Capacity Building

A Day of Learning and Empowerment: UNCRC Orientation for Kapalaran Disciple Child Development Center Parents/Guardian

Imagine a room filled with parents and guardians, eager to learn about something that deeply affects their children’s lives. This is what happened at the Kapalaran Disciple Child Development Center on September 6, 2023, when the Open Heart Foundation hosted an orientation on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The day began with an introduction to the UNCRC. Parents discovered that it’s not just some distant document but a powerful tool that protects children’s rights all around the world. The UNCRC, is like a superhero cape for children, ensuring they’re safe, healthy, and happy.

Next, the speaker dived into the UNCRC’s specific rights. These rights were like a treasure map, guiding parents to understand what every child deserves. It tackled about the right to education, healthcare, and being safe from harm. But it didn’t stop there; the speaker showed how these rights connect to everyday life. Parents realize that these aren’t just big words; they are essential for their child’s growth.

Perhaps the most important part was when discussing parents’ role in all of this. The speaker shared practical tips for supporting their children’s development. Parents left the orientation feeling like superheroes, ready to protect their children’s rights.

The gathering was not just a lecture. It was a conversation. Parents asked questions, shared stories, and learned from each other. It was like a big family coming together to ensure their children’s happiness and well-being.

The orientation didn’t leave parents empty-handed. They are provided with information about resources and support networks. Now, parents have tools to help them navigate the world of child rights.

The foundation would like to express gratitude for the partnership of the Project Against Child Exploitation (ACE) for giving 17 IEC materials Calendar and 17 Hotline numbers that are helpful for the recipients.

The UNCRC orientation was not just an event; it was a day of empowerment. Parents are left with a better understanding of their children’s rights and a sense of responsibility to protect them. We believe this knowledge will lead to a brighter future, where every child’s rights are respected and celebrated.

Prepared By: Maejorie Ortega, RSW


OHF’s Annual Monitoring and Scholarship Meeting in Mati City, Davao Oriental

In a heartwarming gathering that emphasized the importance of education and collaboration, the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) conducted its annual monitoring visit and scholarship meeting for the dedicated scholars and their supportive parents/guardians in Mati City, Davao Oriental. It was held on August 17, 2023, at the Visitors Information Center (former Menzi Beach). This activity served as a platform for inspirational sharing, relationship building, program evaluation, and accountability.

The meeting began with a prayer followed by a warm welcome from the two college beneficiaries, Ms. Ailyn Manlabiann and Ms. Cristine Joy Degamo Pontillas. They expressed gratitude to the OHFWI team, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and Local Youth Development Office (LYDO) Staff, fellow scholars, and parents/guardians. They introduced themselves by sharing their names, courses, year levels, and schools, along with their parents/guardians. Susie Bedia, the officer in charge of Mati, introduced each member of the monitoring team (both staff and BOT) and the representatives from CSWDO/LYDO. Ms. Francenn Marie Tamala Manatad, OHYM Mati President, spoke on behalf of the scholars, conveying their determination and appreciation for this life-changing opportunity.

The event’s keynote address was delivered by OHFWI’s four dedicated Board of Trustees namely Ms. Lilet Bermejo, Atty. Taya Guinto, Ms. Marlyn Fernando, and Dr. Carol Dacanay. It was a great privilege for our OHFWI beneficiaries to meet them during this monitoring visit. Their presence added significance to the event and manifested their commitment to OHFWI’s mission. Their messages were inspiring, emphasizing the value of education as a path to overcome challenges and achieve greatness. They encouraged scholars to believe in their potential, face adversity with resilience, and view setbacks as opportunities for growth.

Another significant highlight was a message of support from the CSWDO Head, Ms. Mae Belle Fontillas. She emphasized the importance of scholarships in providing equal educational opportunities and commended the scholars for their dedication. She also reaffirmed the City’s commitment to supporting their educational aspirations.

The meeting also had an interactive feedback session when scholars and parents/guardians shared their experiences. Scholars talked about their academic journeys, challenges, personal growth, and future goals. Parents expressed heartfelt gratitude for the financial assistance and guidance from the OHFWI scholarship program. This session emphasized the importance of the ongoing partnership between OHFWI and its scholars and showcased how scholarships positively impact individuals and families.

In recognition of her commitment and demonstration of responsible behavior, a Certificate of Appreciation was given to Ms. Erica Pinaca Wegan, OHYM Mati Vice President, for her consistent and punctual submission of all required documents with OHFWI. Her diligence in adhering to deadlines serves as a profound source of motivation to her fellow scholars, demonstrating the importance of taking responsibility and accountability.

Another highlight of the event was the orientation and signing of the scholarship Memorandum of Agreement for the School Year 2023-2024. This formal agreement clarified the scholarship’s terms and conditions, including academic performance, financial support, and other important obligations and requirements, ensuring a mutual understanding between OHFWI and the recipients.

