Jobs at Roots of Health

Roots of Health staff are crucial to our success in program implementation.  Every staff member not only has technical competence, but also works within the culture and values of the organization. Our organization adheres to a rights-based approach to our work, and we expect all of our staff to treat our clients and beneficiaries with utmost respect and courtesy.

JOB OPENING: Administrative Officer

Reporting to the Finance Director, the Administrative Officer is responsible for overseeing various administrative tasks, procurement, inventory management, and ensuring compliance with the applicable laws and regulations for the organization.  Additionally, this role will provide direct supervision to the Administrative Assistants, ensuring cohesive and efficient coordination of administrative duties across the organization. Collaboration with all other departments will be crucial for ensuring smooth day-to-day operations. Responsibilities: Office administration Manage office […]

Cultivating Strong Roots Together!

We’re Growing our Roots Together!  2023 was a year of growth for Roots of Health as we moved towards expanding our roots and going further in addressing systemic challenges related to teenage pregnancies and HIV! This was not an easy feat especially in the context of new government leaders, rising inflation and media misinformation. The best way of going about it was to have our stakeholders – government workers, teachers, […]

Palawan teens learn about love, sex, healthy relationships one menstrual pad at a time

Puerto Princesa City; February 14, 2024 – Valentine’s Day took on a new dimension for students at Palawan National School as they delved into PAD-ibig Diaries, a groundbreaking initiative merging menstrual pads with illustrated diary entries to foster open dialogue about sex and relationships. Four hundred female students from grades 7 to 10 were treated to limited edition menstrual pads featuring vibrant diary entries about the female anatomy, puberty, crushes, […]

Teachers in Agusan del Norte empowered through award-winning sex education campaign

BUTUAN CITY, JANUARY 26, 2023 – Teachers from 27 public schools in Agusan del Norte, on Friday, participated in an orientation on adolescent sexuality and reproductive health at the Provincial Training Center in Butuan City. The session, conducted by implementers of the I CHOOSE #MalayaAkongMaging campaign, aimed to equip educators with the knowledge and tools to deliver comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) to students. The I CHOOSE campaign, national gold winner […]

Roots of Health Wins Department of Health Silver Award

We’re super grateful and humbled to receive two awards today from the Healthy Pilipinas Awards for Partners 2023! 🏆 Roots of Health bagged the Silver Award in Healthy Governance, Healthy Settings, and Health Literacy, for our work in reducing unplanned pregnancies and HIV cases in Palawan. With our partners USAID and the ReachHealth Project, we also won the Gold Award for the I Choose #MalayaAkongMaging campaign – which provides youth-centered […]

New Level Unlocked: Mental Health Support for Young People

“If we can experience it, we can teach it!” This was the guiding principle embraced by our Youth Team during a series of learning sessions on mental health, facilitated by our Columbia University graduate Fellow, Aimary Rubio. Aimary, a master’s student in clinical psychology, said that the purpose of these sessions was to help our Youth Team explore various facets of what true mental well-being means and equip them with […]

JOB OPENING: Partnerships Director

Ugat ng Kalusugan is seeking a Partnerships Director who will be reporting directly to the Executive Director. The Partnerships Director will manage the organization’s Health Systems Strengthening work and liaise with the organization’s strategic partners including within the government, corporations, funders, and other civil society organizations. They will also supervise the Partnerships Coordinator. Responsibilities The Partnerships Director responsibilities include but are not limited to: Manage the organization’s Systems Strengthening work […]

Coming Soon… Data Driven Municipalities

Data science can dramatically improve public health outcomes. Through the years, Roots of Health has worked with local governments to help them become more data driven in crafting and implementing health programs. We recently helped train 39 health workers on the Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) which records the scope and coverage of essential public health services. The FHSIS is a crucial part of the Philippines’s information network to […]

Minors Should Be Able to Access Contraception

Puerto Princesa City, Tuesday, 7 February 2023 — Roots of Health (Ugat ng Kalusugan), a Palawan-based organization that provides educational and clinical services to women and young people, has called on government to allow adolescent access to family planning commodities and services. This, as the Senate held a committee hearing, Tuesday, on three bills that seek to prevent teen pregnancies in the country. Roots of Health Executive Director Amina Evangelista-Swanepoel, speaking […]

#Stronger 2023

Help us empower and protect women and young people in the Philippines as we all work towards a #Stronger2023.

