The Laura Vicuna Foundation’s (LVF) Board of Trustees (BOT) had a special BOT meeting on February 3, 2018 at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Makati City. It was a moment of reflection and enrichmment on LVF’s video documentary on LVF’s best practices. This video documentary was made possible through the consultancy award given by Stars Foundation. In 2012, LVF bested the Stars Impact Award in the field of child protection.Those who were present were the following: Mr. Francisco Dizon, Ms. Vicky Cuisia, Ms.MagSy, Ms. Josie Tan, Atty. Regis Puno, Sr. Cynthia Calabig, Sr. Aleth Evangelista, Sr Nora Hernandez, Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, Atty. Clemente and the consultant of the project, Ms. Ana Dionela.
“Build and rebuild yourselves and grow in relationships so you can build others up. You are faced with a daunting mission ahead as you empower persons, groups and communities use their own resources to resolve their problems. This mission is of God. Pray before acting on any problem. On our own, we cannot solve the complex problems our society is faced with,” Sr. Ma. Victoria P. Sta. Ana, FMA gave these Words of Challenge to the student interns of the Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) of Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias (CSAV) on its 1st Pinning Ceremony on Feb. 7, 2018 at the CSAV Integrated School Covered Court, Victorias City. Laura Vicuna Foundation, one of the partner agencies of CSAV will be accepting BSSW Interns this coming school year.
In the morning of February 12, 2018, the Laura Vicuna Women Development and Training Center represented by Sr. Mel David, FMA together with Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) had a meeting with Epson Vice- President and Human Resources people for possible partnership at DBTI. It will be a 10 month in- plant training and employment.
One hundred twenty-four (124) High School students of Macarascas National High School participated in the FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS SEMINAR WORKSHOP conducted by the Laura Vicuna Center-Palawan led by Sr. Aleth Evangelista and ten learners who acted as group facilitators. Reverend Ralph Javarez (deacon) of the San Ezexiel Moreno Parish also assisted during the session. The students were guided to discover, affirm and plan on how to actualize their dreams through the various activities, sharing and processing during the workshop. They also listened to the inputs of Rev. Ralph on God's dream for each one and man's dignity as created into God's image and likeness. Sr. Aleth discussed to the group certain pressing issues greatly affecting young people that block in following and realizing their dreams. Human trafficking, pornography, bullying, and other forms of child abuse are some concern issues that affect the young. The seminar workshop ended with a short reflection on God's beautiful plan for them and they concretely planned on how to realize their goals in the next five years of their life. The Follow Your Dream (#FYD) Seminar Workshop is a program of the Laura Vicuna Foundation. It is our concrete way of participating in the coming Synod for young people which aims to "accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity, so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realize with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with others, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and if society."
Forty (40) parents of the learners of Laura Vicuna Center Palawan attended the PRAISE Session conducted by Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA last February 11, 2018. The topics tackled were: Child Development, Children's Rights and Responsibilities, Child Abuse and Building Positive Behavior on Children. Parents enjoyed the short skits where they portrayed the different pressing issues concerning children today and on how they respond to these challenges. The session ended with their claim #WE PRAISE! (Parents Reject Abuse, Ignorance and Sexual Exploitation.) This is our participation in this year's National Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week.
One hundred ninety-seven (197) students were given advocacy sessions against child trafficking in 2 schools in Escalante namely Tamlang Elementary School (120) and Tamlang National High School (77) on February 12, 2018 by Ms. Mercedes A. Juncia. The students committed not to keep silent but to stand up and take action by reporting cases to the police, barangay, local DSWD or ask help from their teachers. Others said that if ever somebody experienced a feeling of worthlessness and being suicidal, they should be there as a peer group for support. This is another participation that we have in this year’s National Child Sexual Abuse and Awareness Week.
