SEALNet Project Philippines 2011

Empowering Filipinos to take ownership of their health

When: Sunday August 14, 2011 – Sunday September 4, 2011
Location: Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Email: pp11_info [at]
Project Leaders: Anton Lorenzo Avanceña, Janet Arena Rojina, Jenssy Crystal Rojina, Michelle Chew

Executive Summary

Chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the leading cause of death worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute of Medicine. In the Philippines, 1 in 4 adults suffer from the “silent killer” known as hypertension. In order to address this health problem, Project Philippines 2011 (PP11) will gather a team of college and high school students to develop and implement a health education campaign to prevent hypertension. Using a public health approach, the campaign will promote behaviors such as healthy eating and regular physical activity in a culturally-sensitive manner. Since chronic diseases develop throughout a person’s lifetime, the campaign will target both children and adults. Our hope is that PP11 increases awareness about the “silent killer” and inspires people to adopt simple behavioral changes that can go a long way in preventing hypertension.

Community Challenge

Chronic diseases are a growing problem in developing nations. Preventive health practices are oftentimes overlooked or shrugged off by Filipino families who have other pressing concerns to worry about in their daily lives. However, chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) brought about by lack of exercise and poor nutrition eventually develop and cause high financial, physical, and emotional strains.


Our aim: to create and implement a health awareness campaign to prevent hypertension

Our education targets: children, high school students, and adults

Objectives for children, high school students, and adults targeted in our education campaign:

  • To raise awareness about hypertension
  • To teach how they can prevent hypertension
  • To empower them to be proactive about their health
  • To equip them with the knowledge and tools necessary to improve their health
  • To instill healthy habits
  • To assist in creating a positive mentality

Objectives for the high school students mentees: to instill a sense of social responsibility and ownership of the future of their country


To create our educational material, we will work hand-in-hand with the high school mentees. They will be able to provide relevant perspectives and information in our attempts to make our education culturally-relevant (e.g. they know which foods are available in their community and the common physical activities that people partake in). In order to ensure that our educational material is accurate, we will share our ideas with local professors, dietitians, etc.

Service component:

  • Creating culturally-relevant media
  • Hosting a community event (to be organized by the two high schools)
  • Holding in-classroom presentations and handing out materials

Leadership component for the high school mentees:

  • Holding leadership workshops for the two high schools
  • Creating SEALNet chapter guidelines for future expansion project
  • Brainstorming possible projects after PP 11
  • Establishing an open and dynamic mentoring relationship between the high school and college students

Leadership component for the college mentors:

The college mentors will undergo a leadership training in good mentoring practices

Local Partner:

PP ‘11 will be working with the Cebu chapter of Gawad Kalinga (GK). GK is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 that builds communities in different areas in the Philippines. GK provides its villages with necessary resources and training on child education and development, infrastructure development, health promotion, environmental protection, food sufficiency, community building, and entrepreneurship. One of GK ‘s goals is to end poverty for 5 million Filipino families by 2024 using their community development model. Visit for details.

Team Member Responsibilities

Members will:

  • Help create media and curriculum for chronic disease prevention.
  • Create and conduct both the classroom-based and community-based events.
  • Engage local high school students by preparing empowerment workshops.
  • Be involved in the creation process of the materials and curriculum before going on the ground.
  • Foster healthy mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Help fundraise for the project.

Skills needed

  • Ability to work well in a team
  • Ability to be flexible and open to new ideas, people, and different cultures
  • Willingness to take an initiative
  • Good communication skills
  • Good critical thinking skills
  • Good problem solving skill
  • Creativity and ingenuity
  • Passion for helping others
  • And a willingness to have fun!