No island too small: Extending contraceptive access one boat ride at a time

Early mornings, long boat rides, and hot and humid days – this is the typical scenario when traveling to Agutaya, one of the hardest-to-reach group of islands in Palawan, Philippines.  Though the villages are separated by sea, people are never strangers. All happily greet each other as they gather at the local health center to avail of their contraceptive of choice during an outreach mission led by Roots of Health […]

Roots of Health Launches New Tagalog-Language Online Website and Chatbot for Reproductive Health Solutions

Through ugatngkalusugan.org, women, young people, parents, teachers, and health care workers can access RH information and services in a more accessible language. by Romar Miranda March 25, 2022, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan—Roots of Health (ROH), a non-profit organization based in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, recently launched its new Tagalog-language website. This is one […]

Active Rehabilitation: Civic groups partner with Odette-hit communities in Palawan for recovery

by Romar Miranda One fundamental truth about humanity is the idea that help will come no matter the disaster. A day after Typhoon Odette (international: Rai) ravaged central and northern Palawan, local communities were in shock because of the unprecedented damages to life and property caused by the typhoon, with a total estimate of more than P7.8 billion. With the local governments already stretched thin from managing the COVID-19 pandemic, […]

Understanding Teen Pregnancy in the Philippines and What We Can Do About It

Diane Santos’* then partner advised her to jump a couple of times and drink plenty of water after sex to expel sperm. She did what she was told. Unexpectedly for her, however, she still got pregnant.  Diane was one of the 119 girls Roots of Health selected to participate in a research project to assess contextual factors associated with teen pregnancy in Palawan, Philippines. She was later on selected again […]

Check Out Our New YouTube Channel!

As our health systems continue the fight against COVID-19, young people remain vulnerable to increased reproductive health risks such as teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Unfortunately, schools are still closed and we are still unable to reach young people through their classrooms. Despite limitations on physical movement, Roots of Health remains committed to providing high-quality, non-judgmental comprehensive sexuality education to young people. That’s why we recently launched our new […]

Roots of Health Launches Guide on Providing Continued Reproductive Health Services During COVID-19

by Romar Miranda Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, PHILIPPINES―In an effort to help address the reproductive health disparities and vulnerabilities that women and young people face during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roots of Health (ROH), in partnership with WomenStrong International, is launching its Learning Product, “Communities, Contraceptives and COVID-19: Ensuring Continued Access to Reproductive Health Services in the New Normal” on Friday, July 9, 2021. The Learning Product was ROH’s brainchild after […]

WATCH: Roots of Health’s Board Member’s Commencement Address to Columbia University’s Public Health Students of Color

by Justine Ang Fonte, Roots of Health Board Member Good afternoon, graduates, professors, and proud families. I am Justine Glo Ang Fonte, the daughter of Glorietta Zapata Ang of Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya and Samuel Ang Fonte of Romblon, Romblon. Today is truly a celebration because here I am, Zooming in from Lenape Territory as a Filipina child of colonization, giving a speech to all of you, recipients of a graduate […]

From Schools to Studios: Sex Education in the New Normal

by Lhen Hasal Schools are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and young people are still unable to be on their campuses to learn and interact with their teachers and classmates. Because of this, our teachers are also unable to provide in-person reproductive health classes by hopping in a van, taking a boat ride, or even climbing uphill. But this doesn’t mean that students don’t need this information anymore. COVID-19 […]

Year-End Recap: You Saved 2020!

COVID-19 created so many challenges to the work we do. But because the pandemic put more women and young people’s lives at risk, we knew we needed to make sure we could keep providing life-saving essential services, education, and stakeholder trainings. Thanks to our supporters, we managed to continue providing all this in 2020, and more. Here’s a quick recap of what we couldn’t have done without our passionate supporters […]

Pinay Power Online Bazaar

As we approach the holiday season, you can help change women’s lives and take a piece of the Philippines with you, wherever you are, through “#PinayPower: A Pre-Holiday Online Bazaar.”  Shop from any of our partner brands from November 6-12, and 20% of every purchase you make will directly support reproductive health programs, including free birth control, HIV testing, prenatal checkups and comprehensive sexuality education.  Here are five fabulous ways […]

Reproductive Health in Disasters

A disaster can make people forget about existing problems, but it doesn’t make them disappear. In fact, a disaster is more likely to worsen existing inequalities and vulnerabilities. In celebration of International Day for Disaster Reduction, Roots of Health takes a stand for reproductive health services. Birth control, prenatal care, and HIV testing and treatment remain essential as we build disaster-resilient communities, and especially more so in immediate disaster response. […]

My Summer Internship in the “New Normal”

Can an internship from home still be fulfilling? A development studies senior shares her experience as a Roots of Health summer intern.

RH Still Matters: Young People More Vulnerable During COVID-19

The only midwife in town could’ve been in high school with their mom. The pharmacist goes to the same church. Someone could be eavesdropping at the hospital and hear them asking about an HIV test. In places like Palawan, Philippines, where almost everyone knows everyone, young people often fear getting a pregnancy test, an HIV test, or contraceptives. To them, accessing services could mean other people finding out that they […]

Despite COVID-19, Let’s Not Forget About HIV

Photo by Katherine Jack, August 2019 HIV did not disappear because of COVID-19. In fact, it could get even worse. We’re seeing more positive cases in our clinics since lockdown restrictions have eased up and more people can go out to get tested. Still, many people find it hard to access testing and treatment for HIV. Restrictions to movement of people and supplies are still in place. This could lead […]

“Starting Up: Roots of Health and the First 10 Years”

Advocates, health care workers, educators, parents, and civil service organizations can learn a thing or two from how a small organization in Palawan changed thousands of women and young people’s lives. As a professor at Palawan State University, Susan Evangelista witnessed how her students dropped out of school after getting pregnant, usually unplanned. She saw, through her students, that unplanned pregnancies usually derailed young women from what would’ve been a […]

