In celebration of World Cerebral Palsy Day, SM Cares, together with SM City Rosario and the Cerebral Palsy Epilepsy Family Awareness Support Group.PH Inc (CPEFAS PH), raised awareness for the need for Accessible and Alternative Assistive Technology for children with Cerebral Palsyin a medical mission and forum heldlast October 29, 2022.
Despite the weather, 140 beneficiaries and their families attended the event to receive free assessmentsand casting forassistive devicesthrough volunteers from thePhilippine Association of Prosthesis and Orthosis and the Physicians for Peace. Attendees also learned tips on the right nutrition, food preparation and available financial support from PhilHealth, while bonding over parent inspirational talks and sharing of talents. The event was supported by Jollibee, Clyde’s, Tom’s World, Quantum and Schneider Electric, while SM employees also donated Bears of Joy, snacks, gift items, prizes and entertainment.
|Children with Cerebral Palsy received free assessments and casting through volunteer doctors.|
“This is our third time organizing World Cerebral Palsy Day in the Philippines, and out first time partnering with SM. We are really thankful to SM Cares and SM City Rosario for accommodating us because it is really important for families like ours to reach others in the same community and help make government support for kids’ rehabilitation more accessible,” shares Ms. Jessa Marmol, President and Founder of CPEFAS PH.
Ms. Cassandra Chan, Ms. World Charity 2022 and Ms. Chinatown 2020, joined the event, continuing a yearly commitment to inspire parents in their love and dedication for their children. Also in attendance were Dr. Penny Bundoc of the Physicians for Peace, Ms. Angelie Fajardo, Physical Therapist lead of PALMS Children Center, Mr. Rizalino Jose, Head of the Persons with Disability Affairs Office of Olongapo City and Mr. RojanAbento, Hub Performance Manager at Schneider Electric.
|Ms. Jessa Marmol, CPEFAS PH President & Founder, presents tokens of appreciation to Ms. Cassandra Chan, 2022 Ms. World Charity, Dr. Penny Bundoc, and various volunteers.|
Advocating #HealthForAll, Dr. Penny Bundoc, herself a 2020 PRC Outstanding Professional of the Year, emphasized that, “The disability that ensues after a child has Cerebral Palsy has a progressive impact on the family as casts are customized to the needs of each child every year. Rehabilitation therapy sessions are also needed to restore optimum functionality. This event helps parents worry less by knowing about the many programs available, while calling on more LGUs to make access to programs and technology easier. There is much that can still be done for these children in the hopes they can enter school and become productive, employed adults in the future.
As for SM Supermalls, PWD-friendly programs supportthe United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly “SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being”, and “SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.Engr. Bien C. Mateo, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President and SM Cares Director for Programs for PWDs shares, “SM Cares is all about ‘Supporting Communities’ and our programs for persons with disabilities align with raising awareness on Accessible and Alternative Assistive Technology for those in need. In the spirit of social inclusion, we find ways to make our malls accessible and our frontliners assistive with care through our sensitivity trainings too. We strive to be a ‘Mall for All’, where nobody gets left behind.”
Ms. Minabelle Llanes, South 2 Regional Operations Manager at SM Supermalls, further adds: “Today, we are reminded of the significance of families and friends as support systems, just as we strive to offer the same level of care and consideration. We hope that through initiatives such as these, our malls are able to help bring the feeling of home to our partner communities as aplace where you are safe, secure, and are wholeheartedly accepted.”
|Bears of Joy, gifts, foodand entertainment were provided by SM employees and various partners.|
SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, responsible for initiatives focused on sustainability and community development. Its programs include those on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Environment, Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Children and Youth, as well as the Bike-Friendly SM initiative.
To learn more about these programs, visit www.smsupermalls.com/smcares.