Hope is my Home- Best Practices of Laura Vicuna Foundation
Reflection and Enrichment Session
On the occasion of the feast of Blessed Laura Vicuna, the Sisters, staff, volunteers and children gathered at Romulo Café, Quezon City for a day of reflection and enrichment session on the best practices of LVF, dubbed as HOPE is MY HOME!. In the year 2012, Stars Foundation awarded LVF as the winner of the STARS IMPACT AWARD in the Protection Category. Along with the cash prize is a Consultancy Award which LVF utilized only now to reproduce a documentary on the best practices of LVF which eventually it will shareto other organizations working in the field of child protection and empowerment. Ms. Ana Maria Dionela and her team of researchers presented comprehensively the document and video. Everyone was very inspired and overwhelmed with the dynamism of LVF in innovating programs to respond to the plight of children in need of special protection. LVF has truly been a home for thousands of children and young people especially to those at great risk. Indeed, every child can claim, “HOPE IS MY HOME!”
FORMATION OF VICUNIANS TO THANKFULNESS AND SELF- GIVING
Life is beautiful. However, to some children as our Vicunians, life has been cruel. They have found at Laura Vicuna Center (LVC) a home and family that cares for their growth. The Sisters bring them to Jesus to heal their wounds and to count their blessings. The girls are thankful for all the graces and goodness of people of goodwill they experienced at LVC.
Heeding Pope Francis’ invitation to love in action, the Vicunians thought of giving back by:
Follow Your Dreams in Palawan
Fifty-seven (57) learners participated the Follow Your Dreams (FYD) session conducted by Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA last January 8, 2018. The boys and girls were very grateful that through the sessions, activities and inputs, they happily realized God’s dream for each one of them. Obstacles, painful past experiences and difficulties are not hindrances in making their dreams come true.
I am GREAT
Two hundred ninety-five girl students participated in the Laura Vicuna Foundation’s (LVF) seminar workshops entitled I AM GREAT (GIRLS REJECT EXPLOITATION, ABUSE AND TRAFFICKING) on January 10-16, 2018. The LVF scholars Chelsea from Manila and Joy from Negros conducted the workshops in 2 schools in Victorias City namely Don Alfonso National High School (61) on January 10 and Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias (38) on January 13. The 3 schools in Escalante City for the sessions were Escalante National High School – Washington Ext. (84) and Teofilo Amante Elementary School (59) on January 15 then Washington Elementary School (53) on January 16. The girls committed to be modest in the way they dress and not to go out late at night. They should not go out also with people they do not know and to protect themselves if they feel the early warning signs by saying No, shouting, and reporting cases.
I am BRAve
Two hundred thirteen (213) boy students participated in the Laura Vicuna Foundation’s (LVF) seminar workshops entitled I AM BRAVE (BOYS REJECT ABUSE, VIOLENCE AND EXPLOITATION) on January 10-16, 2018. The LVF scholars Aga from Manila and Ryan from Negros facilitated the workshops in 2 schools in Victorias City namely Don Alfonso National High School (29) on January 10 and Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias (24) on January 13. The 3 schools in Escalante City for the sessions were Escalante National High School – Washington Ext. (48) and Teofilo Amante Elementary School (50) on January 15 then Washington Elementary School (62) on January 16.The boys committed not to watch porno movies, not to harass girls but to respect them and to spread this advocacy through the use of social media.
Fifty-seven (57) students of Escalante National High School – Dr. FloroBongco Extension were given advocacy session against child trafficking in their school on January 12, 2018 by Mercedes A. Juncia assisted by the LVF scholars Ryan, Joy, Chelsea and Aga.
We celebrated different activities last January. In line with the feast day of Blessed Laura Vicuña, we have slogan and poster making contest. The students also have their presentation using the poems they originally composed. We were also invited by Don Bosco Technical Institute-Victorias, to present an intermission number in their program "A Tribute for Don Bosco" and we sent selected students to perform. We also celebrated the community's Gratitude Day with the theme: Together, Forever, Thanks .In connection with the feast of St. John Bosco, we have Boscolympics, where in our students were engaged in different indoor and outdoor sports activities. A "Pose for a cause" photo booth was also installed and it is still under operation until now. The money to be accumulated will be given to the School's Mission Fund.