Physical and Mental Health Risks of Teen Pregnancy on Babies and Mothers

Almost 200,000 Filipino teenage girls get pregnant every year. Here’s why that’s a problem. by Alicia di Giovanni | Photo: Isabel Corthier When 16-year-old Tina’s* water broke, it was the last thing the ninth grader expected to happen in her high school campus, just a few miles away from the city center. She had thought that she was only seven months pregnant. Because she’d never had an ultrasound, she had […]

Our RH Clinic is Back in Action

Women and girls in Palawan are once again welcome to visit our clinic for free reproductive health services. Quarantine restrictions have eased up, and essential health facilities are now allowed to reopen. But we’re not letting our guards down. From the moment each of our clients show up at our door until they leave, we apply best practices to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Each client needs to schedule an appointment […]

Free Reproductive Health Services—On Wheels!

Joy* wanted to meet up in a hidden alley, a few blocks away from her home. Strangers passing by might wonder what sneaky business she’s up to, as a needle pokes into her arm and she breathes a sigh of relief. But she isn’t doing anything illegal—she’s just getting a birth control shot. Like Joy, many Filipina women and girls have to hide the fact that they use contraceptives. Their […]

Sexual Health Education for Filipinas Goes Online

Pulling out works all the time. Missing your period while on birth control is unhealthy because it keeps the dirty blood inside your body. Pap smears “clean” the uterus. Birth control pills cause cancer because the actual pills clog the ovaries. As outrageous as these may sound, many people still believe these myths. Wrong information about birth control, family planning and sexual and reproductive health is all too common in […]

Birth Control in the Philippines Under Lockdown

Because of strict COVID-19 lockdown rules, women can’t even visit a health facility or pharmacy two blocks away to get birth control. Meanwhile, contraceptive supplies are dwindling in health facilities due to supply chain disruptions. This could lead to a surge in unplanned pregnancies. An unplanned pregnancy disrupts a woman’s life in so many ways—even more so during a pandemic of this magnitude. With little to no opportunities to work, […]

Meet One of Our Community Health Advocates

Having a baby when you want it, and are ready for it. This doesn’t sound like much to ask for, but growing up in the Philippines, Annabelle didn’t think she had these choices. Now she know better and educates her community on how they can improve their lives as well.

2018 Annual Report

2018 was a year of continued growth for our organization. Even as we reached over 46,000 people with our clinical and educational services to prevent unplanned pregnancies, we are keenly aware of a growing threat to the lives of Filipinos—HIV.

Roots of Health Wins a With and For Girls Award

Roots of Health is honored to receive a With and For Girls Award for our work improving access to reproductive health services and education for young people. The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative which identifies and supports strong, local organisations working with and for girls. Today we announce 20 grassroots girl-led organisations that are being recognised and awarded for their work in tackling gender discrimination, inequality […]

Our 2017 Annual Report

We are happy to report that 2017 was our most impactful year to date. We would like to invite you to read about our successes, challenges and exciting developments in this year’s Annual Report. Thanks to our generous supporters, passionate staff and tireless partners, we were able to reach more of Palawan’s women, girls and young people than ever before. 2017 was a formative year that was full of growth and […]

HIV Testing Centers in Puerto Princesa

Get an HIV test is the responsible thing to do. Know your status so that you can protect your health and the health of those you love. Here is a list of HIV testing centers in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

Our 2017 Annual Report

We are happy to report that 2017 was our most impactful year to date. We would like to invite you to read about our successes, challenges and exciting developments in this year’s Annual Report.

Roots of Health Wins a With and For Girls Award

Roots of Health is honored to receive a With and For Girls Award for our work improving access to reproductive health services and education for young people.

2016 Annual Report

2016 was the year we significantly scaled-up our clinical services by conducting missions all over Palawan. We tripled the number of women that we reached in 2015. We also made a fundamental change to the Youth Advocate Program. Instead of only working with young people in our ten communities, we opened it up and now work with youth all over Puerto Princesa. The impact has been immediate and future looks promising.

When Parental Consent Does Children Harm

Children as young as 12 can legally have sex. Until they are 18 if they want to access HIV testing or contraceptives they need to get parental consent. This issue recently came to a head when two boys asked us for help with STI symptoms.

Department of Health Partnership

Roots of Health, recently began a partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippines Center for Population and Development (PCPD) to try to improve access to contraceptives in Palawan.

Filipino Charity Wins International Award for Outstanding Work

Filipino charity Roots of Health, recognised for its work providing pregnancy-related services and raising awareness of reproductive health rights and family planning, is one of 23 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) worldwide to receive a 2016 Stars Impact Award.

Community Health Advocate Hero

Palawan continues to battle maternal mortality – preventable deaths caused by complications of pregnancy and childbirth. We’ve trained our Community Health Advocates in recognizing warning signs of any danger during pregnancy and immediately after.

