by RONALYN BANAKEN
Alongside educating the youth, the University of Baguio’s (UB) efforts in giving back to the community have been persistent over the years.
UB Cares, the University’s flagship outreach program, is aimed at helping communities develop through innovative and sustainable research-based services. The program covers three major initiatives, the Adopt-a-Barangay, Adopt-a-Park, and the Special Projects.
Currently, UB has two adopted barangays in the city, Sto. Tomas Proper and Loakan Proper. Under the Adopt-a-Barangay project, communities are given assistance through activities that are regularly being conducted, among them medical-dental consultations, lectures on nutrition and micro-entrepreneurship; tutorials on reading and writing and the arts; trainings on computer literacy; craft-making workshops; and culinary and beverage demonstrations.
With the program – which was developed in 1994 – UB has already extended empowerment and development-anchored aid in two other barangays in the city, Upper Irisan and San Luis. The tie-up initiated the establishment of the Savings and Development Cooperative, concreting of pathways, and construction of the railings of the barangay hall among others in San Luis. Meanwhile, livelihood trainings, educational literacy activities, and medical-dental missions were launched in Upper Irisan.
Noel Llamar, over-all outreach coordinator of UB, said the adopted barangays are chosen based on recommendations by the City Social Welfare Development. “A series of dialogues and deliberations with the concerned barangays is held prior to the adoption,” he said.
As part of the University’s campaign for environmental protection and patriotism, the Adopt-a-Park program was conceived. UB has recently formed a partnership with the General Emilio Aguinaldo Foundation (GEAF) for the “preservation” of the General Emilio Aguinaldo park and museum located at Happy Glenn Loop, Salud Mitra. In the agreement signed between UB and GEAF, the University will "help save" the museum by conducting researches about the life of Gen. Aguinaldo and by collecting more artifacts relative to the life of the great hero.
UB also assumes a significant role in GEAF’s yearly celebration of the Philippine Independence Day and the National Flag Day by deploying its Tourism and Education students to serve as tour guides.
The Special Projects serve communities outside UB’s adopted barangays. Held in partnership with private institutions and organizations, they include medical, dental, and laboratory services; bloodletting activities; and relief operations. Earlier, UB has linked with Bantay Bata 163, Doctors Generics Pharmacy, Notre Dame Hospital, iFM, and Bombo Radyo for the conduct of the said activities. Also, the University has tied up with local government units particularly La Trinidad, Tublay, Buguias (all in Benguet), Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, La Union, and Natonin in Mt. Province.
Likewise, UB participates in government programs, some of which the yearly Brigada Eskwela and the National Greening Program. In this year’s Brigada Eskwela, UB has donated construction materials toLucban ElementarySchool. The UB General Services personnel also helped in theconstruction of the primary school’s concrete water tank.
In addition, the UB Community Outreach Services and the National Service Training Program offices doled out construction items to Lindawan Elementary School. Moreover, construction supplies were granted to PCNHS-Pinget Annex.
The University’s move in supporting Brigada Eskwela is part of its thrust in providing assistance to its adopted schools in the city, extended not only through free leadership trainings, career orientation and other trainings for students and teachers. It also forms part of its scheme in bracing up its commitment to education.
At the end of the day, UB never forgets to give back to the community, working hand in hand with the city and the region as a whole toward truly advancing development.
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