(Photo courtesy of Melissa Olit)

A Palaweńa was recognized with a Special Recognition Award for her contributions to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Community Intervention Team’s “Community Kitchen” project in Aborlan, Palawan.

Sgt. Melissa Grace Olit, also known as Chef Aiza, was honored for her contributions to the PAF’s overall mission accomplishment by conceptualizing the PAF Community Intervention Team Project “Community Kitchen” in the municipality of Aborlan and initiating various relief assistance for the less fortunate families and frontline personnel.

“Nagsimula kami sa isang simpleng kwentuhan over a cup of coffee with Commanding Officer ng 4th Arcen LTC  JAY  S BAQUIRAN PAF (GSC) and the rest of the officer to plan for a possible project na pwede kaming magcollaborate for the benefit of the Community. Sila bilang peace advocate at kami naman sa Kusina na bilang advocate ng Bayanihan at Civic Tourism.

Volunteerism as a tool for socio-economic development, Chef Aiza Community kitchen worked for hand in hand with other partner institutions and individuals to develop innovative programs and promote best practices to help build and support communities and government toward sustainability and stakeholdership.

“Ang planning nag-start ng April and then nag stop kami because of the surge ng Covid cases natin sa City,” she added.

The PAF Community Intervention Team Project “Community Kitchen” in Aborlan is a collaboration between Chef Aiza’s community kitchen, Philippine Air Force (PAF) 4th ARCEN, Local Government Unit, and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

“Sa bawat award na natatanggap namin grateful kami kasi naappreciate yung mga initiative namin and that stories of dedication and perseverance of our volunteers, our sponsors and Beneficiaries that will spark inspiration among us”

On December 22, 2020, Olit received the “Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer” award from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office in MIMAROPA, in collaboration with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), as part of the “Search for Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer” of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office in MIMAROPA.

Eating a nourishing, balanced diet helps with our overall sense of wellbeing, and while the pandemic continues to affect everyday life, a healthy approach to food is more important than ever in terms of supporting our mental health.

“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.”

Let us all continue to search for ways to give back to the community and hope that in the future, the small ripple that we make will create waves of positive change, Towards a Matatag, Maginhawa, at panatag na Buhay!