2016 Annual Report

2016 was the year we significantly scaled-up our clinical services by conducting missions all over Palawan. We tripled the number of women that we reached in 2015. We also made a fundamental change to the Youth Advocate Program. Instead of only working with young people in our ten communities, we opened it up and now work with youth all over Puerto Princesa. The impact has been immediate and future looks […]

Looking Back at 2016

This has been our biggest and most impactful year yet – and we couldn’t have done our work without your generous support. Thank you for being a part of our journey in 2016.

President Duterte: Fully Implement the Reproductive Health Law

We have passed the 100 day mark in his presidency, but to date President Duterte has not moved forward on his promise to support this Law. Women are waiting.

What They Aren’t Telling You About Zika

Zika only effects pregnant women and their babies. So Why not women about the health risks they potentially face and provide them the means to prevent pregnancy?

2015 Annual Report

It was a year of major scaling of our programming in order to reach more women and young people not only in Puerto Princesa City, but in the whole province of Palawan. Our High School Team taught over 16,000 students from Narra to Roxas and our Clinical Team traveled almost to Malaysia to deliver reproductive health services.

Raised Pinay – A Benefit Performance

Raised Pinay (Raised Filipino Woman) is a benefit show on March 31 at the Philippine Consulate of New York and April 2 at NYU’s Palladium Hall. This original activist theater piece featuring an all-pinay cast who will share their own stories of being raised as a Filipina.

Palawan’s HIV Problem

The Philippines now has 11 cities with an HIV infection rate greater than 5%. Puerto Princesa is one of these cities. Find out how we can slow this down and avoid a health crisis in Palawan.

Roots of Health: What We’re All About

Roots of Health reaches over 16,000 girls and women with our holistic approach to women’s health, which includes sex education, clinical services, community-based health support and life skills training.

Buntis in Balabac

This October Roots of Health began a partnership with the Philippine Navy to provide services to remote island communities. For the first mission we traveled to Balabac, an island off the southern tip of Palawan. The mission was physically grueling but well worth it as we have changed the lives of many women there.

2014 Annual Report

Although 2014 was a busy year filled with growth, we are continually striving to reach more women and young people. Together with our New York Board of Directors and Philippines-based Advisory Committee, we have been envisioning the future of the organization and how we can grow sustainably.

How Do Palawan Teenagers Prevent Pregnancy? By Jumping Up and Down of Course!

Does jumping up and down after sex prevent pregnancy? A shocking 83% of more than 1,000 young people recently taught reproductive health education in Puerto Princesa City said yes.

Why Are Filipinos So Short

This week, Save the Children released a new report suggesting that Filipino ‘shortness’ isn’t just a natural genetic trait of Filipinos, but rather is due to generations of maternal and child malnutrition. Undernourished mothers give birth to undernourished children.

Reaching Out Over Radio

How do you reach young people in geographically isolated areas? This was the problem Roots of Health faced before starting a radio show to give adolescents the information they need to make informed decisions.


Ugat ng Kalusugan is seeking a Financial Literacy teacher to work in our community and high school outreach programming.

What It’s Like to Work with Committed Funders

We couldn’t do the work that we do without the support of individuals and organizations around the world that share the same values that we do. When funders make the effort to visit Palawan and talk with our staff and the people we serve, it means a lot to all of us.

Going Big – High School Programming Reaches to Napsan

Go big or go home is an oft-repeated mantra. 2015 is the year that our high school programming is going big. After reaching all the public high schools within Puerto Princesa City last year, we have committed to reaching more young people in rural areas.

We Wish You a BEAR-y Happy Holiday Season!

Roots of Health is proud to announce a partnership with Elements Fine Furnishing Fabrics, Gifts & Graces, and Natalya Lagdameo. Part of the proceeds for all Pyke and Tana bears sold will be donated to Roots of Health to support our reproductive health work in Palawan.

It’s Your Life; It’s Your Future!

World Contraception Day focuses on empowering young people to think ahead and build contraception into their future plans, to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Living With Loss and Moving Forward

Recently an 11 year-old girl was sexually assaulted and murdered in Aplaya, one of the communities we work in. We talked with the teenagers about it help them to deal with their emotions after such a shocking event.

July Update

One of the real highlights of the month was the visit of New York Board Member Justine Fonte. She spent a little more than a week with us early in the month, working with all programs and all staff, getting to know what we were doing, what challenges we were meeting, and helping us plan new ways of teaching reproductive health to young people. She was especially inspiring, I think, […]

My skin is crawling! (“Nangingilabot ako!”)

We’ve gone ahead and introduced our next project, vermicomposting to some of the women in our communities. After the initial horror, excitement took over and we have orders. Help us make this project a reality!

Hellos and Goodbye (June Update)

We’re experiencing mixed emotions this June. We’re lucky enough to have two smart, highly skilled new interns, but sadly have to say goodbye to one of our nurses.