DOLE Awards LVF
The National Child Labor Committee awards its recognition to Laura Vicuna Foundation Inc. as its anti-child labor program partner for its valuable contribution in the prevention and elimination of child labor in the Philippines on December 6, 2017 at Hotel Jen, Pasay City. Sr. Phebe Lacse, FMA accepted the award from DOLEUsec. Joel Maglunsod on behalf of Sr. Marivic P. Sta. Ana, FMA.
27th LVF PARTI-HAN SA EK
The 2017LVF Parti-han is a day to remember for the kids. Laura Vicuna Foundation (LVF) celebrated its 27th PARTI-HAN SA EK (Enchanted Kingdom) on December 3, 2017 with the theme, “SALAMAT! ANG PUSO NG PASKO.” Seven hundred thirty (730) street kids and urban poor children coming from the Child Protection Clinic on Wheels communities in Taguig, Marikina, Culiat, Bacood, Sta. Mesa, Judge Jiminez, Hillcrest, Brgy Pinagkaisan, Cavite and youth/oratory centers of the Salesian Sisters like Pampanga, Laguna and other parts of Metro Manila together with some mothers, adult volunteers and the Salesian Sisters assisted the kids celebration. The LVF PARTI-HAN is a sharing of blessings of corporations to LVF’s annual gathering of a thousand street kids. Only 10 year old children and above were brought to EK. The smaller ones will be served at the new LVF building in Cubao. Fr. Jayson David in his homily said that we are all rejoicing because Jesus the Son of God was born into this world. His birth brings us joy. The birthday song should be the appropriate song to be sung for this occasion. He even encouraged the children to have a gift for Jesus. On the other hand, Sr. Mabel Pilar, FMA in her Christmas greeting told the audience to be prepared for the coming of the Lord with hope in their hearts. It was the first time for the children to enter EK. EK was open to them from 11 in the morning till 9 in the evening. They were thrilled by the awesome rides. Their magical experience brought them to Cloud 9. How they enjoyed every minute of it! Some of the Board of Trustees were present during the celebration like Mrs. Marissa Concepcion who came with her daughters and Mrs. Marilen Espiritu. They helped Sr. Mabel Pilar in the distribution of goods. The children received a bucketful of food stuffs to share with their families. As they went home their hearts were joyful and grateful for this unforgettable and memorable moment in their lives. A million thanks to Mr. Mario & Mrs. Cynthia Mamon for the free entry to the EK and to Mr. & Mrs. Marissa Concepcion, Mr. & Mrs. Francisco Dizon, Ms. Josie Tan, Ms. Joey Sison and other benefactors for the gift packs that were given to the kids.
LVF VP VISITS LVWDTC, NEGROS
The Laura Vicuna Foundation’s Vice President, Mr. Francisco Dizon surprised the Sisters, teachers and students with his visit to the Laura Vicuna Women Development and Training Center on December 6, 2017. He was happy to see the newly renovated buildings and saw more things still needed to be given attention to. He greeted and gave the good day talk encouraging each one especially students to study hard, obey rules and regulations of the school because that is very important when they go for work and face the real world of work.
IACAT-DAWN SURVIVORS’ DAY CELEBRATION
The Laura Vicuna Foundation (LVF) was invited by the Development Action for Women Network and Batis AWARE Organization (DAWN) in partnership with Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for a Theater Workshop on December 11, 2017 at Bayview Park Hotel. Ten (10) LVF girls accompanied by Sr. Clara Alacapa, FMA participated in this IACAT-DAWN SURVIVORS’ DAY CELEBRATION with the theme “ Survivors Empowering Survivors”.
LAUNCHING OF SHIELD STORYBOOK
The Laura Vicuna Foundation (LVF) was invited by the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (DOLE-BWSC) in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the Launching of its SHIELD (Strategic Help desks for Information, Education, Livelihood and other Developmental Interventions) against Child Labor Story Book on December 8, 2017 at the DSWD Auditorium. The LVF girls lead the assembly for the opening prayer through their choreographed dance. OIC Secretary Emmanuel Leyco and Asec. Aleli Bawagan have all praises for the LVF girls.
