Unilab Foundation Ideas Positive: College Students’ Innovative Projects for Filipino Communities
When In Manila, we can engage in activities for social good that can help communities to have better lives by sharing our time and talents. This endeavour is clearly apparent to college students who have joined and won the Unilab Foundation Ideas Positive competition.
I’ve had my fair share of joining reach-out projects and workshops but I was in total awe of Ideas Positive because this program of Unilab Foundation really aims to help in the long-term development the chosen communities of the respective teams and not just their visits / project being implemented during the 1-year duration of the competition.
Unilab Foundation Ideas Positive in numbers
Now on its fourth year, Unilab Ideas Positive – a nationwide competition and social marketing clinic – proudly continues its legacy of empowering the youth in making a positive difference. Unilab Ideas Positive is a venue for college students to share their innovative and sustainable ideas to address the health and wellness concerns of their communities and turn those ideas into reality.
To help the youth turn their ideas into concrete health and wellness programs for their communities, Unilab Ideas Positive will provide each of the finalist teams with:
• A 3-day social marketing boot camp, wherein they learn the basics of social marketing from a pool of experts, get coaching and mentoring from these experts to enhance their proposed plans, and gain leadership and teamwork skills that will be key in their implementation
• Php100,000 seed money as well as ongoing coaching and support for the teams to implement their social marketing programs within five months.
At the end of the program, it will be the positive outcome and results showcased by the teams that will determine who will win. This is what is at the heart of Unilab Ideas Positive – creating a difference where it matters, in partnership with the Filipino youth.
Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi, Executive Vice President of Unilab Foundation, explained: “We believe in the creativity and the wealth of ideas coming from the youth. We also realize that they only have limited resources. That’s where Unilab Foundation’s Ideas Positive comes into the picture. We help turn their ideas into reality. We believe that the country’s health problems are more effectively addressed when two or more groups or organizations are working together in true Bayanihan spirit.”
While I was watching the awarding ceremony, I really felt the passion from the students who shared their time, passion, and resources to their chosen communities which they even consider now as an extended family since they grown very fond of their projects. It’s rare to see this kind of passion from people and I’ve been lucky enough to witness these young changemakers be recognized by Unilab Foundation.
The overjoyed Team Transformers of University of Cebu after being named as the top winner of Unilab Foundation’s Ideas Positive project. In the photo, from left: Ms. Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi, Executive Director of Unilab Foundation and Senior Vice President, Unilab International; Team Transformers members Jerome Cuyos, Jeanette Cabahug, John Paul Preston, Sharmaine Grace Tabal, Rheyz Michael Campilan,, their mentor Dr. Christopher Biore, and Ms. Karen Singian, Ideas Positive Head
Team Transformers, Grand Champion, chose the impoverished broom makers community of Sitio Lapyahan, Mandaue City, as the pilot of their project, having seen the unsanitary living and working conditions in the area as they produce the community’s main livelihood, which is the production of the colorful walis.
The team saw the alarming statistics in upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and other respiratory-related diseases in the community, which have not been paid attention to in many years. Among Sitio Lapyahan residents, there were 44 documented cases of URTI in 2013.
Through the “Angat Kapaligiran, Angat Kalusugan, Angat Kabuhayan” project of Team Transformers, which was provided seed money by the Unilab Foundation, they were able to provide 25 Sagip Kalusugan nipa huts, 25 goggles and masks now used by broom makers, and 20 trash bins positioned in strategic corners of the community.
Runners-up in the 4th Ideas Positive are:
2nd place– Team Kabayan, University of the Philippines Visayas – Miag-Ao for their project Oplan Bayanihan that decreased the occurrence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis among Aeta children by over 50% through the provision of 15 culturally-appropriate toilet facilities and a clean water source as well as lectures and seminars on hygiene and sanitation in the Aeta community of Sitio Serum Bukid, Guimaras
3rd place—Team Malnutrition Rangers, University of the Philippines Visayas – Miag-Ao for their Pasada sa Kalusugan project, which reduced malnutrition by 55% among children 1-5 years old through a holistic program featuring a mutli-purpose health cart that distributes milk, vitamins and fortified fish paste.
4th place—Team Pneumonia, University of Sto. Tomas for their Know Mo Na ang Pneumonia program that decreased the incidence and increased the awareness of pneumonia among 637 children below 12 years old through an integrated program featuring awareness campaigns on hygiene and sanitation and cleanup drives.
5th place—Team Lunas Lunas, STI San Pablo for their Go Pink! campaign which reached 19 barangays and over 450 women in San Pablo City. Go Pink! is an advocacy on breast cancer awareness in San Pablo City, Laguna which has been identified as the city with the 3rd highest rate of breast cancer mortality in the whole Philippines.
If I knew about this competition while I was in college, I would have totally joined this! Well, I can also help in my own little way by sharing information to college students about this competition so that they can get a headstart of their social good projects.
When In Manila, college students from all over the metro and nationwide can spark their social good projects through Unilab Foundation Ideas Positive.