Categories
Capacity Building

OHF Visits Scholars from MinSU Victoria and Calapan Campuses; Courtesy call to LSWDOs Opens Opportunity for Possible Partnership

Open Heart Foundation’s partnership with the Mindoro State University, formerly Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Science and Technology (MinSCAT) started way back in 2007.  Under the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP), OHF supports college students from both the Main (Victoria) and Calapan City campuses with their education.  For the academic year 2021-2022, a total of 15 students are being supported. 

OHF team conducted a monitoring visit on November 23-24, 2021 in both campuses, to meet these students personally, as majority of them are expected to complete their degree and graduate by June 2022. 

Through coordination with the Office of the Student Affairs Services (OSAS) and the support of DSAS Scholarship Coordinator Ms. Evelyn Leynes and Mr. Alexis Fortunato, the meeting became a success.  Agreements between the students and Open Heart were re-established with the renewal of the Kasunduan (MOU) for the SY2021-2022. 

Courtesy call with the Local Social Welfare and Development Offices of of Victoria and Calapan City were also conducted for the purpose of introducing the Foundation’s program/service implemented in their locality.

On November 23, MSWD Head, Mr. Manuel Melo welcomed the team with open arms as he expressed the possibility of partnership for capacity building of their child development workers and some programs to address increasing concerns with out-of-school youth in their municipality. 

Meanwhile, a short meeting with CSWD Officer of Calapan City, Ms. Juvy L. Bahia, RSW transpired on Nov. 24 meeting.  Trainings for the day care workers aside from the possibility to increase number of beneficiaries from the city were initially discussed.

Categories
Capacity Building

Parents Join OHF’s 2021 NCM Celebration in “Usapang Parentng Ngayong Pandemya”

For this year’s celebration of the National Children’s Month, OHF made sure that all can participate – children, youth, parents, and service providers.  In its month-long celebration, 3 webinars were organized every Saturday of November with a culminating activity as a closing program.  

In line with this year’s theme, ‘New Normal na Walang Iwanan: Karapatan ng Bawat Bata ating Tutukan!,” OHF enjoins the nation in continuing the advocacy in addressing children’s rights and protection issues and concerns even during the pandemic time.

Webinar session 2 entitled ‘Usapang Parenting ngayong Pandemic’ was held on November 13, Saturday from 1:30pm to 5:00pm, via Zoom and live streamed on Facebook.  This webinar featured a conversational approach of discussion on ‘understanding the child, family and parenting’.  Most importantly, discussed were ways how parents can protect their children during this time of pandemic. The webinar is graced by a social worker, child rights specialist, educator, researcher and consultant, from the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD) of the University of the Philippines – Diliman campus, Asst. Professor Florence Flores Pasos, who served as the resource person. 

Parent leaders, Ms. Hanna Laganzon from Quezon City served as the host while Ms. Rosalie Sipat was the moderator of the open forum. 

It was a very interactive session participated by almost 150 individuals both in Zoom and Facebook live.  In attendance are parents of OHF scholars from Luzon to Mindanao, parent leaders in various partner communities, teachers and staff of partner organizations and other service providers.  Some scholars, both children and youth also joined their parents in this session, truly a significant bonding and learning experience at the same time. 

Three parent representatives shared their learnings and reactions on the discussion. According to the participants their most significant learnings are the important roles of parents in the child’s development, the elements of parenting – care, control and development; importance of maintaining good relationship in the family and most importantly, recognizing the rights of children to participate in making decisions that directly affects them. 

OHF recognized parents and families of children and youth we serve as partners in empowering these young fellows to become disciplined, productive and involved members of the society.  Thus, initiatives such as these are continued.  Together, let us work hand in hand in protecting our children and in making this world safe to live in. 

To God be the glory!

Prepared by: Janette Corollo, RSW, Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

“Knowing Yourself Better”: Learning Session on Self Awareness.

47 CYDP scholars participated in this learning session from 8 areas – (1) Kabugao, Apaya0, (2) Catarman, Northern Samar, (3) Rodriguez, Rizal (4) Victoria and (5) Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, (6) Murcia and (7) Sagay City, Negros Occidental and (8) Mati, Davao Oriental.

