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OHF on its 28th Years of Unselfish Services to the Filipino Children & Youth

SARS-CoV-2 a.k.a CoVid-19 pandemic has spread around the world affecting many people in different countries. To prevent the spread of the virus, countries have agreed on lockdowns and quarantines and encouraged people to stay indoors to save lives.

This pandemic caused many to cancel their special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. However, instead of letting the pandemic spoil the celebrations, people thought of creative ways to celebrate important occasions while maintaining social and physical distancing.

In 2020, the Open Heart Foundation celebrates its 28th year of giving services to the children and youth, families and communities in the Philippines; and commemorates the 20th death anniversary of our generous Founder, Atty. Robert LeGore. OHF is one of the many organizations that wish to celebrate very special occasion like this, but due to this pandemic, OHF decided to make the anniversary celebration safer by live streaming a Thanksgiving Mass via Zoom application. This is to prevent the potential exposure of its staffs, friends, families and guests to the deadly virus.

The anniversary celebration was held on August 1 through a series of programs. The program began by paying tribute to our Founder, Robert LeGore; for the life he shared with the Filipino people and his legacy of having an open heart to empower so many children and youth. After paying tribute, our Executive Director, Ms. Rosalinda Perez, gave her opening message.

After all the preliminaries, a Thanksgiving Mass was officiated by Rev. Fr. John Harvey Bagos of Good Shepherd Church. He was assisted by OHF Executive Director and selected staff in leading the Readings and Responsorial Psalms.

After the mass, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Carol Encarnacion-Dacanay also gave her message of inspiration in relation to the thanksgiving celebration.

On the second half of the program is the announcement of the top 3 winners of the Logo-Making Contest and the announcement of the official logo for Open Heart Youth Movement (OHYM) under Children and Youth Program (CYDP). OHYM is an organized children and youth group whose members are the beneficiaries of CYDP. It is an active youth movement that stands united to claim their rights with corresponding responsibility as they realize their purpose and roles towards progress and nation building. To formalize them as a group, a logo-making contest was opened to all OHYM groups. The logo entry from OHYM Romblon was chosen as the winner and was designated as the official logo of the Open Heart Youth Movement.

The pandemic presented us challenges of different kinds but it also strengthened our resolve to realize our goals and made us closer to each other. The online celebration was attended by the board of trustees, staffs, beneficiaries, graduates, parent volunteers, network partners, previous employees and other invited guests. Truly, their presence signify that they are one with Open Heart Foundation’s mission and vision for the children and youth.

We also took this opportunity to bless the LeGore Learning Center; a learning center intended for pre-school children residing within the subdivision and nearby subdivisions. It is envisioned to cater the needs of regular children and children with special needs thru inclusion.

As the program ended and as a sign of solidarity, everyone was invited to give a heart sign virtually, a heart that symbolizes our commitment, compassion and unselfish dedication for the empowerment of children and youth.

Congratulations to the Open Heart Family.

Article prepared by Susie Bedia


Open Heart Youth Movement as an organized youth group

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One of the core programs of Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. (OHF) is the promotion of the Participation Rights of the children and youth through the Open Heart Youth Movement (OHYM) under the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP).

OHYM is an organized children and youth group whose members are the beneficiaries of OHF–CYDP nationwide. Through the CYDP, each beneficiary is empowered through capacity trainings and various psychosocial activities. Currently, there are 30 areas where CYDP is operating, thus also having 30 active OHYM groups with over 307 members. Each OHYM group conducts various activities voluntarily in their communities, not only as a means to share or pay forward the benefits and privileges they receive from the Foundation but also to share their positive experiences with other children and youth through their community outreach activities.

Last February 2020, OHYM Biñan and OHYM Quezon City teamed up to brainstorm and finalize the draft for OHYM’s vision, mission, and goals.

Here are the final vision, mission, and goals of OHYM:

  • Vision: An active youth movement that stands united to claim our rights with corresponding responsibilities as we realize our purpose on the progress of the society.

  • Mission: Seize every opportunity and participate in all activities that create learning and open doors of engagement in our communities that help in our holistic development.

  • Goals:
    1. To educate oneself and transmit new learnings to our fellow children and youth.
    2. To unite us, children and youth in advocating our rights and capabilities.
    3. To empower us, children and youth to become functional members of society.

