Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigades

Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigades

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Project is about health empowerment of marginalized communities, ultimately making health matters become a collective responsibility.

Selected leaders will be trained and grouped into Brigades that will take charge of a sustained community health program, including the management of a Cooperative. The Cooperative will provide funds for emergency health relief and medicines for common illnesses.

It will enhance local knowledge and practices, resources and skills that will be integrated to new ideas and approaches. The project is proactive.

The Project engages community members in identifying problems, mapping up of effective traditional practices, plotting collective responses, and management of health programs. It makes grassroots communities active health vigilants.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The problem addressed is the poor health condition of marginalized communities and the inaccessibility of basic health services. The innovation introduced is the intervention which are: the formation of Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigades. Included in its approaches is the maximization of local knowledge, skills, resources and practices in addressing health issues. The Health Brigades will be trained to be local health care givers. Most of the interventions now are reactive, one-shot deal or short term, and promotes dependence on outside help. There is no cooperative yet developed for health issues. Our Project is proactive, sustaining and empowering. The Health Brigades insures dynamic delivery of health services, improves long time practices of the localities, and maximize local resources. The assurance of success lies on the active engagement of beneficiaries. The Health Brigades are dynamic groups. Their skills are developed as they deliver services. The natural links of the Brigades to their communities (families, kins, friends, neighbors, co-workers, co-tribe members) is also a great advantage. This removes all inhibitions. Care and concern among each other are a given advantage. They know not only the medical history but the social, emotional and psychological make up of their patients. It would facilitate trust and confidence in the leaders and in the cooperative. They are neighbors hence, they are on-call 24-7. All these are positive factors in the success of the project and in making health services accessible.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigades conducts the following innovative activities: 1) Community Health Forums and Focus-Group Discussions (FGDs) to identify common illnesses and come up with an inventory of local knowledge, health practices, local resources and skills. 2) Training of health care providers and health program managers on the following: a) disease and illness prevention and promoting basic health practices; b) first aid c) reproductive health and reproductive rights c) paramedic and grassroots community health workers skills training 3) Networking for support with other health support groups and individuals. 4) Formation of Grassroots Health Brigades and sustained capacity building. 5) Formation of Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative.
About You
Serve-Net (Service Education Research Volunteers and pro-Environment Network)
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Serve-Net (Service Education Research Volunteers and pro-Environment Network)

Organization Phone


Organization Address

012 Brgy. Upper Market, Camp Allen Compound, 2600 Baguio City

Organization Country


Country where this project is creating social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

The target communities are: 1) one purok (zone) in Irisan, Baguio City. Irisan is the largest barangay of Baguio city (out of the 128 barangays). Irisan has a total of 30 purok and has around 25,000 population. Each purok accounts for around 1,000 population. Irisan is an urban poor community. The city's dumpsite is also located here. Most of the people depend on it (garbage collection and junk shops) for livelihood. Others belong to the underground economy or the informal sectors: drivers, construction workers, laundry women, vendors, housekeepers, workers of small shops and eateries, and other odd jobs. A few, including some elderly women (age 70, 75) work in rock quarrying. Though located in the city, the people belong to poverty and below poverty threshold, hence, basic health services are inaccessible.

2) Brgy. Daclan - this is a farming community in Tublay, Benguet. This is north of Baguio City, around one and a half hour ride (public ride) from the city. Daclan is one of the 8 barangays (village) in Tublay. Residents are vegetable farmers (Ibaloi) who belong to the Igorot tribes (indigenous peoples). The people of Daclan were victims of Typhoon Ketsana that hit the country in 2009. Their communities are still considered disaster-threatened communities. Brgy Daclan has around 2,200 population. Daclan is far from hospitals and clinics. Tublay, the municipality where Daclan belongs, is a class 5 municipality. It is one of the two poorest municipalities in Benguet. Hence, health services are also inaccessible.

3) Brgy Bolasi in San Fabian, Pangasinan - Bolasi is a poor fishing village. It has around 2,800 population. Our area in Bolasi is a cluster of around 200 makeshift houses. Women here are fish vendors and their husbands are small fisherfolks. Illegal fishing by commercial fishers results to drastically reduced catch of small fisherfolk, hence, they also could not afford basic health services.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Serve-Net will be the founder of the project. Serve-Net is an NGO that is operating in Northern Philippines, particularly in some of the grassroots communities of Baguio, Benguet, San Fabian in Pangasinan and Sto. Tomas in La Union.

Serve-Net is borne out of actual engagements with urban and rural poor communities. It is a new organization founded in 2007. It has been actively engaged in responding to the victims of Ketsana in 2007.

Serve-Net's exposure to the marginalized communities inspired us to come up with the idea of this Project. We are witnesses to the daily life-and-death struggle of grassroots communities. Health budget is last of their priorities. They could hardly make both ends meet. Their irregular income is not even enough for the very basic needs - food and shelter. Basic social services like health and education are inaccessible. Outside intervention is irregular, seasonal, short-term and not empowering.

We, in Serve-Net, are familiar with the aspirations of the rural and urban poor. They are grateful for outreach programs and intervention. However, they dream of having long term and sustaining projects that could bring back the dignity to them rather than being at the mercy of outside help.

