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  • The ULF Team

#IdeasPositiveRun6: Growing a healthier community



True to its name, Team Auxilium has become a source of aid to a community that is finally beginning to help itself. In the name of nutrition, Sitio Mulawin residents are now working together, and finding strength and support in each other.

Can good nutrition be grown in a tank?


Sounds simplistic, but Team Auxilium – Christelle L. Laverez, Almira S. Abejo, Cristine Joy B. Ramos, Eunice G.Gamba, Juan Nathaniel M. Mapagdalita and mentor Dr. Supachai A. Basit from Emilio Aguinaldo College–says it can. For five months now, the team has been building and distributing spirulina tanks, encouraging the residents of Sitio Mulawin to grow their way to better health.

Sitio Mulawin is a simple community. As a resettlement area, it is far from established; the homes are temporary, the residents still mere acquaintances. Solidarity runs low, as does the nutrition status–at least 95 children have been identified as malnourished and suffering from protein and iron deficiency.

These are the problems that Team Auxilium aims to address with spirulina, a blue-green algae species so tiny, scientists classify it as bacteria. It is around these microalgae that the group is rallying the community to come together, fight malnutrition, and feed their children better.


Consumed as a whole food around the world, spirulina contains 60 percent protein, and has been claimed to have antioxidant properties and other nutritional benefits. It is relatively simple to grow, requiring an alkaline environment with a stable temperature. In developed countries, it is marketed as a “superfood” to help combat aging and fatigue; in developing ones, it could be one of the answers to malnutrition–and this is what Team Auxilium is banking on.


Already, ten spirulina tanks have been set up in Sitio Mulawin households, each tank catering to five families. That’s 50 families so far, working together to harvest the microalgae weekly. It was not a smooth ride – understandably, it took the community a while to accept the strange tasting food. The Team partnered with a group to help them turn the harvest into powder form, and held cooking sessions to improve acceptance. Spirulina in freshly baked graham balls, for instance, was an instant hit!


Nutritional content was not the only hurdle to overcome. The group found out that the children don’t eat because they are depressed. So they established a Play Center, complete with a kid-friendly curriculum and storybooks on nutrition and wellness. It’s a holistic approach that has created a positive cycle: The children now have the energy to play, and the good spirits to continue eating better.

True to its name, Team Auxilium has become a source of aid to a community that is finally beginning to help itself. In the name of nutrition, Sitio Mulawin residents are now working together, and finding strength and support in each other.

As it turns out, nutrition is not the only thing those tanks could grow.


Team Auxilium is a National Finalist of Ideas Positive Run 6. This article is part of the #IdeasPositiveRun6 series, which documents the transformation of 13 communities through the innovative ideas of 13 youth teams. Follow their story as they build a healthier Philippines, one community at a time.

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