As the activity ended, OHFWI expressed its heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Esnani Mai, Ms. Shannen, and Ms. Ding Francisco from the Local Youth Development Office for their invaluable help and expert coordination. Working alongside them, particularly KA Mai, who was designated by the local government as a Volunteer Coordinator for OHFWI beneficiaries, highlighted their unwavering commitment to OHFWI’s mission. They played pivotal roles in organizing the meeting, securing an excellent venue, providing essential equipment, and overseeing courtesy calls, all of which significantly contributed to the activity’s resounding success.

Following the successful activity, OHFWI Finance Staff, Jerry Rosalejos and Mark Dapilaga, efficiently distributed the scholars’ allowances, handed out donated shoes from Vans Philippines, and photographed each beneficiary for proper documentation.

The meeting was a celebration of dreams, determination, and teamwork. As these students begin the new school year with support from their families, the Open Heart Foundation is here to support and celebrate their achievements. Their dreams are important, their voices matter, and their futures merit the efforts we make for them.

All for God’s glory.

Prepared by: Susie Bedia, OIC OHYM Mati City

Staff Development

Embracing 31 Years of Open Heart: A Jubilant Celebration of God’s Grace

Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. celebrated its momentous 31st anniversary on August 5, 2023, with the theme “31 Years of Impact: Bridging the Hearts, Changing Lives.” The festivities commenced with a soul-stirring mass, officiated by Father Noi Azupardo where the first reading about Jubilee set the tone for a day of celebration and thanksgiving.

The gospel message echoed the importance of righteousness and choosing the right path, reminding us to follow what God wants us to do in all our endeavors as we follow the legacy of our founder, Robert LeGore.

Following the uplifting mass, the program kicked off with great enthusiasm and energy, thanks to the dynamic hosting duo Mae and Frank. Their vibrant personalities set the stage for a series of captivating performances, beginning with the ECCD teachers’ dance number.

Ms. Linda Perez, the Executive Director, delivered inspiring opening remarks, proudly highlighting the organization’s remarkable achievements throughout the year. Ms. Adele Joaquin, Executive Director of Bantay Matanda Inc., graced the stage with her enchanting renditions of “Ang Hele ni Nanay,” “What a Wonderful World,” and “In Other Words,” accompanied by her mesmerizing flute performance.

The event was filled with excitement and joy as the audience eagerly awaited the raffle draw results, leaving everyone delighted with their prizes. The celebration was further enhanced by a captivating Hawaiian dance performance by BOT and the staff, adding an exotic touch to the festivities.

Amidst the cheerful atmosphere, the ceremony took a momentous turn with the announcement and awarding of the winners of the bowling tournament, amplifying the festive spirit of the occasion. A sumptuous lunch break provided an opportunity for everyone to savor the moment and engage in delightful conversations with friends and colleagues.

The event also included a significant moment when letters of acceptance for scholars were distributed, conveying a powerful message of hope and commitment to nurturing the next generation of change-makers. Ms. Linda Perez took the stage to present Open Heart’s accomplishments and plans, setting an optimistic course for the organization’s continued impact.

Acknowledging the dedication and loyalty of its members, Ms. Cheryl Ocampo, with her 20 years of service to Open Heart, received a well-deserved award, recognizing her invaluable contributions.

The success of all projects and programs wouldn’t have been possible without the support of various stakeholders, and the board members expressed their heartfelt thanks and encouragement to the management staff, ECCD teachers, partners, and everyone involved in making the organization thrive.

The plaque of appreciation presented to Let’s Share Foundation, Phil. International Aid, and Rick and Mely Rey Foundation, symbolized the power of partnerships in effecting positive change.

The event concluded, with an exciting photo session, capturing the shared moment and preserving the memories of this significant celebration.

In essence, Open Heart Foundation’s 31st -anniversary celebration transcended a mere milestone, representing the enduring legacy of compassion, hope, and transformative change that the organization embraces with boundless dedication. As it embarks on the path ahead, Open Heart Foundation remains poised to create an even more profound impact, bridging hearts and changing lives across the country.

Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to Open Heart!

Medical Mission

Medical Mission in Marinduque

On July 4, 2023, Open Heart Foundation conducted a successful flu vaccination program in Boac, Marinduque, as part of our mission to provide medical assistance to underserved communities. In collaboration with the Let’s Share Foundation and in coordination with the Boac Municipal Health Center, we were able to administer flu vaccines to selected recipients from various barangays.

