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These laudable institutions are paving the way for a brighter and more hopeful future

Dream Big Pilipinas

To “dream big” seems to be a tall order for children living at a disadvantage. For many of them, their sense of childhood wonder is easily replaced with grown-up disillusionment. Dream Big Pilipinas, a local organisation founded by Gen T honouree, Miguel Bermundo, aims to make a change.

Using a multi-pronged approach, Dream Big Pilipinas keeps underprivileged children off the streets and in the classrooms. One of its main thrusts is to teach boys and girls numeracy and literacy. It rallies against child labour and raises funds for scholarships in private high schools and universities.

A distinct approach in Dream Big Pilipinas’ advocacy is its use of sports. Football, a key component in the organisation’s programme, aims to instil a sense of purpose, grit and discipline into the children. Bermundo, a licensed football coach,  believes that the integration of both academic and athletic components make for a holistic development. Three of its scholars have already played in international tournaments; many have already secured athletic and academic scholarships.

By fostering a personal relationship with both parents and their children, Dream Big Pilipinas helps its beneficiaries stay in school and keep their grades up—one book or ball at a time.

dreambigpilipinas.wordpress.com

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GreenEarth Heritage Foundation

It’s not unusual to feel powerless in the face of a global pandemic. While some of us remain safe and sheltered at home, many of our countrymen are struggling to survive. During times like these, it can be easy to turn to cynicism. Can one action even matter? For GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, the answer is yes.

A Christian humanitarian organisation addressing the holistic needs of rural poor communities, GreenEarth focuses on a variety of instruments for social change. Its reforestation programme, sustainable livelihood in organic farming and “Live, Hope, Dream” educational initiative that has brought a farmer’s child to Harvard, are the key pillars to its holistic approach.

Essentially an eco-farming community, GreenEarth is situated on a once-denuded land spanning 107 hectares on the northwestern foot of the Sierra Madre mountains. The rich bucolic sloping terrain now teems with life and has become a beacon of hope, a rapidly transforming land that helps the organisation continue to transform lives.

This season, GreenEarth offers a gift of hope and of health and wellness with their premium flagship products—internationally certified-organic moringa tea and powder. These items are sold in over  60 stores and via online platforms such as Beauty Scout, Lazada, MVP Selections, Shopee and Wholesome Grocer as well as their very own foundation’s website. Purchasing their organic moringa tea and powder— loaded with over 90 nutrients and 40 different types of antioxidants—will not only boost one’s immune system but support their farmers along with their families during these most difficult times.

greenearthheritage.org

Ang Misyon

Even the best of prodigies need some help to achieve their dreams. Ang Misyon, a local organisation that aims to spark social change through orchestral music, is doing its best to mentor the next generation of talented musicians.

Ang Misyon was first founded in 2012 by Eugenio Lopez III, Federico R Lopez and internationally-renowned concert pianist Jovianney Emmanual Cruz. Through almost ten years of service, Ang Misyon has nurtured the musical talents of less-privileged youth through programmes and performances. While the transformative power of orchestral music may not be as popular as other mainstream genres, it cannot be denied that the organisation has touched the lives of their young performers, all of whom were handpicked from underprivileged families around the country. These children were given the opportunity to perform at local and international concerts. They were also given instrument support and mentoring by gifted teachers and trainers.

By helping talented individuals find alternative career paths in the field of classical music, Ang Misyon has also been proactively helping to enhance the country’s cultural identity in music.

angmisyon.org

CARA

Animals are at the heart of the CARA Welfare advocacy. The name, which stands for Compassion and Responsibility for Animals, is a byword among animal activists and pet lovers. Founded in 2000, CARA Welfare is one of the most popular animal shelters in Metro Manila. It is known for a variety of excellent programmes including adoption services, spaying and neutering.

As a non-profit and non-government organisation, CARA relies heavily on the kind hearts of fellow animal lovers. It offers many ways to get involved. People are welcome to send in private donations or make time with the lovely animals. You may adopt, sponsor or foster a pet or volunteer in any of CARA’s workshops, events or home visits.

One of CARA’s notable initiatives is the Save The Laguna Pit Bulls. Often misunderstood, these canines are almost always rescued from dog-fighting syndicates. They are then rehabilitated, taken care of and found homes for by CARA representatives. Volunteers and donations are also welcomed by the Save The Laguna Pit Bulls team.

caraphil.org / helpsavethepitbulls.com

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Tanging Yaman Foundation

The Tanging Yaman Foundation can find its roots in the music of Fr Manuel “Manoling” Francisco, SJ. A musically talented priest, Fr Francisco annually stages Tanging Yaman: Himig at Pananalig concerts to raise funds for beneficiaries that include the Ifugao Scholarship Fund, the Alagad ni Maria Youth Center in Infanta and the Quezonians Home for the Aged.

Today, Tanging Yaman Foundation has added to its functions that of becoming a conduit foundation that “helps Filipinos help other Filipinos”. The organisation channels resources to worthy causes, some of which have championed education for the youth, cultural enrichment and the safeguarding of the environment.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tanging Yaman Foundation managed to raise over Php126 million. With the funds, volunteers and representatives distributed 165,000 food packs, mostly to poor urban communities and jeepney drivers associations within and outside Metro Manila. Personal protective equipment and hot meals were also sent to healthcare workers in around 217 hospitals and health clinics all over the country. Tanging Yaman also distributed 509 tons of assorted vegetables from Central and Northern Luzon and 1,027 tons of rice from Tarlac, Bulacan and Isabela to urban poor parishes and communities. Other initiatives include assistance for shelters for the homeless and for healthcare workers.

tangingyaman.org

Kythe

To be diagnosed with a terminal illness is nothing less than devastating. Kythe, a non-profit, non-stock organisation founded in 1992, understands this and have made it a mission to support children with leukemia fight for their life, or at least ease their journey.

Cancer comes with an onslaught of treatments, hospital stays and medical specialists fees—all of which create a huge financial burden for most families in a developing country such as the Philippines. Kythe, whose motto is to “inspire hope”, partners with hospitals, donors and volunteers to promote healing and growth for hospitalised children battling cancer or other chronic illnesses.

Through programmes that aim to raise funds for the treatment of patients and the education of survivors, Kythe continues to channel a message of hope. As the pandemic continues to unfold, those interested may help Kythe purchase hospital safety kits or personal activity kits. Both resources will help Kythe kids stay safe and or cope with the repercussions of the ongoing crisis.

kythe.org

Kalipay Negrense

It’s no secret that children are among the most vulnerable of age groups when it comes to abuse. It’s a sad reality, but many disadvantaged youth have faced (and continue to face) the realities of homelessness, abuse, abandonment, neglect and malnourishment.

Kalipay Negrense, a Bacolod- based non-profit, has built a foundation that aims to break this cycle of hopelessness. Their founder, Anna Balcells, says: “We strongly believe that children have the right to develop themselves to the fullest, to be protected and to grow in a fun and loving environment.”

Through their communities, Kalipay Negrense aims to dismantle the succession of poverty and family dysfunction that so often bog down the lives of disadvantaged children. Through their two homes—the Recovered Treasures Home and Haven Home—Kalipay Negrense provides indigent or abused youth with food, shelter and clothing, as well as medicine, education and therapy.

Haven Home is where infants and toddlers are sheltered and kept safe. Children aged six and above are housed at the Recovered Treasures Home where they attend school at the Kalipay Learning Centre. A committed team of home parents, social workers, teachers, psychologists, nurse and support staff all work together to ensure that each child is nurtured and cared for at the Kalipay property.

kalipay.org

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