May the Rains Come in May

Greetings from sweltering Palawan!! This has been a long hard summer and we have begun to hope for rain and a little cooling in earnest, gazing wistfully at dark clouds over the mountains that somehow don’t quite make it to the city! But this has been our busiest summer ever, and May has been a month of tying things up. Our Financial Literacy (FinLit) team graduated one group in Magsasaka, […]

2013 Annual Report

Roots of Health continues to grow, with 2013 marking our fourth year of operations. During the year, we continued our health education and delivery of clinical services in our six community sites, and we also began a Financial Literacy Program. These new classes aim to help our community clients break out of poverty by teaching them skills to better manage their resources. We also intensified teaching efforts in local high […]

In Service of the Filipina – Ami Featured in Expat Magazine

More than anything, however, Ami is an inspired individual who only wishes other Filipinas could feel the same way. Celebrated as a woman and surrounded by equally amazing women during her undergrad studies at Wellesley College, she realized she could do and be whatever she wanted.

Ami Featured as One of Women’s Health’s “High Five” Women

Why would an Ivy-League educated mestiza be working at grassroots level in the heart of Palawan? Ami says helping others is her true calling.

The Difference We Made in 2013

2013 was a year of growth for the organization and we’re thrilled with the impact we’ve had on the lives of women and young people.

September: The Start of the Financial Literacy Sessions

September was a very busy month, as we got back into community work full scale. A second round of women’s reproductive health classes in two communities, Aplaya and Magsasaka and the start of the Financial Literacy sessions in Little Tondo. We also intensified our Community Health Advocate and Student Health Advocate programs in colleges and communities.

Students Want to Know More About: Masturbation, Homosexuality and a Culture of Contradiction

“This is really something — the kids never get the opportunity to ask questions like these.” A teacher leaned over and whispered to me.

Dr. Margie Holmes Comes to Palawan

We invited renowned sex psychologist, Dr. Margie Holmes to come to Palawan to work with students to talk about their concerns and develop a reproductive health curriculum.

2012 Annual Report

When you make a donation to Roots of Health, you’re not just supporting the organization. You’re also supporting hundreds of women and young people in Palawan who benefit directly from our programming. To see what kind of impact we’ve made, please read our 2012 Annual Report.

July Update: Visitors, Volunteers and Cooking Classes

July was a very interesting and busy month for Roots of Health. Our Board of Directors held successful events in New York, and the month was full of happy welcomes to guests, visitors, and volunteers here in Palawan.

Play for a Cause

Last week Hong Kong Development Committee members participated in a bartending competition at Play nightclub on our behalf. It was a great turnout for all us and the two other charities involved, with old acquaintances and new friends of Roots of Health coming together to drink for a good cause.

Voter Education: Notes from the Field

“I don’t have a right to vote.” I stood in the hot, meeting area in Aplaya, our community by the sea, in the middle of an education seminar, surrounded by 30 women and a few men and stared in disbelief.

How To Save a Life

When our midwife was alerted to an issue with a newborn’s cord, she soon discovered that it was not the newborn that was in need to critical medical attention, but the mother.

RH Bill Voting: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Reproductive Health Bill that has been languishing in the House of Representatives for the last 15 years has finally been voted on!

Student Health Advocates Challenge Stereotypes

Young people are more comfortable talking with their peers than adult, especially when it comes to sex. That is why a peer support system is so important in Palawan where teen pregnancy rates are high and reproductive health knowledge is low.

Roots of Health in Cosmo Philippines!

Ami Evangelista Swanepoel is Cosmo Philippines’ “Fun, Fearless Female” for the month of October. The “RH Freedom Fighter” is being featured for her work with Roots of Health and her advocacy for the Reproductive Health Bill.

Planting Seeds for Tomorrow (Town and Country Article)

We are featured in the October issue of Town and Country! Love that the article focuses on our first client, Lyn-Lyn Paliza becoming our Assistant Director.

Roots of Health Featured on Catapult

Roots of Health will be featured on Catapult, the first online funding platform dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women worldwide. Roots of Health’s work is being highlighted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Family Health Division Director.

Teaching Versus Preaching

“Teach abstinence”, said the rather quiet man in the back of the crowded classroom. “Teach abstinence and don’t even let students know about contraception – knowing will just encourage promiscuity!”

Population Dictators: Is the RH Bill Really About Population Control?

Who controls the population of the Philippines? Should government officials or individual Filipinos choose the ideal family size?

2011 Annual Report

The Roots of Health Annual Report for 2011 details all of our priorities, programs, financial summaries and impact of our work.

Why Our Work Matters [video]

We believe that providing women and girls with information and access to family planning methods allows them to secure a sustainable future for themselves and their families. Watch this short video to see the impact of our efforts.

Unheard Voices: What Do Filipino Mothers Think About the RH Bill?

We asked some of Palawan’s underserved and lower-income women why the RH Bill is important to them. We wanted their opinions included in the debates since they will be directly impacted by the passage of the Bill.

Sotto Unwittingly Gathered Maternal Mortality Data Equivalent to 18 Deaths Per Day

Senator Tito Sotto tried to debunk the data that 11 maternal deaths occur daily, but ended up reinforcing the same with figures gathered by his own staff. Here’s what he said at the Senate1: The proponents of the bill are saying that 11 Filipino women die every day when they talked about maternal mortality. They have not, however, supported this claim with accurate and consistent data. Kung tutuusin sa pinagawa […]

Groups Supporting the RH Bill

Curious as to just how many groups support the RH Bill? From government and health groups to religious and business groups, almost everyone can see the benefit of a bill that helps poor women.

