Rise Brighter PH: Sun Life Foundation's Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges

By Mommy Donna and Kib - August 30, 2020

COVID-19 has hit the Philippines hard. A lot of Filipinos have lost their jobs, businesses are closed, people get infected with COVID-19, schools shifted to online learning, among others. There is a slowdown in our economy, which caused a slump in the overall GDP and GNP. We all hope that sooner than soon, we will be able to go back to our everyday lives again.

Despite all the negativities that are happening around us, some institutions are willing to lend a helping hand. One of the companies that are true to their promise of alleviating poverty is Sun Life Foundation. 

On its 125th founding anniversary of Sun Life Philippines, Sun Life Foundation has recently launched Rise Brighter PH. The initiative is Sun Life Foundation's way of helping the country rise to a brighter future. Rise Brighter PH was introduced via an online media conference last August 27, 2020.

Rise Brighter PH has two significant projects: Sun Pera-Aralan 2020 and Sun Life Barangay Health Stations.

Sun Pera-Aralan 2020

Sun Pera-Aralan 2020 is a behavior-based financial management program that aims to address financial insecurity and indebtedness among public school teachers. Sadly, the majority of the public school teachers are in massive debt, that they are having difficulty stretching their monthly budget. Mr. Alex Narciso, President of Sun Life Foundation, can relate to the public school teachers' dilemma as he was a former high school teacher.

Sun Pera-Aralan 2020 makes use of Peso-Sobre, a simple and straightforward budgeting tool that helps teachers to properly allocate their monthly salary into weekly funds. There is also a Facebook support group for the public school teachers under this program so that they will be connected with their fellow teachers and volunteer Sun Life advisors. AHA! Behavioral Design partnered with Sun Life Foundation in this program. 

Sun Pera-Aralan was launched last year with 10,000 teachers, which yielded remarkable results. The teachers under this program were able to properly manage their budget and stretch it until the next payday without needing to borrow money. The project also taught teachers to save; thus, they were able to have funds during the time of quarantine.

For this year, Sun Pera-Aralan is targeting to help 125,000 public school teachers.

Sun Life Barangay Health Stations

The Sun Life Barangay Health Stations will be focusing on providing sustainable health care solutions to the most impoverished areas in the Philippines.

Barangay Health Stations are the most accessible source of primary health care in the Philippines. However, not all barangays in the Philippines have the luxury of providing health care to their constituents. As of March 2019, only 21,053 out of 42,045 barangays in the Philippines have health stations. There is still a need to provide health stations to the rest of the barangays in the Philippines.

Sun Life Foundation has partnered with Health Futures Foundation, Inc. to make the Barangay Health Stations project possible.

Sun Life Foundation aims to build eight Barangay Health Stations this year, and the first beneficiaries of this project are the barangays in the province of Batangas. 

A few of the services that the Sun Life Barangay Health Stations will provide are free vaccines, medical consultations, and seminars about health care and maintenance.  Sun Life Barangay Health Services also aim to train barangay health workers and health cluster leaders so that the project would be a sustainable one.

In the next five years, Sun Life Barangay Health Stations aim to serve 125,000 Filipinos.

Beacon of hope

Sun Life Foundation wants to be a beacon of hope of the Filipinos during this time of the pandemic. This is Sun Life's way of giving back to society and helping the nation rise again.

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