By: Isabella Marie A. Zerrudo
ON ITS 8th year, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Iloilo Chapter, along with Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) and the Rotary Club of Metro Iloilo, aims to feed 10,000 schoolchildren through the Dinagyang Food Aid Program starting Jan 11, 2017.
“We are expecting around 9,000 to 10,000 public schoolchildren for this year nga magiging beneficiaries sang food program for public school children,” said Joji Esper Marmolejo, PRC Chapter Service Representative for Health, in a phone interview with The Daily Guardian.
The program will target seven schools in Iloilo City on the following dates:
- Jan 11 – Arevalo Elementary School
- Jan 16 – Jaro I and Jaro II Elementary School
- Jan 18 – Lapaz I and Lapaz II Elementary School
- Jan 23 – Molo I and Molo II Elementary School
PRC also widened the scope of the program by giving out complete meals and promoting personal hygiene like hand washing.
“So this year, it’s a complete ang gina hatag namon sa schoolchildren unlike sa mga previous years na arroz caldo lang. Subong ya complete meal na gina hatag namon, and then may mga advocacies like sa handwashing gina inculcate na gid,” Marmolejo said.
For the PRC, Dinagyang should not only be a celebration, but an avenue to “reach out” and share blessings.
“This is just like the giving of blessings ni Sto. Niño to the schoolchildren nga indi lang siya all about festivities and it’s not all about the drums and the dance. Ang Dinagyang is also about reaching out to children,” Marmolejo said.