Silliman University Academic organizations conducted an outreach program last July 30 at the Talay Rehabilitation Center (TRC) as part of the requirements for organizations to be allowed to build their booths for the Hibalag Booth Festival.
According to Frank Cadorna, president of the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants, however, the outreach was more than a requirement, but an avenue to help the less fortunate and spread awareness of the needs of the TRC patients.
Cadorna said it was their second time to conduct an outreach program in TRC and to provide basic necessities to the patients.
“We went last year, and gave sacks of rice and boxes of canned goods. But, the OIC [officer-in-charge] in Talay informed us that they were having a hard time maintaining the hygiene of the [patients]. They told us that soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are preferable,” Cadorna said.
According to Cadorna, they wanted to come back after Christmas break last year, but were unable to do so. He immediately volunteered to organize the outreach when Christian Ong, academic sector president, asked suggestions for their sectoral off-campus activity this school year.
Cadorna said that they conducted the outreach to make the patients feel they are not forgotten nor taken for granted.
“It may not be beneficial to the students, but in organizing an outreach activity, obtaining personal benefits should not be our main priority. As long as our event was able to make a ripple effect of kindness and love, then we know that the larger society was the one that benefitted,” Cadorna added.
One of the volunteers stressed that the patients were not the only ones who benefitted from the outreach, but nursing students like her, too.
“It is important for us, nursing students, to be exposed to Talay Rehab Center for us to be aware and to see how patients with mental disorders act or behave,” Ara Francine Tam, junior nursing student, said.