Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI), the social arm of Shell companies in the Philippines, celebrated the successful conclusion of its Roots to Shoots (RTS) Program, aimed at combating malnutrition.
Over three years, the pilot program’s Mother and Child Care Component successfully reduced stunting in children in Bombon and Pasacao, Camarines Sur, demonstrating its effectiveness in combating malnutrition. The Food Security and Livelihood Component also achieved significant successes, increasing food availability and economic access for mothers, caregivers, and farmers. The WASH component improved access to WASH services, benefiting target communities with enhanced water systems and sanitation facilities.
In a major step toward ensuring the program’s long-term viability, PSFI handed over the initiative to the local government units (LGUs) of Bombon and Pasacao in Camarines Sur. It was marked by a handover ceremony attended by representatives from PSFI, alongside program partners Manila Water Foundation (MWF), World Vision Development Foundation (WVDF), LGUs, and community members.
The ceremony not only commemorated the completion of the program but also symbolized its transition into the sustainability phase, signifying the collective commitment and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders involved.
“Our training farm has benefitted many farmers. Together you’ve successfully reduced malnutrition and improved sanitation and health—with very tangible results,” said Cesar Buenaventura, chair of PSFI, “As we turn this program to the community, we wish you all the best in continuing what we have been able to start.”
During the ceremony, PSFI presented plaques of appreciation to the LGUs and Barangay Local Government Units (BLGUs) for their valuable contribution and support. The outstanding barangay nutrition scholars were also honored.
To ensure the program’s sustainability, the RTS program implementers and the LGUs signed a deed of donation, solidifying their commitment. Efforts were underway to expand the program to more provinces in need of nutritional support, with the addition of more partners.
Maria Pamela Castro, senior program manager, Nutrition and Food Security, PSFI, highlighted the program’s holistic approach to improving nutrition and well-being, reflecting their understanding of the complex challenges and the need for multifaceted solutions.
Raiza Cusi, senior technical program manager, PSFI, emphasized the importance of collective action and shared responsibility for sustainable development. Collaboration with governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and local communities harnessed diverse expertise and resources to create comprehensive and impactful solutions.
Reginald Andal, executive director, Manila Water Foundation, stressed the critical role of water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in combating malnutrition. The program improved WASH services in target communities, leading to better sanitation conditions for families with undernourished children.
The PSFI has actively engaged in diverse community programs, collaborating with initiatives such as the National Nutrition Council’s Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) and the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) global movement, making a tangible difference in addressing critical social issues and fostering positive change within communities.