CEREMONIAL Grant SIGNING of LVF with Children’s Hour
The Laura Vicuna Foundation Inc. (LVFI) had a ceremonial grant agreement signing with the Children’s Hour Philippines Foundation Inc. at the Ayala Tower One, Makati City on December 15, 2017. LVFI was chosen as one of its recipients for its grants. The LVFI was represented by Sr. Sarah Robas, FMA and Ms. Mercedes A. Juncia.
SHARE A JOY
Since it is the “Year of the Poor”, about fifteen hundred (1500) underprivileged individuals benefited from the series of Laura Vicuna Foundation’s (LVF) gift-giving activities that took place in December: to the following areas:- Pinamana Site, Napindan, Taguig; Barangays Pinagkaisahan, Hillcrest, Judge Jimenez; Heneral Uno, General Trias, Cavite; Bacood; Nanca, Marikina; Culiat; Negros and inmates of Muntinlupa City Jail. The Sisters, staff and LVF girls brought hope to these underprivileged individuals and made them feel the presence of Jesus in their lives. There was also joy when they see the happiness it has brought to these people. Aside from that, LVF came up with its own initiative of raising people’s awareness through a simple talk about trafficking for labor exploitation for Barangay Pinagkaisahan, Hillcrest and Judge Jimenez to provide protective services to prevent these children at risk from ending up as child laborers, abused and trafficked.
VISIT OF SR MABEL
Christmas is truly CHRIST's dwelling among His people! Last December 10 to 13, 2017, the Blessed Laura Vicuna Community Palawan was blessed by the presence of FIL-PNGProvincial Superior Sr. Mabel Pilar for her days of canonical visit. They were indeed moments of intense personal and community encounters where the Holy Spirit inspires and guides everyone to greater commitment, zeal and radicality in responding to the mission of Palawan. Sr. Mabel's encounter with the parents, staff, volunteers and learners were also very fruitful where each one felt listened and accompanied towards their journey to holiness through the Salesian Preventive System. Gratitude overflows in the hearts of everybody during these days of visit, indeed, Christ dwelling through the loving presence of His servant leader.
LVC PALAWAN LEARNERS PASSED THE EXAMS
Last December 26-30th four male teachers from UST-Angelicum College Inc. conducted the year end REAP thesis defense and exams among the 57 learners. The learners were very serious in their studies and with the desire to pass the exams, they did their best to achieve the goal. Indeed, everyone passed the exams! Five learners defended their thesis on the last day of exam and they were congratulated by the professors. Their paper needs some revisions though. Everyone was happy and thankful especially to the teachers who forego their Christmas break to come to Palawan for the exams. The learners are now ready to step up to the next level of their modules.
FORMATION OF PALAWAN LEARNERS
God calls us to a mission. The Holy Spirit guides us. Our Holy Mother protects us. When we are called to serve, we go. Sometimes it takes a while to understand what God wants and plans but most often than not, the path is paved for us and the obstacles are overcome.
For three (3) days from November 24-27, 2017, the LVF volunteers, Ms Carol Thor and Ms Sofia DeGuzman, had the opportunity to serve the LVF Palawan Learners at Barangay Macarascas, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. With the guidance of our Salesian Sisters, they were able to share their knowledge, experiences, learning and formation to 57 young people whose ages range from 13 to 18 years old. It was a fulfilling intense 3 days of formation and forum on Children’s Rights, Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem. These young people had the openness of hearts and minds to listen, absorb and hopefully apply in their lives what the volunteers have imparted. Looking at them, being with them, one can feel an overwhelming desire to protect them. The hardship of their lives made some timid, others defensive, and even bitter but what is glaring in them is their desire to be better. They have DREAMS and the LVF volunteers hope to assist them in the best way they can.
The LVF Volunteers thank Sr. SocRetardo, Sr. Zeny, Sr. AilynCayanan, Sr. Aleth Evangelista (who invited them), Angela Mahoney, our VIDES-U.S.A. Volunteer, Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana (for always believing in them), and Fr. FlorManlongat of the San Exequiel Moreno Parish.