‘Knowing Yourself Better’ is a learning session on Self-Awareness, the first of the 3-series session designed towards enhancing Social and Emotional Learning of OHF scholars.  It aims to deepen understanding about the importance of self-awareness for their personal growth and development, identify key areas that encompasses one’s self and enumerate ways to know themselves better and other practical habits towards self-discovery.

Three sessions for (3) batches were conducted to accommodate all scholars from the 9 areas.  A face-to-face session for scholars from Colegio de Montalban was held on September 3, 2021, Saturday from 2:30-4:00pm after the distribution of their allowances.  Meanwhile, the 2 virtual sessions were held via Google Meet on September 11 & 25. 

The session encouraged the participants to reflect on characteristics which makes every individual as a unique person such as personality, attitude, experiences, habits, perspectives, likes/dislikes, goals and passion – and the factors that significantly influences such as experiences.    

Given emphasis is that ‘the qualities of an individual can be honed, improved upon, and made to grown as we continue our life’s journey’. 

What I should know to be self-aware?

In the discussion, the participants shared ideas on things one must be prepared for towards discovering self – (1) see yourself honestly, (2) recognize strengths and weaknesses, (3) identify your emotions and (4) work towards growth.

The 4 things mentioned above challenged the participants of their readiness towards self-discovery.  Just like one of the participants commented, ‘it seems like it’s the basic requirements for an individual to be successful in this self-discovery journey, which somehow gives them the idea to work on these things first to attain his ‘ideal self’. 

Enumerated are five simple habits that can be adapted by the participants in daily routine/activities.  In fact, some of them already mentioned that they used to or have been doing some of these but stopped because of the busy schedule for school and academic requirements. 

The five (5) simple habits are daily reflection, keeping a journal, practicing meditation and other mindfulness habits, taking personality and psychometric tests, and asking for feedback.  All these simple habits suggest opportunities for everyone to take time to relax, breathe, reflect or think about their experiences and how it affect the way they think, feel, and act. 

The participants acknowledged the relevance of the topic to every one of them, the importance of ‘knowing themselves better to help improve their self-confidence and for personal growth and development’ and that ‘through knowing themselves first, they can achieve or do better’. 

They found the topic discussed as useful, very relevant, and timely. It allowed them to pause in a while, reflect and tune in to their thoughts, feelings and actions to know themselves better, use their strengths, work on their weaknesses and flaws and be the best version of themselves while attaining their personal goals in life.

To God be the glory!  

Prepared by: Janette Corollo, RSW, Program Area Coordinator

Categories
Capacity Building

Financial Literacy 101 for CYDP Graduating Scholars

A learning session entitled, ‘Financial Literacy 101: A Guide to Securing your Financial Future’ was conducted on August 31, 2021, 10am-11:30am via Google Meet. 

Ten CYDP graduates for the year 2021 from 5 areas of Quezon City, Marinduque, Romblon, Sagay City and Rodriguez, Rizal benefitted from this learning session facilitated by one of the Program Area Coordinators.  As the participants are expected to enter a new phase in their life’s journey as part of the ‘work force’, the session wishes to provide additional knowledge to be financially literate and help develop their skills in managing their finances for a better future

The session focused on the five (5) important things an individual should learn to be financially literate – budgeting, saving, invest, build credit and control debt and protecting wealth

Given emphasis in financial literacy is the importance of planning to acquire one’s personal financial goals.  Setting an amount from the income to save for that particular long-term or short-term goals is the key to be able to define strategies that will allow one to be financially aware.  Strategies discussed include cutting overspending, avoiding unnecessary expenses and prioritizing savings. 

Participants were also encouraged to make investments on things that will generate income or will appreciate in the future.  While credit and loans may not be avoided, planning, choosing the right loan, and maintaining a good credit history are highly encouraged. 

It has been an interactive session as the participants believed that they can apply their learnings in day-to-day living, covering practical ways and strategies in managing their finances.  Realizations include being thrifty, purchasing things that they only need, avoiding luxury, planning for what they want to buy and budgeting.  

