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Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) Residents Exercise Community Awareness

Community Awareness is a half day activity that aims to provide outdoor experience to residents of Elsie Gaches Village. Its purpose is to expose residents to activities or scenarios happening beyond the gates of the center. Fifteen (15) selected male and female residents were able to experience travelling by jeepney, have their hair cut in a salon, shop in a grocery and buy food in a fastfood chain. The activity was held last August 25, 2017.

Residents were assembled at Meehan building at 9:00 in the morning. They rode the center’s ambulance to SM Southmall as the starting point of their activity. They started at Grocery Shopping in SM Southmall Supermarket, where facilitators introduced to the participants the items that can be seen and bought inside a grocery store. Participants were able to experience purchasing items for themselves such as powder, deodorant and cologne of their choice. They were also asked to choose between pouch bag, tumbler or lunch box depending on what they need the most. Everyone enjoyed as they stroll and look for the items they had to buy while pushing their carts. After getting all the needed items, participants paid for their own items at the counter/cashier while being guided and assisted by the facilitators.

Afterwards, the participants had their lunch at Jollibee and Pilar, Las Pinas City. Subsequently, they proceeded at Index Salon to have their hair cut. They were all excited and a bit nervous since most of them were salon first-timers. Before having their hair cut, they had the privilege to decide the kind of hair style they like for themselves. As they all waited patiently for their turn, some of them had an interaction with the people inside the salon by chatting with customers and haircutters.

The last part of the activity involved riding a jeepney going back to the center. Everyone fitted exactly in one jeepney. While on their way, residents shared their experiences during the community exposure. They also expressed their gratitude for being part of this kind of activity and even asked if they can be included to more activities in the future. The driver was very kind and considerate that he agreed to drop the residents inside the center.

The community awareness is a fun and at the same time full of learning experiences for the residents. It enhances and develops their independence, socialization and awareness on what the world looks like outside the center with proper supervision and guidance of facilitators. Not only to the residents and staff, this kind of activity also helps in promoting acceptance of the community to people born with disabilities. During the activity, some people are curious that they ask questions about the residents, their condition and about the center. ###

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