The Feast of Christ the King was a great day to remind ourselves and these young people that there is only one King and that is Christ. It is so easy for these young people to be drawn to the pop idols that they see, to be attracted to the glitters that media unabashedly promote as true and beautiful. The LVF volunteers encouraged them to look into their hearts and believe they don’t need their earthly idols and that they are more beautiful. I Am A Child of God, I Am Beautiful.-This is their 'battle cry' as they bravely and sensitively engage each young person to share who they are now and who they dream to be. The volunteers also gave practical tips & lessons to help them with their studies and life. Their last hours with the Palawan learners were made meaningful by their songs, dances and good wishes but most especially by their heartfelt prayers and dedications they offered for them.
Past Pupils Homecoming @LVC on the First World Day of the Poor
On November 19th, Laura Vicuna Foundation, welcomed about a hundred Past Pupils who have come home from the different centers of LVF: CPC & LVTC, Sta. Mesa; LVWDTC, Malihao and LVC, Cubao. It was a great day of sharing among the different batches with the oldest batch attendees of 1997 and the youngest past pupils of 2017. After the words of welcome of Sr. Marivic P. Sta. Ana, they happily reminisced the past and acknowledged as God’s miracles their journeys. How happy they were to be back in the company of the Sisters, former classmates and friends. How grateful they were to the Sisters and staff in not giving up on them and believing in their possibilities. As today the Pope has declared as the First World Day of the Poor, Sr. Marivic also conscienticized the participants with a power point presentation on the Holy Father’s declaration and what can be done as the world is faced with the different faces and forms of poverty. They have to empower themselves to speak up when confronted with social injustice, moral degradation and generalized indifference. Even if they are struggling in their lives economically, no one is too poor to share their blessings.Their faith in God should overflow in their service of the poor, growth in fraternity and solidarity with the poor. Organizers of the 2017 Past Pupils Homecoming are: Ms. Ivy Gay Gantuan, Ms Anna Liza Corro and MsCharinaTolibas. They solicited prizes from among Past Pupils to the delight of the participants. Sr. Ana Guerrero also spoke on the plans of the Past Pupils Federation and invited them for the upcoming General Homecoming on March 19, 2018. Sr. Marivic solicited suggestions for the 30th year Anniversary of LVF in 2020. Agape while raffles of grand prizes followed. Batch 2012 has accepted the challenge to be the organizers the 2018 Homecoming.
The Laura Vicuna Foundation (LVF) was invited by the Council for the Welfare of Children for the first Southeast Asia (SEA) Prix Jeunesse Children’s Workshop at the Manila Peninsula on November 27-29th. Tricia Nadine Velasquez was LVF’s child representative. She learned visual storytelling from Sir Alex Asuncion and tips on video making from Ms. Livi Zheng. Her work was one of the entries in the photo gallery with a caption of “Every morning is a blessing so we can thank Him everyday.”
VISIT OF MO. ANNA MARIA MATTIUSSI TO LVF
Mo. Anna Maria Mattiussi, FMA, the first Provincial Superior of the FMA Philippine Province visited the Laura Vicuna Foundation (LVF) on November 6, 2017. Being the Founder of the LVF, Mo. Anna Maria was amazed with the remarkable growth of LVF from its humble beginnings. She marveled at the 6-storey LVF building as it constantly strives to GIVE HOPE A HOME to many children and young people. Ms. Josefina Tan hosted a dinner for Mo Anna Maria at Chef Jessie, Rockwell Club with 12 other Trustees and Members of LVF last November16th . Other Sisters who visited the new LVF Building this November are: Sr. Maria Nieves Reboso, FMA, (General Councillor for Formation) Sr.Sarah Garcia and Sr. Elizabeth Marquez.
PES SEMINAR IN LVF PALAWAN
Sixty parents of the LVF Palawan learners participated the Parents Effectiveness Seminar (PES) conducted by Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA, last November 4th. Substantial, deep and spontaneous sharing of their lives surfaced as well as their realization of their beautiful call and mission to take care of their families especially their children. The parents were teary eyed when they looked back at their own both painful and memorable childhood experiences and the values within their own families which they carry up to now and are trying to inculcate to their children. The session ended with a prayer to the Holy Family for guidance, strength and inspiration as they continue to uphold and love their own families.
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