Next stop on Jessy Lai’s Charity Honeymoon Trip is an early childhood development project in collaboration with UNICEF. Vietnam and Philippines are the first two countries to receive help under this initiative. Lai has landed in Philippines on 19 April to visit poverty-stricken areas, commencing the early childhood development plan.
Dato’ Sri Jessy Lai has a track record of aiding the underserved, having donated in countless charity events locally and internationally. She also frequently visits rural areas lacking in basic sanitation and education, and learned that many children are malnourished due to the lack of health education among parents.
So when UNICEF proposed a collaboration with Jessy Lai’s charity team, Lai immediately agreed to help.
“The SJC 1000 Days Programme is a very meaningful project. Many parents are still unaware of that a child’s first 1000 days after birth are most critical to their growth. Malnutrition at this stage can cause stunted growth, affecting the healthy development of a child’s physical and brain development. As a result, these kids aren’t able to reach their full potential, and are susceptible to learning difficulties and lower incomes in future.”
To launch this project, Lai and UNICEF visited a family with children facing malnutrition in the Philippines.
After understanding the family situation of affected child Jomar Belhera, Lai found that Jomar, 2 years and 4 months old, is the 6th child of Jelyn and Marlon Belhera. The child suffers from malnutrition due to poor finances in the family and the lack of health awareness. UNICEF has listed this as a special case, and will follow up on the progress of Jomar in order to help him in a sustainable way.
Later, Lai and UNICEF attended a promotional event for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding to public.
Many parents don’t know the benefits of breastfeeding. A mother’s breast milk contains all the nutrients needed by a child in their first year, giving babies stronger immunity and better brain development. Hence breastfeeding plays a big role in the SJC 1000 Days Programme, and Lai’s attendance at the event was precisely to educate parents about this.
After the event, Lai and the UNICEF team met Dr. Anthony Calibo, OIC of the Child Health Division, Family Health Office of Philippines to discuss promotional strategies for the SJC 1000 Days Programme. In time, this should raise awareness about early childhood healthcare in Philippines.
That sums up Jessy Lai’s Charity Honeymoon Trip in the Philippines. Next, Lai will be visiting Vietnam to continue promoting the SJC 1000 Days Programme.
Life inspiring life.