Last September 28, Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Leslie Baja handed over 5,000 Swiss francs (approximately P223,500) to Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) president Ernesto Garilao.
The money was raised by Filipinos living in Switzerland during a charity event held as part of their Philippine Independence Day celebration in Berne last June 9.
The donation will be used for ZFF’s Health Leaders for the Poor (HLP) program which gives leadership and governance training to mayors, municipal health officers and community leaders in ZFF’s Samar Island partner-municipalities.
Of ZFF’s 54 municipalities participating in the HLP program, five are in Samar while three are in Northern Samar.
This program has so far led to improvements in the welfare of poor Filipinos living in rural areas. As health leaders began implementing health policies and programs targeted to the needs of their people, the ZFF also saw improvements in their health statistics, particularly in their maternal health indicators. With the money donated, the Foundation hopes to replicate the same success to more municipalities in the Samar Island.
To update the Filipino community on the use of the funds, the Foundation will regularly report to the Office of the Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland.
Following this fund raising activity, the Foundation hopes to have more overseas Filipinos support their communities of origin.