Serve-Net would want to strengthen their hopes, and overcome hopelessness. We want to assist in their efforts of empowering themselves, and overcome helplessness.

One day, we dream of hearing from them "We did it!" rather than forever be saying "We need your help! We can not make it!"

This project would make this real and true.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

Approximately 200 words left (1600 characters).

How many people have been impacted by your project?

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

101- 1,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

After six months, the Brigades are starting to function. The Cooperative is established. Other purok leaders are invited in the inauguration of the Brigades and the Grassroots Health Lifeline Coop.

Task 1

Selection and training of five (5) leaders in each of the three areas identified. A Brigade per area is formed from among the first batch of leaders. An initial health program per area is formulated.

Task 2

Community meeting to be presided by the first batch of leaders selected to discuss the formation of the Cooperative. Recruitment of members to the Cooperative. Fulfilling requisites for putting up.

Task 3

Formation of three to five brigades in each areas. The first batch of leaders will handle the selection and training of the brigades of their respective areas. Area health program will be the output

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

1. All the Brigades are formed and trainings conducted.
2. The Cooperative is fully functional.
3. A network of ten new leaders is established.
4. A training is conducted in one new area.

Task 1

Conduct the second batch of training. Form the second batch of Brigades. Review and improve the initial community health programs. Assesment of the first batch of Brigades.

Task 2

Continue recruitment for the Cooperative with the accompanying membership orientation. Conduct a six-month Cooperative assessment. Conduct Cooperative Management Training for Cooperative Officers.

Task 3

Expand to a new area, conducting the activities conducted in the first target areas.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

1. Other communities of Baguio, Benguet, Pangasinan and La Union will have heard about the project.
2. The membership of the Cooperative would have increased 150%.
3. At the minimum, the Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative have identified potential agencies and groups that could give grant to the Cooperative, at the maximum, the Cooperative have already received at least one grant from the identified agencies.
4. 100% of the pioneering members of the Cooperative have already availed of the health lifeline funds.
5. There are at least 10 local health workers/care givers developed in each area (from the first areas targeted).
6. A sustainable community health program is pursued in the first areas targeted.
7. Projection in the local TV.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The Project might also encounter the same common problems we have encountered in the communities, such as: electing popular but unreliable officers in the Cooperative; corruption of Cooperative funds; skeptics who might influence ordinary members; indifference among other recognized leaders; and, other practical economic concerns like the need to work. The time the leaders devote to the Project means lesser time devoted to their economic activity.

The Project hopes to prevent this by putting in place regular meetings and assessments, staff development training on team building and attitude formation. To counter corruption, the Project will put in place transparency and accountability. A Finance Collective will be put up to handle finance matters so it will not be handled by an individual only.

Positive projection of the Project will neutralize the skeptics in the community. Actual delivery of services and concrete benefits from the project will counter their indifference and mistrust. The Project needs to come up with token remuneration for services rendered by the leaders so their absence from work would be compensated.

Tell us about your partnerships

Serve-Net has the following networks which it has had partnerships:
1) The Municipal Government of Tublay, Benguet.
2) Concern – Center for Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation.
3) Kaisa Ka – A national women’s organization.
4) Committee on Women, Urban Poor and Social Services of the City Government
5) HIDS (Health Integrated Development Service) – a health NGO
6) Benguet State University Faculty Association, through its President, Prof. Gloria Lee
7) Philippine Nurses Association – Benguet Chapter
8) Pangisda – Fisher Folks Association of La Union, and has a national network
9) Teacher Center of the Philippines – an NGO for education workers
10) SALT Foundation – an NGO and Program for the urban poor community of Payatas in Quezon City
11) Community Development Society of the Philippines – a national organization of community development workers

Explain your selections
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

1. Conduct a sustained capacity building for the leaders, officers and volunteers of the Project. The capacity building will focus both on skills and value/attitude formation.
2. There will be a regular assessment and evaluation of the Brigades, the Cooperative Officers and Staff, other community members and Volunteers.
3. Community members will be consulted for feedback and suggestions through community forums and focus-group discussion.
4. A network of support individuals, groups and agencies will be formed. This will provide the needed skills, resources and other needed support.
5. Skilled health workers will be given training to develop their skills.
6. Regular training of Cooperative members will be instituted to fully empower the Cooperative. Training and seminars will be given prior to membership and during membership.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.



Lack of insurance/financing options for healthcare


Lack of access to targeted health information and education

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigades will address lack of affordable care through formation and training of local health workers and care givers. The Cooperative will provide needed funds for additional health care and services. Access to needed health information and education will be answered through the regular community health forums and the membership training that is integrated to the education and training program of the Cooperative. Grassroots Health Lifeline Cooperative and Health Brigade focuses on preventive health care, hence it is proactive and preventive. It is also towards wholistic health development. Healthy habits and healthy practices would be developed, thus, consequently lessening the need for common illnesses and hospitalization.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Other (please specify below)


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

The realistic immediate pathway is towards expansion to other zones of neighboring barangays (village) or of the same barangay.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Government, NGOs/Nonprofits, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Partnership with the local government units facilitates the building of trust in our NGO and its programs. The government units are also able to provide support logistics and services. Partnership with NGOs provide needed skills, practical and effective approaches. Partnership with academic communities also adds credibility to the project, provides support for technical knowledge and services.