In a compassionate response to the recent turmoil in a neighboring area adjacent to Tubay, Agusan del Norte, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga, led by Retained Community-Based Services Head Michael Andohuyan, orchestrated a crucial Psychological First Aid (PFA) session today, February 29, 2024.
This initiative was prompted by a request from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) to assist 332 elementary students of Doña Telesfora Elementary School (DOTES) in overcoming the aftermath of a distressing encounter between Government Forces and lawless elements on February 23, 2024.
The PFAiders team, consisting of 17 proficient social workers from the Field Office and Field Staff, with support from 13 interns, brought the commitment of DSWD to addressing the needs of the recovering community.
Following a series of engaging activities, the PFA team observed the resilience of the children, noting their cooperative participation and openness in expressing their emotions regarding the incident. In a reassuring exit conference, professional assessments revealed no significant signs of extreme stress among the children, affirming their readiness to resume their studies without impediment.
Expressing heartfelt gratitude, DOTES School Head Liezel Santos underscored the Field Office’s swift response, highlighting the reassurance it provided to the community, despite the challenges of distance and short notice.
“You made us feel that we are not alone nga naa mi support system na one call away lang na immediately ni respond sa amoa. Although [Doña Telesfora is] remote, although this is a very short notice, you gave us a prompt response. With your presence also makaingon gyud ko nga na reinforce ang security nga nabati sa mga bata because nakita nila nga whatever circumstances may arise sa amoa, naa diay mga tao na willing mo-tabang and usa mo ana, with that nagpasalamat gyud ko mga ma’am ug sir,” Santos said.
Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman of Doña Telesfora, Hon. Guyle Ochia, himself a social work student, echoed appreciation for the Field Office’s timely intervention, emphasizing the critical importance of validating the mental health needs of vulnerable children in times of crisis.
The PFA played a pivotal role in this intervention, demonstrating a well-founded approach rooted in human resilience. It aimed to alleviate stress symptoms and support positive recovery after stressful and traumatic incidents, emphasizing its relevance in situations like human induced crisis, natural disasters, public health emergencies, or personal crises.
As the primary government agency mandated to uphold social protection, DSWD remains steadfast in its mission to safeguard the well-being of every individual, reinforcing the sentiment that #BawatBuhayMahalagaSaDSWD — every life matters to DSWD.
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