A UP Freshman’s Letter to the Government (and the Filipino People)

A University of the Philippines freshman student makes all the debates and drama surrounding the Reproductive Health Bill moot. It’s really all about empathy for the Filipinas who are dying every day and urgency to make these avoidable deaths stop.

Where Roots Grow Deep – Asia Society 21 Fellows Visit Palawan

In May this year, the Asia 21 Fellows Class of 2011 visited Roots of Health – winners of the Asia Society 2011 PSA award – at their facility in the Philippines. From strategic planning and meeting rural community members to discussions on outreach… the trip was an inspiring one

Women’s Health Interview – Reproductive Health Activist Ami Evangelista Swanepoel

“I’ll never forget meeting women who said they only wanted two or three children, but had gone through seven or eight pregnancies.”

Ami Featured in Celebrity Living for her Maternal Health Work!

Ami was recently interviewed by Celebrity Living regarding maternal health in Palawan, her family and the RH Bill. Here’s what she had to say.

How to Make a Vertical Garden

Recently a lot of people have been asking us how we make our Vertical Gardens. So we’ve added the photos with some instructions for everyone to see, make, experiment and improve.

Film Makers and Flat Stomachs

We recently hosted photographer/film-maker, Peter Carney, who travelled to Puerto Princesa to document our work. The resulting interviews highlighted the need for family planning and “flat stomachs”. If women want them.

Renewed Support from Barclays Capital

Barclays Capital renews its commitment to funding work that improves women’s and children’s health and rights in the Philippines.

From Puerto Princesa to New Delhi

Susan and Ami recently travelled to India to attend the the Asia Society Young Leaders Summit and accept the Asia 21 Public Service Award.

Order your Christmas Video Card Today

This Holiday Season, celebrate your loved ones by making a gift in their name to support women’s and children’s health!

Filipino Reproductive Health Organization Wins Prestigious Asia Society Award

Roots of Health, a nonprofit organization working to improve the health of women and girls and their communities, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Public Service Award.

Ami to Represent the Philippines at Asia Society Young Leaders Summit

Amina Evangelista Swanepoel, founding Executive Director of Roots of Health, has been named among the 150 next generation leaders from 30 countries in the Asia Pacific region who will participate in the Asia Society’s sixth annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit.

It’s Okay to Beat Her, She’s My Wife!

An incident of abuse forces Marcus to examine the debate about reproductive health in terms of control and ownership of women and their reproductive and sexual lives.

A Healthy Start: ROH Nurses Now Deliver Babies As Well

You have to respect a woman who gives birth in a hut, far from a medical facility. Even more so when she does so with a smile. Roots of Health nurses and Lyn-Lyn were able to ensure that at least qualified medical personal were on hand.

Medical Experts’ Declaration on the Action of Contraceptives

If you have heard any of the RH Bill debates you’ll have heard many contradictory arguments. The University of the Philippines recently brought together experts from a range of fields to debate the subjects of cancer, conception and contraceptives. Here are there findings.

Buy Your Tickets for the September Social in NYC!

The Roots of Health Board of Directors is pleased to invite you to the third annual Roots of Health Social. Please join us as we celebrate the completion of two years of work in the Philippines. This year, Roots of Health co-founders Amina Evangelista Swanepoel and Marcus Swanepoel will be in New York to join the festivities. Buy your tickets now!

2010 Annual Report

We have redesigned our Annual Report. We’ve included more photographs and information. We hope that you enjoy reading about our work as much as we enjoyed doing it.

What a Child Needs

What does it take to really make a difference in a child’s life? The list is long, but one thing that the Roots of Health teachers have discovered is that personal attention and encouragement go a long, long way.

Working With the Community to Foster Deep Roots of Health

Roots of Health was recently visited by Molly Theobald, a former researcher for Nourishing the Planet. She was so impressed by the Vertical Gardens at Little Tondo that she decided to write about it. Here’s why…

Is Sex Really That Bad?

Ami tags along to watch a sexual health seminar at PSU and is shocked by some of the questions students asked. “Is sex really that bad?”

Under the Radar: HIV in the Philippines

Roots of Health nurse, Josylyn Gulane shares the current state of HIV in the Philippines and what Filipinos should be doing to prevent an epidemic.

Risky Behavior

Brown University health researcher, Margeaux Berroth conducted a two-month intensive assessment of the health needs of the students of Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa. She found that many young people are having sex against the wishes of a church, family or other affiliated community, and that many are engaging in unprotected sex.

A Story to Tell

Shirene recounts the inspiring Storytelling Workshop with Gcina Mhlophe-Becker at Museo Pambata and how it has affected her in her work in Palawan as a ROH teacher.

Appreciation Shows

How did you celebrate International Women’s Day? Marcus steps back and takes a look at what we do for women and how we celebrated the ladies of our community.