Citing from one of the participants’ feedback, “on my point of view, the most useful or valuable regarding the topic is knowing one’s goal when it comes in financial, knowing how to manipulate or handle money and also giving importance on how individual will manage its assets and liabilities to have a good outcome.  It is very important that we, as individuals know how to handle things especially in this amidst a pandemic.  The Ipon Challenge will really help ourselves.  Gumastos ng naaayon or base on the situation we have today.”

Financial literacy may not be given much attention/importance, yet, the key to create wealth is not only educating on how to earn but also on how to manage finances. 

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Janette Corollo, RSW, Program Area Coordinator

Categories
Capacity Building

Voter’s Education

The right to vote is exercised by all citizens of the Philippines who are at least 18 years of age and not otherwise disqualified by law. Most of the college beneficiaries of Open Heart Foundation belong to this age-bracket; thus, the Foundation conducted and facilitated an online webinar on Voter’s Education last 30th of July 2021.

The webinar discussed various topics on the qualification of voters, registration process and where to register. All beneficiaries who are qualified to vote were advised to cast their votes come election day in May 2022. Those who are first timers were encouraged to register early so they could exercise their right as provided for in the Constitution.

Choosing right candidates with good track record, value honesty and integrity and those  who have the heart to serve Filipinos shall be on the list. 

 “Sharing the essence of voter’s registration to enable every qualified Filipino Citizen to use their power this upcoming 2022 National and Local elections to make a positive change and choose only the rightful and competent Leaders” – Atty. Ronald “Atty. Boom” Santiago.

Topic:

*Registration

*Voter’s certification

*Health Protocols

*Reminders during election

Qualifications of Voters:

Filipino Citizen

At least 18 years of age on election day (May 09, 2022)

Resident in the Philippines for at least 1 year prior to election day (Domicile; permanent residency)

Resided in place wherein propose to vote for at least 6 months prior to election day (permanent or temporary)

Free from Disqualifications

In order to vote, must be a Registered Voter

Voters Deactivation:

Disqualified to vote

Failed to Vote in 2 preceding elections

Registration Excluded by the Court

Loss of Filipino Citizenship

Failure to validate biometrics

When to Register:

Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm (including holiday)

Where to Register:

Office of the Election Officer in the place having jurisdiction where you intend to register and vote

Reception of application shall be from January 20,2020 to September 30,2021

COMELEC Resolution No.10635, Promulgated: 10 January 2020

All information was basic but important to know. Let us cast our vote on May 09,2022!

Prepared by: Davilyn Fajardo, Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

Raising Consciousness on Child Rights and Responsibilities

Committed in protecting the rights of children and youth through its various programs, part of the advocacy of Open Heart Foundation is deepening the knowledge and understanding of CYDP scholars on children’s rights, participating in advocacy activities and capacitating them to be leaders/advocates of their own rights

To introduce the CYDP scholars on children’s rights, they should first be aware of the widely recognized international human rights treaty signed by 198 nations, the UNCRC or United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.

The UNCRC outlines the ‘civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion and abilities’.  Consists of 54 articles, it sets out children’s rights and how governments should work together to make them available to all children.

The Orientation on the UNCRC, Child Rights and Responsibilities entitled ‘Gabay sa Karapatang Pambata’ was conducted by Open Heart Foundation via google meet facilitated by one of its Program Area Coordinator, Ms. Janette Corollo.  A total of 78 CYDP scholars actively participated in the learning sessions who were divided into 4 batches in June-July 2021.  The participants came from 9 areas handled – (1) Apayao, (2) Catarman, Northern Samar (3) Bukidnon (4) Sagay City and (5) Murcia, Negros Occidental, (6) Calapan City and (7) Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, (8) Rodriguez, Rizal and (9) Mati, Davao Oriental. 

While most of the participants are already aware of the basic rights of a child, ironically, majority are not aware of UNCRC.  Moreover, most of them admitted that they are not familiar with the responsibilities as well as it is not given much emphasis during discussion of such topics.  In the learning session, the participants were also given an overview of children’s situation during the pandemic based from the baseline study released by the Council on the Welfare of Children (CWC) in September 2020. 