Before the vaccination program, the dedicated staff of Open Heart made preparations to ensure the smooth execution of the event. On the designated day, the program commenced with a solemn prayer, followed by the national anthem, symbolizing our shared patriotism and dedication to serving the community. The Executive Director of Open Heart, Ms. Linda Perez, delivered her opening remarks, expressing gratitude to the Let’s Share Foundation, the Boac Municipal Health Center, and all the participants for their support. Additionally, the Open Heart Board of Trustee, Ms. Lilet Bermejo shared a brief message, emphasizing the importance of community health, openness, and cooperation. As a special addition to the program, Ms. Adele Joaquin, the Executive Director of Bantay Matanda, captivated the audience with a special musical performance, reminding everyone of the significance of caring for the elderly.

Dr. Carol Encarnacion Dacanay, the esteemed Executive Director and founder of Let’s Share Foundation, conducted an informative orientation about the flu vaccines. Despite her remote presence, Dr. Dacanay graciously answered questions from the audience, ensuring that all concerns were addressed. Following the orientation, the vaccination process began, administered by diligent healthcare professionals from the Boac Municipal Health Center. Before receiving their vaccinations, participants underwent necessary registration and screening procedures to ensure their eligibility and safety.

After receiving their flu shots, participants were advised to remain under observation for some time to monitor any immediate reactions or side effects. Open Heart staff members facilitated this monitoring process, ensuring the well-being of all participants. During this period, light snacks were provided to the participants, fostering a pleasant atmosphere and allowing for interactions among attendees.

The event reached its pinnacle when the esteemed town mayor graced the occasion with an inspirational message. The mayor expressed gratitude towards Open Heart, the Let’s Share Foundation, and the Boac Municipal Health Center for their collaboration in organizing this vital healthcare initiative. Furthermore, the mayor announced exciting news regarding new partnerships with different agencies, underscoring the continuous efforts to improve healthcare services in the community.

The flu vaccination program in Boac, Marinduque, was an incredibly productive and meaningful day. Through the unwavering support of the Let’s Share Foundation, the Boac Municipal Health Center, and all the participants, Open Heart successfully administered flu vaccines to selected individuals from various barangays. The engaging program, informative orientation, and collaborative efforts showcased the collective commitment to community health and welfare. Open Heart remains grateful for the warm welcome and appreciation extended by the Boac community, and we look forward to future endeavors aimed at making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.


Monitoring Visit to San Fernando, Bukidnon

On June 20, 2023, Open Heart Foundation embarked on a visitation trip to San Fernando, Bukidnon. The purpose of the visit was to meet with the CYDP beneficiaries and their parents, assess their progress, and provide them with financial assistance in the form of allowances.

Upon arrival in San Fernando, our team was warmly welcomed by volunteer coordinator Pastor Allan and his wife Ms. Lorena. During this visit, the beneficiaries had the valuable opportunity to personally meet Ms. Mae Ortega, the newly assigned Area Coordinator. This meeting created an excellent platform for her to introduce herself and establish a more profound connection with the beneficiaries under her care.

To gain a better understanding of the beneficiaries’ needs and aspirations, the Evaluation form that was given to them allows the beneficiaries and parents to freely share their personal stories, challenges, and aspirations for the future.

Listening to their stories, hopes, and concerns was a humbling and enlightening experience. It reinforced the importance of the program objectives and highlighted the OHF support could have on their lives.

Later in the meeting, Atty. Natalia Guinto, one of the Board Members, and Mrs. Rosalinda T. Perez, the Executive Director, delivered their motivational messages to inspire and uplift the spirits of the attendees. Following these messages, the much-awaited part was the distribution of allowances to the five beneficiaries.

We express our sincere gratitude to the volunteer coordinator, and beneficiaries of San Fernando, Bukidnon, for their warm welcome and engagement during the visitation. It is through collaborative efforts and shared commitment that we continue making a difference in the lives of those in need.

Prepared by:

Maejorie U. Ortega, RSW

Program Area Coordinator 1


Hats Off to All the Graduates!

Finishing in College is not a joke, it takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication to get the desired diploma.

On June 15, 2023, the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. flew to Murcia, Negros Occidental to visit and monitor the scholars. Time flies so fast Four years have passed and finally, there are five graduates in the area of Murcia.

Face-to-face kamustahan was conducted in every area, this year it was fulfilling to listen to the Parents and scholars as they share their experiences, challenges, and how they managed to surpass the obstacles met along the way. The graduates were asked what their plans are after they graduate, Some say they are preparing for the upcoming board exam and some are focused on working to help and give back to their families. They are also grateful for the help of the foundation as it served as one of the reasons why they had a chance to study in college.

Since 5 out of 8 scholars graduated and only 3 are left, the Executive Director of OHF instructed the PAC to conduct a screening for potential new scholars of Murcia. Through the help of the Local School Board/Volunteer Coordinator of OHF, Ms. Nessaleh disseminated the information on finding new scholars. On the Same day, the team interviewed 12 candidates, and after careful deliberation, the team came up with the 7 recommendations to become the new batch of beneficiaries for School Year 2023-2024.