Reproductive Health Issues in Palawan

Lyn-Lyn attended a Maternal Health Seminar and discovered some disturbing information about the health of mothers in Palawan. She wasn’t the only one.

Go To the People

Martha Dewees, a social worker, professor and Roots of Health Board member examines our sites from a different perspective.

Roots of Health in 2011

2011 has gotten off to a great start for Roots of Health and we are all very excited about our plans for the coming year.

Surveying Little Tondo

It’s been a year since the last time that Ugat ng Kalusugan staff did a needs assessment in various areas in Puerto Princesa in order to find the next location where Ugat ng Kalusugan / Roots of Health can extend its helping hand.

ROH Branches Out

Many of the issues that communities face are more than we are equipped to deal with. We have been fortunate to have formed many positive partnerships with other organizations that have stepped in to help.

Students: 1, Rain: 0

Shirene recounts how eager to learn the students of Pulang Lupa are, they come to class rain or shine.

Investment Bank Awards 1.38 million Pesos to Promote Healthy Women and Children in Rural Philippines

Thank you, Barclays Capital Charitable Donations Committee.

“Stop Global Warming. Wear a Condom.”

Marcus examines the link between overpopulation and maternal health here in the Philippines.

Bright Lights, Big City

Ugat ng Kalusugan Program Associate Manager, Lyn-Lyn recently attended the Women Deliver Conference, the MDG awards ceremony and still found time to meet with some influential people. All on her first trip to Manila.

Imagination Sparked? Check!

As a teacher, you can’t teach imagination. You just have to set the scene and hope for the best. Roots of Health teacher, Evetha was lucky enough to witness the spark that happens when children create their own worlds.

“And Then, Something Happened…”

Students at Palawan Sate University seem to get pregnant with alarming regularity. Susan examines the possible causes for this and what Roots of Health is doing to help.

Community Nursing 101

For a nurse, moving from a hospital to a community setting can take a bit of adjustment. Josh Gulane, the Roots of Health nurse writes about her experiences and conclusions regarding the matter.

Accountability Held Hostage

The Manila Hostage Crisis only highlighted the lack of accountability in government. And more than the eight hostages, it affects almost every one of the 98 million Filipinos who need the RH Bill passed.

From Recipe to Reality: How to Cook for 100 People

Cooking for one hundred people is no easy task. Rhealyn explains how we do it.

Why Reproductive Health Doesn’t Equate to Abortion

Roots of Health weighs in on the Reproductive Health debate that is raging in the Philippines.

Roots of Health Featured in “Smile” Magazine

Roots of Health (Ugat ng Kalusugan) has been featured in the August edition of Smile Magazine, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air. The article, by Katherine Jack, is about the ‘Brain Gain’, Filipinos who are returning to their homeland to make a difference.

New Developments in Maternal and Child Health Programming

Susan Evangelista describes the modifications that have been made to the Child and Maternal Health Programs in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

See the Forest, Miss the Trees

In Puerto Princesa, environmetal awareness is widespread. Nurturing the youth is not. Education Program Associate, Evetha Fem Gaton examines what Roots of Health is doing at Pulang Lupa to prepare the children for life.

Lucky in Life

Roots of Health nurse Josylyn Gulane recounts some of her experiences at Pulang Lupa during her first two months.

Delving into Health and Human Rights at PSU

A Roots of Health volunteer, Margeaux Berroth writes about her experiences with the students and staff at Palawan State University while conducting research into the health concerns of the students.

The Ripple Effect

Susan Evangelista has ‘wow’ moment during a Board of Directors meeting and thinks about how the idea of Roots of Health has rippled across the globe.

Becoming a Maternal Health Worker

Roots of Health turns one and Rhealyn Paliza describes her journey as a maternal health worker here in Palawan.

The Evolution of Education

The Roots of Health educational sessions for children has been adapted to fit the needs of the children in Pulang Lupa.

Maternal Health in May

Ami Evangelista Swanepoel looks back at what Roots of Health has accomplished in it’s first year of operation.

First Impressions

Alex Secora describes his interactions with the community of Pulang Lupa. Alex accompanied Roots of Health in a volunteer capacity.


Ami Swanepoel celebrates her birthday at Pulang Lupa with the community that Roots of Health has been working with for the past 5 months.

Vertical Gardening Takes Off

Roots of Health erects vertical gardens in the Philippines to empower women to eat healthy food.

Zooming in on Maternal Health

Keefe Murren, a documentary filmmaker came to Palawan to film Roots of Health in action.

But Teach a Man to Fish

Susan Evangelista writes on the balance between delivering much-needed services and the question of long-term sustainability in Pulang Lupa.

Flipping Your Uterus and Other Ways to Prevent Pregnancy

Myths about sexually transmitted diseases that Roots of Health has encountered during our work in Pulang Lupa.

Roots of Health and Me

Sara Evangelista, Ami’s sister shares her personal experience being on the Roots of Health Advisory Committee.

A Lesson in Destiny

A blog describing how our program assistant, Rhealyn Paliza is employing the skills she learned as a teacher here in Palawan.

