Posted on 7 April, 2014

In all Open Heart International projects we work with a local partner. The local partner might be a Government entity, a public hospital, or a not-for-profit hospital. Regardless of who the entity is, the project goals are custom built around their specific needs.

Here in the Philippines, our partner is Adventist Hospital Santiago City (AHSC). AHSC is a small not-for-profit mission hospital. There are about 50 in-patient beds, a number of visiting doctors, and it is set in the middle of mostly agricultural region full of avoidable blindness.

Meet Erwin and Marge, the major coordination force of our work in the Philippines. Along with their colleagues at AHSC, they are the backbone of the project, and are the reason why our project here is actually making a difference.


It is relatively easy to organise a team of 9 to travel to the Philippines, and plan out a project. Erwin and Marge though have to make it happen before we arrive, taking the on paper ideas and turning them into actions.

Between them, they’ve coordinated all the local team activities. Staffing levels, approvals from local government agencies, searching for patients and then maintaining contact, procuring our supplies, and generally looking after our team these two amazing people are the reason everything runs so well. Sure there are challenges every day, but with a smile and without getting flustered or frustrated they happily work through our needs to get the job done.

Take a bow Erwin and Marge, we couldn’t do it without you!

Tags:  Philippines,