    After finalizing the vision, mission and goals, a Logo-Making Contest were also opened to all OHYM groups. 13 OHYM groups submitted their entries to join the contest. The winning logo will be used as the trademark of OHYM projects and its members. The winning logo was chosen from among various entries coming from different areas of operations of the Open Heart Foundation. Beneficiaries voted based on three criteria: relevance of the logo to the VMG, creativity, originality and general vote (choice of the beneficiaries as to logo appearance and its symbolism).

    The beneficiaries voted for the logo of their choice and the top three was voted upon by four Admin staff for the final ranking. The entries from Biñan City, Pangasinan and Romblon are the top three choices of the beneficiaries. After the judging of four OHF staff, the entry from Pangasinan is the 3rd place, entry from Biñan City is the 2nd place, and entry from Romblon is the 1st place and the official logo of OHYM.

    The winning entries received cash prizes: 1st Place PHP 10,000.00, 2nd Place PHP 7,500.00, 3rd Place PHP 5,000.00. The announcement of winners was officially made during the OHF 28th Anniversary on August 1, 2020.

    Article prepared by Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW


  • OHF Annual Team Building cum Rest & Recreation

    Rest and recreation with team building activity is something that OHF staffs look forward to every year. This activity usually takes place after strategic/work and financial planning or after a big service event like medical mission or relief mission. And how does one prefer to relax? OHF staffs unanimously decided to go on a road trip to see other places that relaxes the mind and body after the taxing activity.

    On February 20, 2020 after the planning session in Baguio City, OHF staffs proceeded to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. The objective was for the staffs to relax and enjoy the sceneries they passed by and to know each other better during meals and while strolling around. With the addition of three new social workers to the OHF team, the group enjoyed each other’s company and learned how to fit in and welcomed the new ones.

    If there is a place up North that evokes curiosity and excitement for local and foreign tourists; Vigan is one you can find in the list. Vigan is a popular destination for those wanting to see the Philippines of yester years when our country was still under Spanish regime.

    Along the way to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, we passed by Candon, Ilocos Sur which is famous for its locally made pasalubong items like cornick of different flavors and other renowned products. The group also had a stop-over in Narvacan public market and bought some bagnet, a deep fried crispy pork belly dish that is similar to lechon kawali and originated from Ilocos.

    Finally, we arrived at our destination Vigan, at lunch time. We visited the St. Paul’s Cathedral (also known as Vigan Cathedral) and spent some time inside the church to give thanks and pray. The group soon crossed the Calle Crisologo (also known as Vigan Heritage Village) which is famous for its cobblestone streets, old houses and calesa.

    The staff took the liberty to stroll around the area and enjoyed the sights of old historical structures which was painstakingly preserved by the local government. We had picture-taking everywhere (selfie-groupie) for memorabilia and shopping of souvenir items, including delicacies that you can only find in Vigan.

    To sum it all, everyone enjoyed the whole day tour especially the food trip and picture taking as it was a great experience for all as a team. Hoping that someday, we could go back and enjoy once more each other’s company thru the activities we shared.

    Article prepared by Susie Bedia


    Outreach Activity for the Victims of Taal Volcanic Eruption

    Last January 12, 2020, news flashed on televisions, radios and in social media platforms about the sudden eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas. Thousands of individuals, hundreds of families and lots of properties were affected by the disaster and evacuation centers were quickly prepared for the safety of the residents. Due to the sudden eruption of the volcano, many people were not prepared to bring their basic need like clothes, toiletries, food, water and other physiological needs.

    It is at this point when private organizations, government agencies and even good-hearted individuals extended a helping hand and reached out to the victims to give aid and provided some of the evacuees’ basic needs. The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHF) also did a quick response to the victims of volcanic eruption. On January 14, 2020, Tuesday, the OHF staff started the preparation of foods to be given to the victims of volcanic eruption.

    Last January 15, 2020, Wednesday, the OHF prepared 500 pcs of packed lunch, 500 bottles of purified water, face masks and 100 pcs sleeping mats good for 4 pax/piece. Staffs of the Foundation conducted a disaster relief operation in three evacuation centers in the City of Tanauan, Province of Batangas. The activity was in partnership with the Let’s Share Foundation-USA and Living Waters Church-USA and was coordinated with Tanauan City Vice Mayor Jun-Jun Trinidad.

