Health programs are integral part of a community since these kinds of initiatives and movements help the people in attaining a better way of living and more important, effective health programs pave way to the continuous nourishment and development of a person’s physical, emotional and mental health. Without any health program, the workforce, the students and members of families may not maximize their productivity and may not fully harness the benefits and sources healthy lifestyle and healthy food thereby affecting academic performance, job output and social skills.

Moreover, a health program shouldn’t just target one dimension of health, since our needs and the environment that we have keeps on changing; a health program should be multimodal and encompassing to target the different health dimensions of a person – physical, mental/intellectual, emotional, occupational, social, environmental and spiritual. An effective health program shouldn’t just deliver a short-term effect but it should be practical and sustainable for it to create a long-term effect to the community. Also a health program should shape and develop personal value base and beliefs that will fuel the person to pursue a healthier way of life not just for him/her but also to the people around him/her. Last, a health program should encourage and induce cooperation, collaboration and lasting involvement

In this blog, I would like to evaluate holistically a health program in using the “7 Dimensions of Wellness” model by University of California, Riverside.  In particular, I would like to personally evaluate the “Feeding and Nutrition” program of Feed the Hungry, Inc.  (FtH). FtH is a non-profit organization that reaches out to the street children in the Philippines and provides them a complete and healthy meal during special occasions, now FtH has evolved into an organization (sending their gratitude to the sponsors and supporters locally and abroad) with programs supporting educational endeavours of poor children by providing scholarships and learning materials, livelihood and infrastructure programs, building classrooms, and medical/calamity assistance. For this output, I will be focusing on their “Feeding and Nutrition” program.

According to their website, the feeding program is “designed to provide supplemental food to malnourished children aged 6 and below.” The program includes one complete nutritious meal five days per week for a period of 16 months. The beneficiaries are evaluated and monitored every month to check progress in weight and height, and overall health condition.  This program is in collaboration with DSWD. Also, the program includes training for mothers on proper nutrition, appropriate care for their children and family planning. Mothers are tasked to do the marketing and cooking part of the program.

“From 2001 to present, FtH has provided PhP5,395,158.00 to fund 53 modules of feeding program benefiting at least 3,165 malnourished children. Ninety percent of the children who graduated from the program attained the normal level of nutrition after participating in their respective modules.”

7 Dimensions of Wellness Does the program targets and nourished these dimensions?

(Reference: http://feedthehungryphil.org/feeding-and-nutrition/)

Social Wellness
is the ability to relate to and connect with other people in our world. Our ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers contributes to our Social Wellness.
Yes
Emotional Wellness
is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.
Yes
Spiritual Wellness
is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. The ability to develop congruency between values and actions and to realize a common purpose that binds creation together contributes to our Spiritual Wellness.
No
Environmental Wellness
is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water and the land that surrounds us. The ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities or our planet contributes to our Environmental Wellness.
No
Occupational Wellness
is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives. Our desire to contribute in our careers to make a positive impact on the organizations we work in and to society as a whole leads to Occupational Wellness.
No
Intellectual Wellness
is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.
Yes
Physical Wellness
is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life that allows us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress. The ability to recognize that our behaviors have a significant impact on our wellness and adopting healthful habits (routine check ups, a balanced diet, exercise, etc.) while avoiding destructive habits (tobacco, drugs, alcohol, etc.) will lead to optimal Physical Wellness.
Yes

Based on the results of the table (4 Yes and 3 No), the feeding program of FtH is not an encompassing and multidimensional health program which can target and nourish the 7 dimensions of wellness of a person. On its own, it focuses primarily on physical, mental, emotional and social health of a child. This kind of feeding program is better compared to other since this has a medium-term provision included in the program to ensure that the participants can actually graduate from malnourishment. We cannot eradicate the problems of the world in connection with community and health, but through programs like this, we can make the world a better place one plate at a time.

Reference:

University of California, Riverside. Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Retrieved from https://wellness.ucr.edu/seven_dimensions.html on July 30, 2015

Feed the Hungry. Retrieved from http://feedthehungryphil.org/feeding-and-nutrition/ on July 30, 2015

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