Isla Verde Outreach


Children playing on the street in Isla Verde.

The birthing center where I volunteer as a midwife has several outreaches intended to make it easier for women who would otherwise have difficulty accessing care to get regular prenatal check-ups right in their neighborhood. The one I have attended most frequently is in Isla Verde, a slum neighborhood with a large Muslim population and a Badjao settlement. The streets are narrow and crowded with people, children playing, tricycabs and bicycle taxis.


Our prenatal team today after we’d finished seeing patients. From left to right, Brittany (a second-year midwifery student), me, Charlyn (holding her daughter), Sharon (a nurse and summer intern at the birth center) and Ate Ana, one of our Filipina supervisors at the birth center.

We do our prenatal check-ups in a somewhat makeshift clinic in the covered “carport” in front of the home of Charlyn, a Filipina whose family moved to Isla Verde to minister to the people there.


Britanny and Ate Ana interviewing (medical history) first-time prenatal patients.

We come to Isla Verde every two weeks and usually have between six and twelve prenatal patients show up each time, almost always including several new patients.


Badjao grandma watching her daughter’s prenatal check-up

Most of the Badjao patients who give birth with us get their prenatal care at our Isla Verde outreach as they cannot afford to pay for public transportation to come to the birth center for checkups.


These were not our patients but they came in while we were there are and I had to take a picture.

Our prenatal clinic is only a very small part of Charlyn’s ministry; she hosts other free health care clinics and regularly organizes medical teams to visit isolated mountain villages in rural areas as well. You can see more pictures of the work she’s doing on her NGO’s Facebook page.

Isla Verde is right on the edge of the ocean. Around the corner from Charlyn’s home are shanties on stilts above the sea water, which is a mass of trash and unidentifiable sludge.


Garbage floating on shallow sea water. All the houses are on stilts.

The Badjao village is built out over the water with narrow wooden walkways from house to house.


Apparently the “Badjao bridges” have been improved considerably in recent years… they still felt quite precarious to me!

The streets are full of children and they all LOVE to have their picture taken. Pull out a camera and they’ll start posing and yelling, “Ako! Ako!” (Me! Me!)


Hamming it up for the camera.

I showed these boys the pictures on my phone screen as I took them and they delighted in making silly faces and then laughing at them.


Silly faces.

You can’t help but smile.


One comment on “Isla Verde Outreach

  1. […] slum communities in Davao. She hosts the prenatal outreach clinic that I attend regularly in Isla Verde as well as many other health and education-related initiatives for this disadvantaged community. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s