For three years now, Rebecca “Becky” Oropilla, Administrative Officer I at NCPAG’s Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) has been organizing an “Egg Kitchen” for the benefit of children afflicted with cancer and other patients confined at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC). She does this once every month on a weekend. Together with fellow volunteers from the College, she troops to the EAMC carrying baskets full of eggs, which she serves to patients and hospital staff as a modest merienda.
The Egg Kitchen was conceived following Becky’s encounter at the hospital. While visiting a patient in the ward, she noticed a pair of patient and companion sobbing.
“I asked them what was bothering them and that is when I learned that apart from not having money to buy medicines, the two are also already starving and would be happy if they could at least have hard-boiled eggs to parry hunger,” explained Becky.
Becky shared that she was moved by what she heard but was unfortunately not carrying extra cash or food at that time to offer to the two. Thus, she resolved to return the following week to the hospital and bring hard-boiled eggs for patients and their caregivers in need.
Incidentally, it was around this time that the EAMC became home to Tahan-Tahanan, “a halfway home for the children with non-communicable diseases and their family/caregivers who come from the provinces and seek treatment in Metro Manila hospitals.” Becky thus decided to focus her limited resources on the children of Tahan-Tahanan, many of whom are being cured for cancer.
The project has since grown as more faculty and staff of the College took part in the activity as donors and volunteers. The 50 pieces of eggs that Becky first cooked and brought three years ago have grown to hundreds. Regular volunteers help serve the eggs together with additional bread or other snacks Becky manages to buy using the contributions of her friends and colleagues.
“The Egg Kitchen also saw the participation of NCPAG students and staff from other units of the University,” added Becky.