Categories
Outreach Activity

Giving and Making a Difference

Like any other non-government organizations, Open Heart Foundation works and build partnership with other organizations, donors and benefactors to bring out more impact to the communities we serve. 

On its 2nd year, Open Heart Foundation is grateful to be the recipient of 200 grocery packs donation from Zero-In Concept and Production, a full-service event production company based in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Travel restrictions due to current Covid-19 pandemic does not hinder the Foundation in reaching out to families seen most in need of such assistance.  Their donations reached 200 families from Barangay Rosario, Rodriguez, Rizal and Sta. Martha, Palauig, Zambales. 

In coordination with Barangay Chairman Eric Jacinto, 20 barangay health workers and families of 50 participants of recently concluded feeding program for pregnant women of Barangay Rosario, Rodriguez, Rizal received the grocery packs.  Barangay Rosario has been OHF’s partner in Supplemental Feeding for day care children under the Health and Nutrition Program since 2019. 

Meanwhile, the Foundation extended Zero-In’s donations to our partner Aeta community in Sta. Marta, Palauig, Zambales, where 130 Aeta families benefitted.  OHF has been working with Tribal Christian Church headed by Pastor Benny Pulagay, to help mold the young minds of the Aeta children through the Early Childhood Care and Development Program (ECCDP) and Supplemental Feeding to improve health and nutrition of the day care students since year 2018. 

Once again, we are thankful to Zero-in Concept and Production, for sharing your blessings to the people and partner communities we serve.  It has brought joy and hope to the families, especially at this difficult times.  The continued trust and support of donors like you is a blessing to Open Heart Foundation.  As the quote said, truly, ‘giving is not just about making a donation, but making a difference.’   

To God be all the glory!

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

Categories
Staff Development

OHF Christmas Fellowship

People all over the world celebrates Christmas annually to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.  Often, this occasion is accompanied by thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving for the birth of Christ who serves and symbolizes the indescribable gift that God gave to mankind.  Therefore, the management decided to have a Christmas Fellowship/Party for all employees together with the Board of Trustees.

Christmas party is also one of the perfect ways to thank the entire workforce by recognizing and celebrating the hardwork they made throughout the year.  The Christmas Fellowship was held overnight on December 16, 2021 at Villa Rufina Resort, Calamba, Laguna.  The staffs decorated the venue and the Admin prepared a program for the whole night celebration. 

To formally start the program, Janette Corollo led the invocation followed by an opening remarks from the Executive Director, Ma’am Linda Perez.  The Board of Trustees, Ma’am Marlyn Fernando and Atty. Taya Guinto also shared their words to the group.  There were also parlor games and prizes available for everyone. 

The party also served as awards night for employees who have served the OHF for 20 years.  The awardees were Davilyn Fajardo, Jesusa Bedia and Marivic Lucion.  There was also an awarding for the Biggest Loser/Gainer where the declared winner was Janette Corollo with an average loosed weight of 7.23 %; Ma’am Linda sponsored P5,000 as award. 

The latter part of the program was the most beloved part of the Christmas celebration which is the exchange gift and giving gifts. This is the only time of year for many people when we get to show each and every person in our lives how important they are to us.  Giving gifts if just another way of spreading the love and joy of Christmas.

The last part of the program was a dinner together filled with stories of happy and funny times.  So everyone happily shared the lechon and other meals prepared by Hanna and other staff such as seafood’s, vegetables, fruits and more.  Happy Holidays to All!

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Susie Bedia, Admin Officer

Categories
Outreach Activity

Flu Vaccination in Luna, La Union

The Open Heart Foundation continues to bring programs to various places in the Philippines. During the Covid 19 Pandemic it is important to strengthen people’s resistance against any disease. One of the services of Open Heart to address this is the Flu vaccination project held on December 14, 2021 in the municipality of Luna, La Union; in partnership with a US-based organization; Philippine International Aid, founded by Ms. Mona Lisa Yuchengco in 1986.

The OHF team was warmly welcomed by the MSWDO head Ms. Jeanette Padilla. She expressed her gratefulness that their municipality was chosen as beneficiary of the free flu vaccine project.

Luna, La Union was severely hit by typhoon Maring in the last quarter of 2021 and caused heavy flooding that destroyed farmlands and sources of livelihood.  The executive director of Open Heart Foundation, Ms. Linda Perez, also introduced the foundation’s programs and services as well as the upcoming partnership of the Foundation with the LGU of Luna, La Union. She stressed that the flu vaccine project in this town was made possible by a grant from the Philippine International Aid (PIA).

The beneficiaries were 150 indigent citizens in the area and were identified by Luna MSWDO staffs. The flow of the vaccination project was well planned and organized by the municipal health office. The medical mission started  with a registration and screening of beneficiaries before the administration of the flu vaccine injection by volunteer nurses and doctors from Luna Rural Health unit.

It was another project made possible by partners and donors who believed in projects and causes advocated and implemented by the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. Thank you PIA!

Prepared by: Cheryl P. Ocampo, Program Area Coordinator 1

Categories
Monitoring

Monitoring Visit in Mati City, Davao Oriental

The Open Heart Foundation (OHF) took the opportunity to visit and monitor coverage areas when the IATF travel restrictions eased a bit.

On December 2, 2021, the monitoring team (composed of Ma’am Linda, Susie, Jerry and Mark) went to Mati City, Davao Oriental.  The team were assisted by CSWD SWO3 April Rabillo.  Before they started the lined up activities, they conducted courtesy call first at the office of the honorable Mayor Michelle Rabat.  Ma’am Linda discussed the programs and services which OHF has in Mati City as well as its progress.  After the courtesy call, the team had lunch with the beneficiaries and Ms. Rabillo.

