A Vision for the World – Empowered lives through Education

At World Vision, we dream and strive for a country where every child lives a life full of hope and love, where they are well-nourished and cared for, where they are safe, educated and empowered. In being one for children, we will work as one with various stakeholders for their future where children grow up to be healthy, educated and spiritually nourished so that they will have a greater chance to fulfill their dreams of a better future.

Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director – World Vision Philippines

World Vision is one of the largest international development organizations focused on the holistic development of children and families – from education, livelihood and healthcare. In the Philippines, World Vision is well known for their education program, supporting children to go to school.

While education in public schools is free, parents oftentimes struggle in sustaining the attendance of their children and completion of their schooling especially those that are most vulnerable. Families that have five or six children are sometimes forced to have their children take turns every year in attending school. A number of these children also get involved in the family’s farm or small enterprise which can adversely affect their schooling.

Rommel Fuerte on how the monthly education support is allocated

The monthly donation of a child sponsor fuels World Vision’s work for children in vulnerable communities which are designated to the child’s education, health and nutrition. Parents are also equipped on how to provide for the basic needs of their children – physcially and psycho-emotionally. Depending on the specific needs of the community, World Vision injects other interventions as they determine how long they would need to stay in a community. With this, World Vision is able to train families on Community Managed Savings and Credit Association (CoMSCA) and livelihood – strengthening life skills for community workers, providing materials and facilities for after-school catch-up sessions, handwashing/WASH facilities in school, and preparing communities on disaster risk reduction and management.

World Vision former sponsored child Arnel Alipao not only lives out his dream as an electrical engineer, he has also given back to his community by opening a review center for aspiring local electricians and by starting his own foundation AIDUCATION to assist poor children in Surigao.

In his own words – Arnel Alipao

World Vision changed the world for me and my vision in life. When asked about what moment in my childhood life I consider colorful and memorable, without thinking twice, it’s “WHEN I BECAME A SPONSORED CHILD OF WORLD VISION.” Indeed, World Vision has transformed so many lives of poor children. But, let me share you how World Vision has totally changed my life.

On my third grade, World Vision came to our community in partnership with Surigao Norte People’s Initiative Development Association (SNPIDA) and I gladly became a part of their child sponsorship program. With World Vision, schooling has been full of fun. As a kid, nothing compared to the joy I felt when I received new school supplies. It was absolutely indescribable! A poor little boy sporting brand new shoes, school uniform, and a school bag to boot. What a joy!

After high school, World Vision continued to play a significant role in developing my potentials. It helped me broaden my horizon, exposing me to a lot of trainings and conferences not just locally, but even overseas.

One of the most unforgettable experiences I had with World Vision was when as a child leader, I had the honor to represent our beloved country at United Nations (UN) General Assembly held at the UN Headquarters in New York City no less! If not because of World Vision, I doubt I would be the person that I am today. In 2011, I was listed as one of the Top 10 Most Inspiring Filipinos by the respected daily newspaper Manila Bulletin.

Today, I do not only sponsor a child, but I also co-founded an advocacy initiative with my like-minded friends and groups, which we now call AiDucation for Underprivileged Children (AFUC). During one of our outreach in a poor community, I encountered a child named Brian who was forced to work, beg for food and money, and was alienated from his family. He became seriously ill, that I was moved to help him be reunited to his mother and siblings before he eventually died. Brian’s story became a tipping point for me to continue my personal advocacy which now helps at least 30 children, teaching them basic literacy/numeracy skills and values formation.

World Vision helped changed my world and my vision in life. There’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to make a difference and be a life-changing gift for others.

Arnel Alipao, World Vision former Scholar – now an Electrical Engineer

He is a high-ranking officer of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) – a picture of distinction, confidence and discipline. As the official PCG spokesperson, you may have seen him on television warning the public on an impending danger or calming them after a tragic incident on the Philippine shores. He is Commodore Arman Balilo – a former World Vision sponsored child.

Today, Commodore Armando Balilo, a public servant and an inspiration to his loved ones and former poor community, is blessed with a loving wife and two beautiful daughters. He also served as board member of World Vision and currently sponsors children through World Vision.

His story – Armando Balilo

Arman grew up in the slums of Caloocan City, where poverty and misery was the norm. Everyday after school, he would sell rice cakes to help put food on the table. On other days, he would sell quail eggs and newspapers near the local high school. “Pag di pa kasya yung kinita ko para makakain kaming pamilya, maghahanap pa ako ng scrap gaya ng bote at metal para maibenta ko, pandagdag sa kita,” Arman shares with World Vision.

Arman also recalled the days he would go to Sunday School, “I would attend class shirtless, my face laced with mud. But one day, during what probably was the darkest time in my life, I came across World Vision. Nilapitan ako ng isang WV project staff, inimbita niya kami ng mother ko to know what World Vision is all about, what it can do to help me and my family. I eventually joined the WV Child Sponsorship Program and to make a long story short, it changed my life.”

Suddenly he had opportunity. But Arman knew it wouldn’t be easy. He had to walk some 10 kilometers to and from his high school. Every single day. “Getting to school was the least of my concerns. While my classmates never had to worry, I couldn’t even afford to buy a single piece of bond paper or find a working typewriter for school projects.”

In college, as his friends partied and splurged on fun and food, Arman had to do with bread and instant noodles during lunch breaks. Instead of giving up, it made Arman even more determined to keep his grades up and earn a college degree. He knew that education was his ticket to a better life.

Their stories are just two of the millions that World Vision has helped and continues to help. Apart from their social development interventions, World Vision attributes the sustainability of their program of empowering lives to values formation anchored on Christian principles.

To support and strengthen children’s developmental assets and life skills, World Vision implements Life Skills Education and Spiritual Nurture Initiatives by organizing children in age cohorts to link them with other children while developing their core competencies such as positive identity of self, interpersonal relationships which are essential to success in education and in leading productive and fulfilling lives.

Rommel Fuerte, on spiritual development as the foundation for sustainable change

They also work alongside key stakeholders to equip community partners such parents, caregivers, schools, church leaders and LGU officials on practices that support the life skills development of children. To ensure long-term program sustainability, World Vision partners with key government agencies such as the Department of Education and Department of Social Welfare and Development to support their programs and integrate project initiatives in their youth development interventions.

In terms of health, we envision a future where children 0 to 5 years old have overcome malnutrition and grow up to be well-nourished. To do this, we want to improve – child care practices, access to nutritious food, sanitation and hygiene pracctices and health facilities. In education, we envision a future where children ages 6 to 17 year old have surpassed their poor school performance and improved their learning outcomes. We want to support children so they can complete formal and non-formal learning programs, and strengthen community mechanisms to support children’s learning development.

Rommel Fuerte, on World Vision Philipines’ goals for their programs

World Vision Philippines is one with the whole country in helping us rise above the Covid19 pandemic. They launched a Covid19 Response helping underserved families and children cope through this socio-economic disruption as well.

Support World Vision Philippines: http://www.worldvision.org.ph | http://www.facebook.com/worldvisionph

3 comments

  1. Thank you, Koleen Davila- Palaganas of the Sustainable PH blog, for your support to the most vulnerable children, families and communities. We at World Vision Philippines hope that together, we can continue working for children so they experience life in all its fullness.

    Like

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