    The Organizations firstly did a courtesy call at the Office of the Vice Mayor with the Councilors of Tanauan, Batangas. After the courtesy call, the organizations then proceed to the first Barangay which is the Barangay Pantay-Matanda wherein 222 individuals and 64 families were affected by the volcanic eruption. The second barangay was Barangay Pagaspas wherein 186 individuals and 49 families were affected. Lastly, the Barangay Sala wherein 227 individuals and 39 families were affected and were also reached to give aid.

    No help is ever too little. By giving simple aid to the victims made a big impact and gave hope to the community and to the affected residents of Tanauan, Batangas. The Open Heart Foundation sincerely prays for the welfare of the victims.

    Article prepared by Desiree Enriquez, RSW


    OHF Masquerade Christmas Party 2019

    Christmas is a time to be merry and office party is one of Open Heart Foundation’s (OHF) social enhancing opportunities to mingle casually with co-workers and with people we don’t see every day.

    OHF conducted its annual Christmas Party on December 19, 2019 which was held at the OHF main office in Fairview, Quezon City with a theme Masquerade Party.

    It was well-attended by OHF staff, board of trustee, ECCD teachers, invited guests, families and friends. The program was hosted by OHF’s newly hired registered social workers, Ms. Desiree Enriquez and Ms. Mariel Diaz.

    The occasion showcased individual artistic and creative inclinations thru the masquerade costumes, intermission numbers by clusters and offices, parlor games and prizes and raffle draws.

    There was also an exchange gift activity -something that could not be omitted during Christmas occasions like this. Ma’am Linda sponsored the raffle draws by giving away signatured accessories. She also sponsored the prizes for the best in intermission number.

    Somewhere between the merry-making, buffet lunch was served.

    The Executive Director, Ms. Linda Perez and Board of Trustee Ms. Marlyn Fernando also shared their messages of inspiration for everyone.

    The awarding of prizes for the winners was made before the end of the party.

    Article prepared by Susie Bedia


    Christmas Party of CYDP Manila Beneficiaries

    It has been a yearly practice to celebrate Christmas, whether it is at home, at work, school or even between friends. On December 14. 2019, Saturday, the beneficiaries under the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP) of Manila area celebrated their Christmas Party which was held at Mabadan Compound in Malate, Manila.

    The celebration started with a prayer led by Triszha Buban, a Grade 5 Student. The children also showcased an intermission number performed by Ana Althea Almonte, Kevin Roy Arcilla, Trizsha Buban and Aidan Jerome Altre dancing in the beat of “Star ng Pasko” Christmas song.

    Games were also played where laughter and enjoyment filled the venue. The first game was facilitated by the parent of one of the beneficiaries, while the second and third games were facilitated by OHF Area Coordinators, Janette and Desiree. Raffles and prizes were also given to the children and parent monitors. Exchanging of gifts between the OHF Staff and children was also part of the program. The food was served for everyone and the celebration ended by a group photo.

    The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. gives value to the spirit of Christmas as remembrance of what the Lord has done for everyone. That is why, the beneficiaries of CYDP Manila held a simple Christmas Party as a way of remembering this special occasion.

    Article prepared by Desiree Enriquez, RSW


    Open Heart’s Catarman Youth participates in the Municipal Youth Camp 2019

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    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


    Reaching out to children of former sugar cane farmers and hacienda workers in Western Visayas

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    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 ( 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


    Internship Program

    The Open Heart Foundation opened its door for internship programs to students since 2009 to be part in the implementation of the organization’s programs and services and to immerse them to the culture of the Philippines. For this year, two students from Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences were the third Batch of students who had their internship program. They are Klara and Leonie. The objective of the internship program is for the students to relate and describe the experiences and knowledge gained about the programs and services of the Foundation; describe culture, attitudes and behaviors of the clientele of the organization; explain the process of preparing a Social Case Study Report; discuss the administration of a social service and development agency; and enumerate and describe the procedures on how to conduct psychosocial interventions. The whole exposure lasted for 6 weeks, from August 1 to September 12, 2019.

