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Serving the Poor (501c3 U.S. non-profit)

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2006 MEDIA



Humanitarian mission benefits 2,000 villagers

Posted by Jigs Nep in Top Headlines
Tuesday, January 10. 2006

Close to 2, 000 residents from Arena Blanco and the nearby Muslim communities benefited from the day long combined humanitarian mission of the HOPE Foundation International and Lingkod Timog, both US based organizations yesterday.

The mission, which is the second in two years, involved medical, dental and surgical services.

Armando Heredia, former HOPE president and Chief Executive Officer, said HOPE and Lingkod Timog are encouraged by the results of the Zamboanga mission.

The mission had the all out support from the city government, Armed Forces of the Philippines, medical contingent from the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, pharmaceutical firms, private doctors and nurses and student nurses.

Most prevalent cases brought to the attention of the Lingkod Timog and Hope during the Arena Blanco mission were upper respiratory diseases, skin problems, dental care problems, hypertension and minor surgical requests for cysts, according to Heredia.

Most of those who availed of the mission were Badjao and Samal tribes from Arena Blanco and the neighboring areas.

Heredia said Lingkod Timog, a group which his wife Cely heads, is establishing a branch office in Zamboanga City to sustain assistance to the people of Zamboanga whole year round.

Irene Covarrubias-Sabban, HOPE Foundation International coordinator and Lingkod Timog executive director will be in charge of the year round activities here.

The group is looking at the possibility of linking up with other NGOs so that it can best serve the Zamboanguenos, Heredia revealed.

Both HOPE, which stands for Health Organization for the Poor Enterprise and Lingkod Timog are based in Rhode Island. It is a group of American and Filipino professionals who bonded together in 1993 to undertake humanitarian missions in impoverished areas including those stricken by calamities.

Lingkod Timog is led by Heredia’s wife, Cely.

Last year, a similar mission was rendered solely by the HOPE foundation in partnership with government and private organizations, also in Arena Blanco.

The Lingkod Timog-HOPE team sent to oversee the Arena Blanco mission is the Heredia couple, Gene Magwili and wife Emmy, Abby Heredia and Jun Sanchez.

The mission in Zamboanga was made possible by Marine Col. Juancho Sabban and wife Irene Covarrubias.

The mission yesterday was held in partnership with the JSOTF-P, Zamboanga City medical Center, City Health office, Southern Command, Philippine Marine Corps, Mindanao Central Sanitarium, ADZU College of Nursing Level 2, ADZU BSN Class ’92, Military Intelligence Group-9, Hizon Laboratories Inc., Clear Vision International, Wyeth Philippines, La Croesus Pharma Inc. and ABS-CBN.

Among those who supported the mission were Mayor CElso Lobregt, Congressman Erbie Fabian, Vice Mayor Beng Climaco, Councilor Asbi Edding and Alan Villanueva. (Sheila E. Covarrubias

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