Reaching out to children of former sugar cane farmers and hacienda workers in Western Visayas
Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) expanded its program in the Western Visayas region with the new partnership established with the City Social Welfare and Development Office in Sagay City and the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in the municipality of Murcia in Negros Occidental last September 2019.
Known as the ‘Sugarbowl of the Philippines’ as it produces more than half of the nation’s sugar output, Negros Occidental is the second most populous province in the Visayas after Cebu, based on the 2015 Census (en.wikipedia.org). The wealth brought about by the sugar industry may have ensured that the Negrenses enjoy above-average standard of living, but such is only applicable for the land owners. Sugar cane farmers, the hacienda workers and their families remain in poverty, where education for their children is a rare opportunity.
With the expansion of the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP) of the Open Heart Foundation in Murcia and Sagay City, it opened opportunities for the children of sugar cane farmers and hacienda workers to finish their education to become employable and productive members of the society, as in line with the OHF’s thrust for its more than 27 years of existence.
A total of 17 students from elementary to college are presently supported on their monthly allowances for the school year 2019-2020. OHF wishes to continue such support until they finish a degree in college, and later on help their families from the clutches of poverty.
Article prepared by Janette Corollo, RSW