From the learning session, CYDP scholars had a deepened understanding on child’s rights and responsibilities, recognizing that in every right there is a corresponding responsibility.  The group also acknowledged that they can help disseminate this information, advocate children’s rights and help protect the rights every Filipino child in simple ways they can.  This serves as an inspiration to most of them as they suggested to learn more on possible activities or methodologies to teach other children about their rights and responsibilities and in involving parents and guardians in such advocacy

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Janette Corollo, RSW, Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

OHFWI 3rd NPAC Cavite Cluster

On June 19th, the Children Talk to Children Coalition (C2C) launched the re-echoing activity of its organization about the 3rd National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) which focused on informing the youth members regarding the national plan made for children in the Philippines. The webinar was open for different child-led organizations, their members, parents, and other concerned parties that accommodated around 200 participants in the Zoom meeting conference. During the webinar, the former delegates of C2C called young people (YP) discussed the plan for the new members of the coalition. The children and parents shared their opinions, insights and learning before the session ended.

Mr. Orly Gallano of SM-ZOTO, C2C Project Team, C2C Adult Support Team and child-led organizations in the Cavite cluster joined hands to successfully spearhead the event. Youth speakers from OHYM, VIDES, AKKAP and AYM were chosen beforehand to discuss the plan for the children.

The webinar was led by Ms. Crystal Timbal from Open Heart Youth Movement together with her fellow youth speakers Ms. Jeanne Manegkad (OHYM), Mr. Angelo Alisna (VIDES), Mr. Roberto Vetonio (AKKAP) and Mr. Macoy Castro (AYM) who were former youth representatives for C2C Coalition. Each speaker shared their thoughts regarding the contents of the plan and made the discussion child-friendly by citing simple related information.  The webinar mainly deliberated about the importance of child rights and the movements implemented by the government as well as other concerned organizations to continuously make the plan meet reality.  The webinar was, indeed, fruitful as the child participants clearly understood how essential their rights can be and as they were empowered to spread their learning to help other children.

Prepared by: Davilyn Fajardo, Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

VOTER’S EDUCATION

Voter’s Education with CYPD Beneficiaries in Pangasinan, Quezon City, and Romblon

The main mission of the Foundation is to empower children and youth as well as to make them a productive member of our society.  Part of it is being an active voter.  Voting is taking a direct participation in the governance in our country as our vote determine the future of our country; either for better or for worst.  Since the national election is only a year to date, a Voter’s Education was conducted to 11 beneficiaries in Quezon City on May 10, 2021, 3 beneficiaries in Pangasinan on May 11, 2021, and 9 beneficiaries in Romblon on May 17, 2021.

The session helped them to understand the value of election and being an active voter.  They were reminded that their vote is both a right and a privilege as it can influence change in our country.  The session also gave emphasis to vote wisely and the qualities they should look for their bet.  The qualities they should look are righteous governance, person with integrity, gifted, has the heart to serve, and good track record.  The beneficiaries, then, are encouraged to get registered as a voter in their respective areas and roll out this session to their co-beneficiaries, also to their family and friends.  As it is said, “The best way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Prepared by: Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW/Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

SALAMAT, OPEN HEART!

Salamat, Open Heart! The Open Heart Youth Movement (OHYM) Official Song

It was during the Open Heart Summer Youth Camp in year 2018 when the idea of having an Open Heart theme song was floated.  After years, this idea became a reality with the help of the Open Heart Youth Movement (OHYM) members and the Center for Social Action (CSA) of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) through their community service. The team of CSA was facilitated by CSA staff Ms. Catherine Panganiban and Mr. Ron Malaluan and by a volunteer student adviser, Mr. Dante Rivero.

A Song Writing Workshop was done by Patrick John Atok, a Music Production student, from January 19-27, 2021 which was attended by 23 OHYM members.  The participants were divided into three groups for the activity, which was represented by members from different areas.  Then, they creatively produced three sets of song lyrics inspired by how the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) helps them and how they extend to others what they received.  After this, the selection of the official song was followed through votation by the OHYM Groups (per area) and OHFWI staff.  There were four entries for the official song which were the three output from the workshop and one from beneficiary which was written during Open Heart Summer Youth Camp in year 2018.  The official song was “Salamat, Open Heart” which was written by group 2 during the workshop.  The instrumentation of the song was enhanced with the help of Jungyoon Hwang, also a Music Production student from DLS-CSB, through a workshop done on March 4, 2021.

