The Open Heart team was impressed by the hospitality and generosity of the Provincial Social Welfare office shown by the head of the agency, Ms. Raquel Panal together with her staff during the Foundation’s visit on the 15th of March 2022.
The Open-Heart Foundation team headed by the Executive Director, Rosalinda T. Perez was met at the General Santos airport and was brought to the Provincial Capitol where a sumptuous lunch was waiting to be served. During the visit, a “kumustahan” took place with the scholars and some of the parents/guardians by the assigned program area coordinator, Ms. Davilyn Fajardo.
Ms. Panal expressed her thanks to the Open Heart team for extending the scholarship program to the qualified college students in Alabel, Sarangani, and Malapatan, Sarangani thru a Certificate of Appreciation. Members of the Board of Trustees, management, and staff of Open Heart witnessed the occasion.
The “kumustahan” was a feedbacking mechanism to know how the students managed to adopt the changes and adjust themselves to the challenges they encountered along the way. Most of them shared their struggles, learnings, and achievements as they strive to overcome the online and modular learning setup because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their stories showed how hard their situation was during the crisis. The parents were very participative for they also shared their part as well on how they helped their children get their modules in school since the students were not allowed to go out. Financial struggles were real, because of the distance of the school from their places and the constraints of movement because of the lack of vehicles to transport them.
One of the Board of Trustees, Atty Natalia Guinto encouraged and inspired the students by communicating with them in their local dialect. It added more fun for the students and parents as they listened to the words of wisdom on how to overcome their challenges as they face the realities of life. The challenge was for them to finish their studies, whatever it takes. “Maningkamot gyud mo nga makahuman og pag skwela samtang naa pa ang Open Heart Foundation nga andam mo tabang sa inyo”.
The Executive Director, Rosalinda T. Perez, and the OHF Program Area Coordinator, RSW Ms. Janette Corollo, interviewed student applicants who were hoping that they also are accommodated by the scholarship program.
The scholars grabbed the opportunity to have snapshots with the whole team of the Open Heart Foundation and the Province of Social Welfare Development Office.
The last batch of Junior students, Princesa Vicente, Ben Balasian, and Charlene Dala in Sarangani, received a package of Smart Wifi and Five hundred pesos load as part of their supply from the organization.
Also, the Open Heart Foundation donated an anti-covid kit package to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development office, handed out by the Executive Director (Left) while the secretary of the board, Marlyn Fernando (Right) looked on.
It was indeed a fruitful day to meet the beneficiaries face to face visit in the Province of Saranggani.
Prepared by: Davilyn Fajardo, Program Area Coordinator 1