In the spirit of fostering ongoing camaraderie, the Visually-Impaired Positive and Productive Dreamers (VIPPD) have taken proactive steps to cultivate a deeper relationship with the University of Baguio through the Research Innovation Extension and Community Outreach (RIECO) office, culminating in a meeting held on March 26, 2024. Eager members of the VIPPD expressed their enthusiasm for collaborating with the university, with Mr. Ever Basatan, the VIPPD President, and Ms. Rita Tabajonda, the Vice President, to formalize the partnership through the RIECO office.

This partnership holds promise for mutual benefit, with plans to establish training programs aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of VIPPD members, such as product packaging techniques and seminars on marketing strategies and financial literacy. Moreover, the VIPPD organization is committed to executing projects spanning livelihood enhancement, literacy promotion, healthcare initiatives, infrastructure development, and risk management. Their overarching goals include empowering partner communities through leadership development, fostering computer literacy, promoting health and sanitation practices, ensuring safety and security, and facilitating skill development.

In alignment with these objectives, UB CARES is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to VIPPD, encompassing tailored assistance to address their unique requirements, guidance in program implementation, and the execution of training programs. Additionally, UB CARES offers sustainable livelihood programs, access to medical and dental services, and other resources to meet the specific needs identified in the VIPPD’s needs assessment, thereby facilitating smoother implementation processes and enhancing financial literacy among members.

By embracing UB’s core Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the pursuit of reduced inequalities (SDG 10), fostering partnerships for collective goals (SDG 17), combating poverty (SDG 1), and promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16), the university and VIPPD aim to work in tandem to translate these aspirations into tangible realities. With clear objectives in place, UB is poised to actualize these plans in collaboration with the Visually Impaired Positive and Productive Dreamers, leveraging their collective efforts for meaningful impact and sustainable development.

Written and photographed by Diane Labay