The main objective of this activity was to develop a Music ID to creatively bring identity to Open Heart Youth Movement as an organized youth group of the Open Heart Foundation.  Through music, the group and the foundation may bring joy, inspiration, and promote unity in serving the community especially the children and youth.

Lyrics:
Pusong bukas ng bente kwatro oras, Handang umagapay sa aming pagbagtas

Bago pa man sumuko nagsisilbing liwanag, Walang hanggang pasasalamat.

Bawat Delubyo’t mga suliranin buong pusong kakaharapin

Sigaw ng  kabataan kanila’y pinakikinggan, pinaglalaban mga karapatan.

Salamat Open Heart, Salamat sa pagtulong, Buo na ang aming kinabukasan

Salamat sa proteksyon, Mga puso’y naghihilom, Kami’y Taos pusong nagpapasalamat

Salamat, Salamat, Salamat, Salamat Open Heart!

Lyrics by:  Ailyn Donato, Angelika Alesna, Antonette Cometa, Henna Kenisha Aquino, Jayson Tapong, Johyses Lee, Reymark Lincallo Orilla, Wowie Mapakit.

Lyrics Arrangement & Instrumentation:  Patrick John Atok, Jungyoon Hwang.

Copyright:  Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. 2021

Prepared by: Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW/Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Capacity Building

OHYM Catarman Participates in the Municipal Youth Camp 2019

Six youth beneficiaries of the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. in Catarman, Northern Samar participated in the recently conducted Municipal Youth Camp 2019 of LGU Catarman. Sharing you is the short write-up made by Mr. Jhan Jhan Balleta, 1st year BS Information Technology student from University of Eastern Philippines.

The Catarman Municipal Youth Camp 2019 theme is “Empowering the Youth in the pursuit of Development in the Municipality of Catarman, Northern Samar.” It was a two-day activity held at the Catarman Covered Court on October 24-25, 2019. The event centered on the participation of the youth from different villages or barangay and the SK or Sangguniang Kabataan in the municipality of Catarman. Our group, the Open Heart Foundation (OHF) youth was one of the invited youth organization, through our volunteer coordinator, Ms. Irmina Delorino of the MSWD Office.

It started at 8:00 in the morning with the registration of the participants, a prayer and singing of the national anthem. Ms. Irmina Delorino gave her opening remarks while Hon. Francisco Rosales Jr. gave an inspirational message. Introduced to the participants were the AFP Northern Samar brigade who expressed their support to the youth development program of the municipality. The army group is consist of different profession and high rank officials. The first topic was an Orientation on Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction given by the MDRRMO (Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office). We learned the different types of hazard, warning signal and how it works, and some tips and ways to be prepared in terms of emergency. Also discussed are the roles of the youth in environmental protection.

There was also the Gallery of Services for the Youth. Spearheaded by the MSWDO (Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office) and different agencies and organizations life PLAN International, PNP, DOLE, TESDA, MSWDO, PESO, MHO, MDRRMO and many others. It showed the mission, vision and objectives of each organization, their services and how youth can access it. In the afternoon, we played some games. The day’s activity ended by a candle lightning ritual headed by the Catholic bishop, where I was really overwhelmed.

The second day started with socialization during breakfast. Then, there was a talk on HIV/AIDs, its effects and how to prevent it. The speaker who was a doctor from Catarman Hospital, also shared about emerging issues on HIV in Catarman. In the afternoon, the speaker who was a police official gave a brief orientation on “Kabataan Kontra sa Droga at Terorismo’ Program. He talked about drugs and what NPA and the communist party are. Also, the challenges of the municipal police station about the criminalities in our municipality, the involvement of the youth in various crimes and delinquency. Other topics discussed are current issues that concerns the youth, like ALS education for out-of-school youth, teenage pregnancy, and some tips on a healthy and productive living. The program ended with the distribution of Certificates.

I gained new information and knowledge that I know I must not keep to myself alone but share to other youth like me. Also, disseminating the awareness to the youth and encouraging them to be involve in our community. The activity taught us how to be leaders and how we can create more leaders. The speakers shared the different aspects on how youth can be the agent of change, success and development in the community and society as a whole. It was a fruitful event that moved my heart to be the change agent in our own municipality.

Article prepared by Janette Corollo, RSW

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