Sun Life Financial, Inc. (SLF), the parent company of Sun Life Philippines headquartered in Canada, donated funds to support Sun Life Foundation’s implementing partners ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. (ALKFI) and Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC), as efforts to further mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic continue.
The funds have enabled ALKFI to assist vulnerable communities in Manila, Laguna, and Bicol, alleviating hunger and addressing the psychological and health concerns of the beneficiaries. The initiative focused on the prevailing need to provide food packs to the communities and to equip community leaders with the skills to offer basic psychological assistance in these trying times.
The initiatives have so far reached 1,490 families in 10 communities, most of which have high cases of COVID-19 and where unemployment has significantly increased. Additionally, 100 community leaders have been trained on providing Psychological First Aid (PFA), so they can help community members with basic psychological issues.
Meanwhile, NVC, through its Farmers of Hope program, has created long-term assistance projects that address hunger and poverty for the indigenous “Bukidnon Tribe” whose ancestral domain lies in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.
With family incomes averaging up to 60,000 annually, these farmer-beneficiaries are one of the most marginally disadvantaged groups in the province whose situations have been worsened by the pandemic.
To lessen the pandemic’s impacts, NVC likewise set up a village-level post-harvest and food processing facilities that helped create sustainable production throughout this crisis and beyond. Directly benefiting these endeavors are 60 small-scale farmers and up to 300 households within the community, whose livelihoods were affected by the lockdowns.
“This pandemic brought about one of the most difficult times in our country that put those in vulnerable communities at a greater disadvantage,” says Benedict Sison, CEO and Country Head of Sun Life Philippines and Chairman of Sun Life Foundation. “I thank our corporate global office for their continuing support and contributions, as we tirelessly help in the recovery and rebuilding of our nation toward a brighter future.”