Project LUSOG is a health-focused collaboration between Cartwheel Foundation International, Inc. (Cartwheel INTL) and Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. (Cartwheel PH) that was launched in Culion, Palawan in 2016. This initiative was made possible through the mobilization of the resources and expertise of multi-sectoral stakeholders.
In its three-year implementation, Project LUSOG has helped make way towards better health outcomes for the Tagbanua through various collaborative efforts of those from their community.
Understanding the health context of the Tagbanua paved way for the next steps of Project LUSOG. Focus was given to the specific project components of health education and health partnerships.
In recognizing the current health situation of the Tagbanua, collaborative and collective actions were then identified. Key agencies committed to include the Tagbanua as among their priority groups in their development agenda. The Tagbanua themselves formed core groups and began community-based projects. Their initiatives focused on the promotion of children's health and well-being. Currently, these core groups are in the process of training and formalizing to be an established Indigenous Peoples Organization (IPO).
In the long term, these interventions guided the development of an enhanced framework for Cartwheel PH's Education and Child Development programs. These were made to take on a more holistic approach towards initiatives that are community-owned and resilience-focused.
Throughout the project's implementation, LUSOG made continuous communication with these offices, especially on the local level. As a result, their attendance became more frequent and consistent during various dialogues and assemblies. This also led to the processing of the much-needed civil registration of the Tagbanua.
In the long run, efforts in health partnerships were envisioned to contribute toward policy-level change for the advancement of IPs and their rights.
We are only beginning to help bridge the numerous health gaps for IPs like the Tagbanua. The work remains daunting, but results from the past three years of Project LUSOG have been encouraging. With an openness to learn, connect, and take on collaborative action, the hope to sustain health for the entire community can indeed be a reality.