OHF @ 25: Celebrating the Legacy of Robert LeGore.

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The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. celebrated its 25th Founding Anniversary on August 5, 2017, Saturday at the Ciudad Christia Resort, Brgy. Ampid, San Mateo, Rizal. It was attended by almost 250 participants from all over the Philippines where the foundation operates.

At the onset upon registration, each participant was given a token/giveaway item which contains an OHF-printed ID lace with whistle and flashlight as Big One survival kit.

The program started with opening preliminaries: Opening dance number and national anthem from the CYDP beneficiaries, doxology from ECCD pupils, and welcoming/acknowledgment of guests. A warm welcome speech from one of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Marlyn Fernando, marked the formal opening of the occasion.

One of the highlights of the program is the viewing of two audio-video presentations showing the OHF agency profile and the story of Robert LeGore’s journey to Manila. It was followed by another breakthrough of the foundation which is the book launching. OHF Executive Director, Ms. Rosalinda Perez, announced the launching of the book authored by the foundation entitled “Pursuing Dreams, Transforming Live”. The book articulates the path traveled by OHF in its 25 years of serving the Filipino children.

Mr. Ramil Manzanilla, a representative from the Department of Social Welfare and Development under the office of Honorable Undersecretary Hope Hervilla gave his message of inspiration. Two OHF graduates, Raul Menor and Misael Camposano, also shared their life testimonies from being ordinary kids, their experiences as beneficiaries of the foundation until they graduated from college, and now having good paying job capable of helping their own families and others.

Another highlight of the program is the awarding. Recognitions of service award were given to Ms. Rosalinda Perez on her five years of undaunting and exemplary leadership as Executive Director to the foundation; and to Mr. Nemencio Maloles for his 10 years of dedicated service. Ma’am Linda Perez gave a message of inspiration after the awarding.

The foundation also acknowledged partnership and expressed its appreciation to 45 network agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals by awarding them certificate of recognition. Certificates of recognition were also awarded to the OHF members of the board of trustees, Ms. Marlyn Fernando and Ms. Lilet Bermejo, for their unwavering support for they have been helping the foundation fulfill its vision, mission, and goals.

A presentation on Disaster Risk and Reduction Management was also demonstrated thru a role play which performed by the CYDP beneficiaries. The role play showed the importance of being prepared in times of emergency and disaster.

The first half of the program has ended and a sumptuous lunch was served. During free time, everybody enjoyed the camaraderie and the photo booth.

On the second half of the program, learning sessions on Child-led Disaster Risk Reduction were conducted. The sessions covered five topics: Basic First Aid, Climate Change Adaptation, Child Protection in Emergencies, Participatory Community Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, and Psychosocial Intervention for Children in Emergencies. The resource speakers from different organizations spearheaded each session with the aim of building the capacity of the children/youth in times of emergency and disaster.

The Basic First Aid was done in a plenary session while the other four topics were done thru breakout sessions. Afterward, the entire group went back to the plenary hall for the closing program.

Ms. Lilet Bermejo, the Secretary/Treasurer of the OHF Board of Trustees, gave her powerful closing charge for the youth participants and for the adult guests to continue the legacy of Robert LeGore.

To encourage the participants be accountable to what they have learned on the sessions, a pledge of commitment was pursued. Participants were asked to write a statement in a sheet of paper as their commitment to practice what was learned in the breakout sessions. One by one, the participants post their written commitment on the stage.

In closing, the entire group posed for photo opportunities and class pictures.

To mention, OHF would like to thank special people who helped the foundation in making this event a success. To the members of the board of trustees, staff and organizing committee as the main driving force behind the event, to our respected guests and participants from all over the Philippines, to Christopher Corro and Rogine Domin for excellent job as the masters of ceremony, to CYDP beneficiaries for showcasing their talent thru the opening number, national anthem and DRRM role play, to RSCC pupils for the doxology, to ECCD teachers who supported at the registration and served as ushers/marshals, to CYDP alumni for the tshirt donations, to AJ Alconaba and Chy for the stage tarpaulin, to Kenny Roger for image design/layout for tarp and souvenir program, to Jayson Tapong, Dexter Rabida and John Paul Cedrick Garcia for the stage decorations, to Julia Kamenzin for her helping hands, and to all the Volunteers who supported in numerous ways. Big thanks to everyone who worked tirelessly for this celebration.

Mabuhay and God bless the Open Heart Family!

Article by: Susie Bedia, Admin Officer

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