I am a Japanese student studying in Women and Development at the University of the Philippines. I have just participated in Atipan project as a field internship member. When I first heard about this project, I was very interested in the uniqueness of this Atipan project. I was excited to be involved in this activity. On the other hand, I was apprehensive about participating in this project. It was difficult for me to imagine what the local community was like without having actually visited the community myself. I was also worried about how to proceed with the activities and how to connect with the community in an online remote environment.
However, despite the unstable Internet environment, many people participated in our activities. Through interviews with them, I was able to learn how each of the health coordinators from various backgrounds were working in each community field.
The following is my impressions from the interview with one health coordinator.
She helps people for the sake of helping others. Even if she experienced many hardships such as riding a motorcycle, or crossing rivers — essentially using her own money for the travel, and even risking her own life — it was all worth so long as her patients get the care they need. For her, helping one person also meant being able to help their family, albeit indirectly. She also said that her strength comes from prayer, and a complete trust in the Lord. She makes sure to give her best, but she leaves the things that she cannot control in God. Her good intentions, and spiritual belief is what makes her a resilient person overall. She is an excellent ambassador of Atipan.
I was also impressed by the interview with doctors working in the community. From their experience, I learned that the community people have various kinds of health issues. The purpose of the capability building session with health coordinators was to develop their ability to communicate to others in their own words. In their role as a bridge between doctors and patients, they would solve various medical problems that the community faces. They will play a role in communicating issues to the outside world to raise awareness.
I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in participating in this project. I will continue to support this project.
All my work was based in Japan, since the pandemic did not allow face-to-face classes in the University of the Philippines. Nozomi Ofude, graduate student, Department of Women and Development Studies, College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines Diliman. Email: email@example.com