emotionally and academically .

It means possible higher rates of depression, addiction, mental illness and physical disability, particularly for young children who are growing and developing.

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The children most affected will be those facing economic inequities that have only become more pronounced since the pandemic began. The massive displacement from school shows that kids and their parents are experiencing depression, anxiety and trauma during the pandemic.

Since the onset of the pandemic, children have lived away from members of their extended families, teachers and friends. They have been learning from home, confronting challenging circumstances.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the pandemic has disrupted mental health services, while mental health support is increasing.

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As the pandemic continues to affect communities, we must find ways to manage it. Children and their communities with evidenced- based rationale should be developed and communicated. We need to take into account the needs and rights of children while protecting them and all members of the public from the increasing COVID-19 infections.

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The Rotary Club of Manila Midtown headed by LCP James Ong in cooperation with IUS Pharmaceutical Products, St Stephen’s High School, and Federation Fire Rescue conducted an outreach activity for street children dubbed as “Maagang Pamasko para sa mga Bata” with the objective of uplifting the spirits of kids affected by the pandemic.

We distributed toys, school kits, face masks, and food to street children in Herrera St. in Sta Cruz and Muelle dela Industria in Binondo. This was in coordination with Pastor Cesar Lubrico of  Sigla Tala Street Children Drop-In Center.