JANUARY TO MAY 2008 REPORT
As we bade goodbye to 2007 and welcome 2008 our excitement seems to grow even more each day as we believe that God is doing a new thing not only in the ministry but in our personal lives as well. Change is inevitable if we have to receive the new. Matthew 9:17 says, “Nor they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
To change is quite a difficult course to take when we are already used to doing the same thing over and over again. Someone has said that to try something new is to widen your opportunity to succeed. As a foundation we are taking this position as we report to you the first five months of 2008.
I. Change of Name:
The board of trustees has approved through a board resolution the amendment of Article 1 of the article of incorporation of the foundation changing its name from People Who Care Foundation to The Lord Who Cares Foundation, Inc. The forerunners of the foundation believed that it is our Father in heaven through His Son, Jesus Christ, who truly and unwaveringly cares. We are simply conduit of His love. The amendment was subsequently filed on November 8, 2007 and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 4, 2008.
Although we have officially change our name but the purpose of our existence as a foundation remains the same - to see community transformation through Godly homes by providing holistic assistance to disadvantaged and troubled homes to become God-centered, socially functional and financially-able.
II. Programs and Services:
A. Holistic Life Preparedness Program (HLPP)
One hundred (100) student/beneficiaries that are in Relevant Educational Support or RES under HLPP program have ninety two percent completions this school year. Six of the eight that dropped-out were in the early stage of the project. These students applied and were accepted into the program because they passed the criteria on which the project was created for; over-aged by at least 3 years, prone to dropping out but desiring to finish the year.
One of the several reasons these students easily drop out from school is their low reading comprehension which often discourage them. HLPP focused its intervention through reading and language. Through the able work of Nena Bardoquillo and Elisa Comaling, HLPP teachers, the students went through the entire Reading and English subjects using the LIFEPAC materials. The students worked at their own pace and have to finish 7 modules the whole year. It was an individualized modular type of learning done during school hours within the school campus.
Our partnership with the two vulnerable schools, Opao and Guizo, allowed us to use a classroom in both schools for our students. The cooperation of DepED Mandaue and the two principals with the support of the Rotary Club of Cebu and other partner clubs in the U.S. made this project going.
At the end of the school year we have all ninety two students passing their grade levels. Forty-five of them graduated from the elementary, 22 from Opao and 23 from Guizo elementary school. They have done significantly well as reported by their teachers and the principals. This was validated by the results of the National Achievement Test (NAT) and the Regional Achievement Test (RAT) where they did significantly well. We are doubly happy with the results of the school performance evaluation of the 25 elementary schools in Mandaue which place Guizo elementary school in the 13th place, a big jump from being 25th last year. Mr. Bianito Dagatan, Guizo school principal, express his gratitude to TLWCFI’s Holistic Life Preparedness Program as one of the factors that help them do well this year.
B. Educational Assistance
Aside from HLPP we also have 53 student/beneficiaries in various schools in Mandaue that received educational support from TLWCFI. Twenty five (25) are in the elementary grades where four (4) graduated from grade six and twenty eight (28) are in high school where 3 graduated from fourth year.
C. Life-Changing Values Education
Christian values education is a vital component of the social welfare service of the foundation. All children, youth and parents whether directly or indirectly under the program are enjoined to attend the weekly meetings to strengthen their spiritual well-being. Children and parents who embraced the biblical standard of living always experience significant breakthroughs in areas where they were struggling before. Our values education classes in Opao and Guizo elementary schools have separate sessions for children and parents. Our partnership with the local community churches also made it easier for our beneficiaries to be ministered by these churches. We have the First Assembly of God Church in Mandaue that help us with families that come from Opao elementary school and the New Life In Christ Christian Fellowship that ministers to families coming from Guizo elementary school. The partnership is an effective tool to bring transformation among our clients / beneficiaries.
D. Livelihood and Income-generating Projects
To assist our families earn additional income we have connected some parents and older siblings to companies and individuals that need their services. We have two older siblings worked at Sunpride Foods as piecework tin can segregators, a father and son with another sibling as poultry contract growers in Danao City, a father as a gardener in a private subdivision, and another father as a piecework maintenance worker. We continually seek employment and livelihood opportunities for our clients with companies and families in the community. Our cooperative, TFMPC, is ready to assist them for viable small scale business opportunities.
E. Rescue and Processing
Our two teenage girls in the dormitory will be released from the center before June of this year. Although the possibility of transferring to other centers for long term placement seems remote at this time, ways are being worked out for their family re-integration. A mother of one girl has already signified her willingness to support the education of her daughter who will be in fourth year high school this opening.
A. Girls Safekeeping and Retreat
III. Special Activities:
We have organized a special retreat for 25 teenage girls from Guizo and Opao on January 19 to 21 at a farmhouse in Cabadiangan, Compostela, Cebu. The retreat was primarily done to safe keep these vulnerable girls from child prostitution which is very rampant during the sinulog festivities. In fact one of the girls in the program was confirmed to have been brought to a hotel by an elder sister to stay with a German tourist. Also, the retreat did reveal many concerns within their families and communities that allowed the retreat facilitators to help them deal with these issues. One participant was frank to share that she was a child of an incestuous relationship and that it is better to say it upfront than to hide it. She definitely knows how it feels to say the truth. The truth will set your free! Her mother and father are siblings.
