Paolo, a former Virlanie child, was left to live and thrive alone in the streets by his parents when he was six.
Virlanie Foundation, Inc. found Paolo at the Manila Rescue Action Center (RAC) and took him up under its care, “From then on, the Foundation took me. In other words, Virlanie was my home while growing up with other children,” Paolo recalls. “the foundation supported my needs from shelter, food, clothes, and education as well.”
Paolo is one of the thousands of lives changed since Virlanie’s foundation 26 years ago. He is a recipient of Virlanie’s thrust to transform the lives of disadvantaged children and families by ensuring that they all have equal access to quality education- the Foundation’s advocacy for education.
Everyone is IncuEDed
In partnership with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Virlanie carried out its first dialogue on inclusive education in line with the launch of its education campaign, Give2Achieve, last June 8, 2018 entitled IncluED. It’s a half-day symposium which put together speakers from different sectors of the society to discuss about the current state of inclusive education in the Philippines.
“Virlanie Foundation’s existence in the past 26 years always believed in the importance of education in the transformation of lives of our target beneficiaries particularly the disadvantaged children and the poorest of the poor, ensuring their equal rights to access to quality education,” says Arlyne Fernandez, Virlanie Deputy Executive Director, “Virlanie is very positive that these exchanges will push all of us towards concrete actions in advocating for inclusive education in our country,” she adds.
IncluED intends to mobilize its participants to advocate for the provision of accessible quality education and addressing the educational needs of all learners regardless of age, sex, gender identity, race, disability, ethnicity, and other characteristics which subjects and individual to social exclusion.
Inclusive Education redefined
“Education is the best weapon to fight against poverty,” says Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian at his keynote speech for the event, setting the groundwork for what the current state of inclusive education in the Philippines.
The forum discussed inclusive education practices from different sectors of society- from Non-Government organizations and government offices, as well as from private education sectors, all of which shared experiences and practices for educational inclusivity for street children, individuals with special learning needs, and learning opportunities for mothers in disadvantaged communities.
IncluED also gave avenues for its participants to voice out their concerns on other issues about educational inclusivity in the country such as issues on education for HIV positive individuals, Lumads who wish to keep their culture and traditions, and parent empowerment.
Among the lineup of guest speakers for the event were Ma. Emma Solasco, Virlanie’s Community Programs manager; Ms. Marlyn Pulga, Technical Advisor of Asmae Philippines; Mr. Francis Aquino, a street educator from ChildHope Philippines; Ms. Jenifer Capistrano from the Department of Education (DepEd); and Dean Ma. Veronica Perez, Director of Benilde Center for Inclusive Education.
Change lives through inclusive education
With the launch of Virlanie’s annual education fundraising campaign, Give2Achieve, Virlanie aims to engage and encourage people to participate and support its cause of unleashing every individual’s learning potentials.
The campaign targets to raise Php2.5M and embody the Foundation’s vision of protecting and empowering its supported individuals through educational support- in line with its belief that everyone deserves equal opportunities for learning and improving their lives.
“I was in that time of my life when I was really (really) down and I did not know what to do…then again, with the support of the Foundation, I enrolled and finished a short course that lasted for only one year on graphics/visual arts design in Microcad at Cubao, Quezon City,” says Paolo, who is currently working at Novotel (one of Virlanie’s partners) for more than a year now.
By supporting Give2Achieve, you can help transform the lives of other individuals like Paolo through advancing inclusive and accessible learning opportunities for all and funding Virlanie’s education programs.
To support Give2Achieve, you may learn more by visiting the campaign’s GavaGives page at: https://www.gavagives.com/g2a2018 or contact Virlanie’s Donor Relations Lead, Mr. Derik Kyle Tabuñar, via email at [email protected]
See more photos here.
Organizational Profile: Virlanie Foundation Inc.
Virlanie Foundation, Inc. is a non-sectarian childcaring institution that empowers, loves and protects the abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, orphaned, and those among the poorest of the poor children.
Virlanie’s actions are divided into its 7 Pillars namely, street, community, residential, education, health & psychosocial, integration and advocacy.
Since 1992, the Foundation cared for more than 17,000 Filipino children in need of special protection. Through its various programs and services, Virlanie strives to build a better future for these children by “giving back their smiles.”
Virlanie helps them reach their full potential and reintegrate into society with competent and committed stakeholders and an efficient, financially sustainable, and environmentally conscious organization.
To know us more, visit our website at http://virlanie.org or you may read our 2017 annual report at https://issuu.com/virlaniefoundationinc./docs/annual_report_2017_- _interactive