Going Vertical

Roots of Health does some training in making vertical farms to promote food security among the residents of Pulang Lupa, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Does a Body Good

“Finish your milk, Rachel.” Growing up I heard this refrain thousands of times from my mother. Her urgings usually came at the end of my meal after I had cleaned my plate and was trying my best to ignore the glass of untouched milk before me. But my mother was persistent: “Milk is good for you, Rachel. It will help you grow up big and strong.” I, however, could not […]

Starting the Sessions

Ugat ng Kalusugan has officially begun its Maternal Health Program in Puerto Princesa. Ami describes the first sessions with the mothers.

Life Happens

Lyn-Lyn, the Ugat ng Kalusugan Associate Program Manager writes about her unplanned pregnancy and how the experience shapes her work with mothers in Puerto Princesa.

Planting the Seed

A Roots of Health blog entry by Susan Evangelista, the president describing how the organization came into being.

Health Risks and History of Pulang Lupa

Palawan is a province of immigrants. Every day people arrived from other parts of the Philippines looking for a fresh start in a pristine environment. Not all are so lucky. For the residents of Pulang Lupa, a pristine environment is more than a hop, skip and a jump away. The area they live in is an ex-mercury mine and their closest neighbor is the city landfill. Residents here are far […]

Ugat ng Kalusugan in December

As with every month since we started working in the Philippines, December was another very busy month for Ugat ng Kalusugan! I started off the month with 3 days of back to back to back meetings in Manila with other organizations focused on maternal and child health and reproductive health. The people I met with were incredibly helpful and I am so thankful for their generosity in sharing their time […]

Pulang Lupa

November has been a busy and important month for Roots of Health. Since my last blog update, we completed our needs assessment. In analyzing the data as well as our general observations from being in the communities, we have decided to begin our programs and service delivery in a community in Santa Lourdes called “Pulang Lupa” (meaning “red earth”) which is a part of Purok Matahimik. It is the community […]

“I’d like to give birth in a hospital but I don’t have the money to pay for it. So I give birth at home.”

Surveys in Purok Matahimik Earlier this week we returned to an area in Santa Lourdes called Purok Matahimik which means “quiet place”, also known as “Pulang Lupa” or red earth because of the color of the soil, and is also simply known as “Dumpsite” because of the community’s proximity to the Puerto Princesa landfill. This community is a top runner for where we might begin our services as it is […]

“We go to the doctor when we have money”

Last week, Ugat ng Kalusugan returned to Barangay Bagong Silang to carry out a mini-survey among Badjao families. Like our first survey in Bagong Silang, our purposes for carrying out another survey were two-fold: we wanted to test out our community health survey, and we wanted to get more information on one purok (area) of Bagong Silang because it is a possible site for our work. View photos of Badjao […]

“Life is very hard when you have too many children.”

Yesterday Ugat ng Kalusugan carried out a mini-survey in Barangay Bagong Silang. Our purposes were two-fold: we wanted to test out our community health survey, and we wanted to get more information on one purok (area) of Bagong Silang because it is a possible site for our work. Bagong Silang is a sea-front community with around 5,000 people – a third of whom are Cuyunon (a native group in Palawan), […]

Myth and Misinformation at PSU

One of the primary goals of Roots of Health is to provide educational outreach about reproductive health to women and girls. Once we begin our direct service, we will be working with underserved communities and withparticipants who have likely not had any formal education since grade school. We are currently still creating and tweaking our materials, so when we were invited to teach a two-day seminar at Palawan State University […]

What is Roots of Health? Watch our Movie and Find Out

Check out the short movie by filmmaker Keefe Murren, explaining our community health work with women and children in Palawan, Philippines. You won’t be disappointed.

So What’s a Village Health Class Like?

Susan went along with Ami, Lyn Lyn and Jane last Wednesday to observe the afternoon reproductive health class. She was mostly there just to see a session fist hand, but was roped in for one of the charade activities.

About Us

Roots of Health empowers women and girls to secure their right to health and freedom from violence, and to support and protect the health and well-being of their children. We conduct educational workshops and provide health counseling and services as well as nutritional support.

Unprotected: Health Issues at PSU

Brown University health researcher, Margeaux Berroth conducted a two-month intensive assessment of the health needs of the students of Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa. She found that many young people are having sex against the wishes of a church, family or other affiliated community, and that many are engaging in unprotected sex.

Roots of Health on the RH Bill

Ami recently answered some questions about the controversial Reproductive Health Bill for Meg Magazine. Read what she had to say.

Working at Roots of Health

On top of enjoying government-mandated benefits such as PhilHealth, SSS, and Pag-Ibig, our full-time staff are entitled to vacation leaves, sick leaves, 5 days paid leave for Holy Week, and 10 days paid leave between Christmas and New Year.

In light of changes due to COVID-19, we have adopted a hybrid, flexible working arrangement. Although our office and clinics are located in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, majority of our staff have the flexibility to work remotely whenever possible.

Our Core Values

At Roots of Health, we continuously strive for a work environment that allows each individual to thrive, in line with our core values of adaptability, teamwork, empowerment, commitment, respect, and openness.


Join the team!