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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, June 22 (PIA)  --  An global non-government organization (NGO) in the province has managed to mobilize groups of people into forming self-reliant communities that  cater their own welfare and interests.
 
PLAN International, whose 5-town coverage includes the four towns in Panaon Island of Liloan, San Francisco, Pintuyan, San Ricardo, and Libagon, inspired the creation of more than a dozen Barangay Water Sewarage Associations (BAWASA) and money savings groups, said Jennefer “Toots” de la Cruz, PLAN Unit Manager in the province.
 
These groups developed over time in response to a specific need, in addition to the community-centered initiatives of PLAN that focused on the general welfare of their 4,000-strong sponsored children in the covered communities, de la Cruz said in a recent cable TV program Action Center Kapihan sa PIA.
 
“The continued presence of these groups will serve as our legacy as PLAN is now phasing out in the province effective June, 2016,” de la Cruz said, adding that they will be assigned somewhere in Mindanao for their new assignment but no more details just yet for now.
 
Leah Payud, PLAN area Supervisor, said that aside from leaving behind organized groups, they are glad to note that since 1998 when PLAN was established in the province the NGO has touched a number of lives, and was even a key factor in integrating good virtues and values in their sponsored children.
 
She cited a number of grown-up kids that used to be under the care of PLAN who are now young professionals, and these young adults had vowed to keep up what they had learned from PLAN, like nurturing of children, sharing with them inputs on basic privileges and rights as children, including the need for protection and education.
 
In the next two years that they are still here in the province, PLAN continues its usual round of programs and projects aimed for the benefit children and the communities where they lived, de la Cruz said.
 
Two infrastructure projects are on the pipeline, one was a Day Care Center in Pintuyan, and another a classroom for the new Libagon National High School, de la Cruz also said.  (mmp, PIA8-Southern Leyte)