    During their first week, the students were oriented about the operations of OHFWI, they were given the tasks to make write up to get to know and be familiarized with the organization they will be working with. The following weeks, the students were exposed to the Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP), Child Abuse Prevention and Community Intervention Program (CAPCIP), and the Health and Nutrition Program (HNP), particularly in the areas of Quezon City, Cavite and Rizal. They were able to observe the process of opening the feeding program in Rizal, from pre-weighing and evaluation of target beneficiaries of the program, and the implementation process.

    Each of them were assigned to one case to experience case management in the Philippines. They conducted home visitation, exploration of the program in the local government, and produced a social case study report which will be their tool for their treatment plan. They were able to conduct at least two activities in their treatment plan on each case.

    Klara conducted three lessons of tutorial to evaluate her client in reading skills then left exercises for the client to continue developing his skills. Leonie on the other hand, conducted psychological session with her client for her to learn and develop her skills in dealing positively with her traumatic experiences and gain strength necessary to handle possible issues in the future.

    Both of them encouraged the parents of their clients to seek capability training to equip themselves and have a better job opportunity. The two interns then facilitated two additional Psychosocial sessions. First, is the “Self-Awareness Session” to the 15 beneficiaries of OHFWI in Quezon City. The objective of this activity was for the beneficiaries to learn how to make positive and healthy decisions as an important part of preparing them for responsible adulthood. Second, is the psychosocial activities with children in conflict with the law and children who need protection in GMA, Cavite. The objective of this activity was for the children to reflect one’s own behavior and to determine the children´s need for protection and support they need.

    The interns were also exposed in the process of how the government and private social work service agencies are organized and administered to develop a programs and services, mandates, etc. for the welfare of the children and youth through attending the meeting of the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children which is a government network of OHFWI and to the Local Council for the Protection of Children in Carmona Cavite and for having a visit at Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in GMA, Cavite.

    They were also able to join the outreach program of OHFWI in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro as part of the celebration of the 27th anniversary of the Foundation.

    These were part of the activities for them to experience and gain knowledge on the aspect of Social Case Work and Administration of Social Welfare Administration.

    The two intern students were able to complete all the activities assigned to them despite the challenges in language and time constraints. They were able to demonstrate knowledge on the strategies applicable to all types of clientele system, shows adaptability and flexibility in the system of implementing the program and services here in the Philippines. They were immersed in the Filipino culture by recognizing the uniqueness of the diverse individuals and groups’ situation including effects of personal and societal forces and influencing behavior.

    Article Prepared by Saleah Joy Uclusin, RSW


    Developing a Child-Friendly Monitoring Tools for the 3rd NPAC

    Developing a Child-Friendly Monitoring Tools for the 3rd National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) is this year’s topic of the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) Coalition’s Annual Children’s Consultation held September 7-8, 2019 at La Breza Hotel in Quezon City.

    Attended by children and youth representatives from various children’s rights advocate organizations in the country, the Open Heart Foundation youth was represented by Alexandra Del Rosario and John Christian Valles.

    Discussed in this activity is the 3rd NPAC for 2017-2022, a medium-term action plan to achieve and realize the vision for the Filipino Children or Child 21, stating the four goals as follows: Goal 1: Children have a better quality and improved quality of life. Goal 2: Children are well-nourished, have healthy lives and are active learners with good quality education. Goal 3: Children are safe and free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Goal 4: Children are actively participating in decision-making processes affecting their lives according to their evolving capacities.

    Through child-friendly games, workshop and interactive activities, the perspectives of the youth participants and their understanding of the UNCRC children’s rights and NPAC goals were gathered. An additional topic in Understanding Sex and Gender was also discussed by the facilitators from the CRC Coalition.

    The participants have identified indicators in determining whether each goal is achieved considering the topics that has been discussed. They have chosen at least two significant issues of concerns in the community and society, as a whole, where they came out with sets of questions that can be used in the monitoring tool.

    Participants presented their proposed data gathering techniques, methodologies, schedule and monitoring process that they see effective and applicable for children their age. The types of support they need and from whom was also identified.

    The 2-day activity concluded with a consultation meeting with the youth participants of the Children Talk to Children (C2C) facilitated by Ms. Olive of Save the Children. This was in view of the possible changes of C2C program management from SM-ZOTO, the organization who sphere headed this initiative, to CSC-CRC Coalition.

    Article prepared by Janette Corollo, RSW