B. Special Summer Classes for HLPP students
The generous donations of our board president and a foundation member allowed us to successfully facilitate the girls retreat. The venue is owned by a friend.
As a way to sharpen the learning skills of the HLPP students a one month summer class was taught at the center. We have a foundation member, Ms. Bernie Aboitiz, as a volunteer teacher in Reading and English. It was a special class for the students to be in because they have to speak English to communicate with Ms. Aboitiz. Mr. Jiroy Naparate, a math teacher in a public school, taught the students too.
C. Family Camp 2008
The annual family camp was held on April 11-13 at Canduman Elementary School - Mandaue City with 77 campers from two barangays. The camp theme – “Strong Families for Strong Communities” was a declaration of change for many of the participants. For years many of these family members were tossed to and fro in their struggle to survive, legal or illegal activities, moral or immoral acts, godly or ungodly choices they have tried but sadly their choices remain undefined. It was in the camp where they learned the value and benefits of making the right choices as they go through sessions that taught about making Godly choices, biblical foundation, understanding love, courtship and marriage, true love waits, and parent-child relationship.
The camp sessions were great and equally so are the games in between which generated active participations from all the campers. Everyone also learned to prepare and cook ngohiong during the skills training session.
Testimony of camper Florante:
I was a practicing gay and was completely convinced that I was a woman trapped in a man’s body. I wore spaghetti blouses over my bra, wore dangling earrings, and also often put on my make up before going out from our house. Many months
ago, I left Bacolod City to look for a better future. My father’s stroke stopped me from going to 3rd year college to financial problems.
While in Cebu, I stayed with a family who readily took me in even though they are poor. One of their daughters, Jinneth, applied for a grant of the HLPP project of The Lord Who Cares Foundation at Guizo Elementary School. Jinneth and his mom suffered from domestic violence due to the temper of the father. This was one reason Jinneth was distracted to go to school on time.
Thinking I could return the favor to my foster home, I would substitute Guillerma, Jinnet’s mom, during weekly area meetings when she was busy earning a living. I slowly noticed that biblical principles were beginning to make sense in my life that I willingly attended even if I was no longer needed as a substitute at times when Guillerma could already come. I discovered my real identity. God’s love for me opened an unconditional door of transformation. Along with their partner church, I grew hungry and thirsty for this love and it resulted to a response to love God thru obedience. I developed faith to use biblical principles as my guide. I learned that He can fix my confused identity. And He did!
Summer Family Camp sessions also touched the very core of my being, revealing God’s perfect plan for everyone. His intention for me is to be a man secured of my identity. Those heart wrenching sessions made something inside me depart. I began to experience deep peace in my heart knowing that God created me to be a man not a woman.
When I got home after the camp I went straight to the barber shop and had a haircut. It was also too easy for me to dispose of my “precious” ladies’ garments and accessories. I made a stand on what Jesus had me for – to be a man! God also gave me the urgency to seek my father’s forgiveness. It hit me like a flood that the next thing I did was to be in the bus going to Bacolod. When I arrived home my father immediately said. “ Lalaki na gyud ka Dong!”. I asked for his forgiveness of all the shame and sins I’ve done against him. It was a very touching moment filled with tears of joy and healing. I would walk him for a therapy each day. I really thank God for setting me free from my homosexuality.
For Jinneth’s home indeed God allowed me to return the favor. The change Jinneth’s dad noticed in me made him hunger for a change for himself. He asked me to let the volunteer bible teacher come aside from the weekly area meeting just for his own household. His tendency to violence also went away. Jinneth and Guillerma are now safe at home. This change also made our neighbors want to attend and I believe that still more will benefit from this in the days to come. Thank God for His transforming love!
IV. Opportunities for Involvement:
After one year of implementing Holistic Life Preparedness Program (HLPP) in the public schools and seeing the results of the project, DepED Mandaue has opened an opportunity for the foundation to operate a Satellite school in our center to cater to the special needs of our target group of over-aged students. We are in the preparation stage – review and eventual signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between TLWCFI and DepED for the operation of a satellite school is going to take place soon, physical preparation of the school site which used to be our center in Tabok, and hiring of the required staff.
We are grateful to the positive response of our board, the Rotary Club of Cebu whose members committed to personally give to the project, our friends and supporters who believed in the project. Donations in kind and in cash for the school building project together with the pledges we received gave us the encouragement to pursue this project in behalf of almost 500 over-aged students in Mandaue City’s public schools.
Due to the physical or infrastructure requirement for the satellite school to operate we gladly welcome any form of donations that could help us open it soon. We also welcome volunteers to teach our youths with skills that could help earn for them a dignified way of living.
We acknowledge the people who have blessed TLWCFI and for supporting the work of this ministry to bring indigent and disadvantaged youth and their families to come and avail of the transforming love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Truly it is the Lord who can bring change and hope to the hurting. And truly it is the Lord who can perfectly acknowledge those who have given to the works in this project. We declare these acknowledgements through good health, prosperity in business, profession and vocation, protection of body, soul and spirit, wisdom and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to all who have partnered with us.
Thank you so much!