In the afternoon, Orientation for new scholars was held and discussed the Memorandum of Agreement between the scholars, parents, and the foundation.

Prepared By: Maejorie Ortega, RSW

Program Area Coordinator


Monitoring Visit to Sagay, Negros Occidental Beneficiaries

On June 14, 2023, OHFWI conducted a monitoring visit to its program beneficiaries in Sagay City, Negros Occidental. During the Kumustahan Activity, the beneficiaries shared about the challenges they faced during the semester as well as how they overcame it. Adapting to the new mode of learning after the pandemic restrictions was the most challenging part for most of them. However, with the help of their family and friends, they all surpass the obstacles encountered during the school year.

Three of the graduates from the area were also asked for a message as they graduate from the program. They were grateful for the help of the organization and they pledged to multiply the help they received from OHFWI to their younger siblings. Guardians of the beneficiaries also expressed their gratitude to the organization as according to them, if not with the help of the organization, finishing their children’s college degree will be so much harder for them.

Executive Director, Rosalinda T. Perez, as usual, reiterated that the students do not have the responsibility to pay back to the organization the support they received but rather, they were challenged to also help others, such as their younger siblings, for which the organization expects and looks forward to.

In the latter part of the activity, the program area coordinator of Sagay, Negros Occidental, Jay Frank A. Diaz, reminded the graduates as they join the workforce that life after college isn’t guaranteed to be easy. But, earning a college degree and learning the things they got from the academy and OHFWI will be their greatest weapon.

OHFWI also conducted a Home Visitation to the Melgar Family– a special case being handled by the organization’s social workers. The activity was conducted to know the kind of assistance we can provide to the family and ensure that they’re in good living conditions.

Prepared by: Jay Frank A. Diaz, RSW

Program Area Coordinator

Staff Development

Review and Revision of OHF Manual of Operations on Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP) Policies.

This aims to ensure that the foundation’s CYDP policies align with the latest regulations, policies, and guidelines set by relevant authorities. This includes compliance with legal requirements, industry standards, and best practices in the field of child and youth development. Also, to enhance program effectiveness through evidence-based practices, clarify roles and responsibilities for stakeholders, standardize processes for efficiency and quality, increase accountability and transparency through monitoring and reporting mechanisms, and adapt to changing needs and context to remain relevant and responsive to the evolving requirements of children and youth.

By achieving these objectives, the foundation aims to strengthen its program, maximize its impact, and contribute effectively to the holistic development and well-being of children and youth.


Monitoring Visit to Catarman, Northern Samar

Annually, the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) tries to visit most of its areas of implementation nationwide. Last May 17, 2023, OHFWI visited its beneficiaries in the municipality of Catarman in Northern Samar.

During the visit, the assigned area coordinator, Jay Frank A. Diaz, had a “kumustahan” session with the beneficiaries to know the challenges they are facing as students, and how OHFWI can help them ease these.

Since most of the beneficiaries from the area are in their last year in college, the most challenging part for them is managing their time and finances as they have to juggle a lot of tasks which require money. According to them, they were able to surpass these challenges with the help of their family, friends, and the assistance they get from the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. They also expressed how grateful they are for the support of OHFWI with their studies.

Executive Director, Ma’am Rosalinda Perez, concluded the session with a congratulatory message for the students as they are yet to survive another year in college. While it’s bittersweet to accept that most of them will be leaving the organization, the challenge for them now is to conquer the real world of the professional workforce.

Prepared by: Jay Frank Diaz, RSW

Program Area Coordinator


Monitoring Visit to Boac, Marinduque Beneficiaries

The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc.’s (OHFWI) trip to Boac, Marinduque last May 9, 2023, had two major purposes: a courtesy call at the office of the Mayor and to discuss possible partnership through an MOU; and monitoring of the college beneficiaries of the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP)

The visit opened an opportunity to meet in person the MSWD Head; Ms. Hazel Gonzales, RSW, and other LGU department heads and Staff. They were all interested to know what programs and services OHF has which could be extended to Boac. They mentioned the needs that the LGU needs but which could not be addressed because of the LGU’s budget constraints. They hoped that a partnership can be forged so that services of the Foundation can be availed of.

The Honorable Mayor, after reading the MOU immediately endorsed it to Sangguniang Bayan for hearing that same day and the OHF team was advised to just wait for the notification when the signing of the MOU will be scheduled.

Later in the afternoon, the OHF team met the 8 beneficiaries at Marinduque State College. The objectives of the meeting were to get updates and discussed issues and concerns encountered by the scholars. These scholars recalled the challenges they encountered along the way but they remained steadfast and continued to be grateful to the people who believed in them and helped them reach for their dreams.

Donations from Mercury Drug Foundation consist of Bottles of Lysol disinfectant and bath soaps were given to the student beneficiaries.

Prepared By: Maejorie Ortega, RSW

Program Area Coordinator