The meeting began at 1:00 PM which was held at Mati National Comprehensive High School.  To start with, Hanni Melecio, OHYM Mati President, led an opening prayer.  To give opportunity to know each other, Susie introduced the monitoring team to the beneficiaries.  This was followed by an introduction of each beneficiary stating their name, course, and year level.

To address some issues and concerns, Susie initiated a rapport building/kumustahan with the beneficiaries.  As stated, almost all of them has already adjusted to the online classes but still prefers face to face classroom setting because online schooling is quite challenging.  However, this set up has taught them to be proactive and another advantage of this is that they can complete schooling at the comfort of their home.  Most of them are graduating this school year 2021-2022 thus they are willing to do everything and make necessary adjustments to adapt in the new normal.  Learning and coping were not easy in the midst of a pandemic but they chose to be optimistic despite the odds because they believe that these are meant to prepare and strengthen them.

The Executive Director, Ma’am Linda, also gave time to talk to the beneficiaries regarding special concerns particularly in getting their grades from the school.  Ma’am Linda expressed her support to them regarding any help OHF could extend specifically on the aforementioned concerns as it is one of the requirements for continuing their scholarship support from OHF.

After discussing all the lined up agendas, Mark led the distribution of allowance with corresponding proof of acknowledgment.

At the end of the meeting, the beneficiaries had a group picture with the staff as well as with SWO3 April Rabillo.

There is incredible value in being of service to others that is why OHF is pleased with every visit it makes to the areas where it operates.  In this way, we closely monitor the real and current situation of each child we support.

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Susie Bedia, Admin Officer

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
Outreach Activity

Anything of Value in Life Only Multiplies When It Is Given

The Open Heart Foundation (OHF) conducted Disaster Relief Operations in four flooded areas affected by Typhoon Maring in Ilocos Region.  As reported, Typhoon Maring made landfall in the northern part of the Philippines on October 12, 2021, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that resulted in severe flooding, landslides, and widespread damage.

In coordination with the DSWD Region 1, four municipalities were identified as heavily damaged in the province of La Union and Ilocos Sur.

Preparation has not been easy due to nationwide COVID travel restrictions and protocols.  Before the actual activity, OHF staff in charge requested certificate of acceptance from each LGU for boundary checkpoints.  The team also underwent RT-PCR test as required.  The Admin and Finance staff prepared documents such as travel orders, quarantine pass, certificate of employment, vaccination cards, company IDs etc.  The Fairview staff was also in charge of the marketing of grocery items and the repacking of 400 relief packs to be distributed to four areas.

On October28, the team composed of Ma’am Linda, Davilyn, Jerry, Tatet, Mark and Hanna departed from Fairview office at 2:30 AM going to La Union and Ilocos Sur.

For the first batch of relief distribution, the group arrived at the covered court of Brgy. Ili Sur in San Juan, La Union  at 8:00 AM.  The Barangay officers warmly welcomed the team.  Some of them helped in checking the attendance and the crowd control.  They also prepared a short program intended for the outreach activity such as invocation, national anthem, welcome message from Brgy. Captain Evangeline Sabalburo.  OHF Executive Director, Mam Linda Perez, also gave a short introductory message about the OHF agency profile. The distribution of relief goods to 100 families followed after all the opening preliminaries.

For the second batch, the team went to Brgy. Rissing in Luna, La Union which was assisted by MSWD officer Jeanette Padilla.  Brgy. Rissing is one of the barangays in La Union that actually submerged because it is close to a dike and most affected here are farmers because rice fields were severely damaged by the typhoon.  100 families from 5 Puroks/Districts received the relief packs.

For the third batch, the team travelled an hour from La Union to Tagudin Ilocos Sur.   For this area, the relief distribution was in partnership with Let’s Share Foundation headed by its Chairman, Dr. Carol Dacanay, who is a native of Tagudin.  Before the distribution, the team made a courtesy call to the office of Tagudin Mayor Roque Verzosa.  Afterwards, the distribution was held in a covered court in Brgy. Bucao East of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur which was assisted by MSWD Officer Laarni Acosta.  Prior to the distribution, the LGU also prepared opening preliminaries.  The Honorable Mayor also gave a message of gratitude to Open Heart Foundation and to Let’s Share Foundation particularly to Dr. Carol Dacanay.

For the fourth and last batch of relief distribution, also in partnership with Let’s Share Foundation, the team then proceeded to Brgy. Silag in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur.  They were assisted by MSWD Officer Editha Laya.  Like in the first three areas, OHF also provided 100 relief packs for 100 affected families.  OHF also donated two sets of desktop computers to the MSWD office.  Santa Maria is also said to be one of the most devastated in Ilocos Sur because the municipality is adjacent to a river.  The roads here have been damaged by floods, covered in thick mud and blocked by broken branches and trees so they solicit immediate assistance for their fellow villagers.

It feels good when we give, share and think that the help we give somehow makes a difference in the lives of people in need.

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Mark Ben Dapilaga, Bookkeeper

Categories
Outreach Activity

Community Relief Mission in Ternate, Cavite

The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) aims to bring its programs and services to different corners in the country.  Even before the pandemic started, Open Heart already had a plan to expand.  It has already identified possible areas to extend its services.  But due to nationwide COVID quarantine restrictions and protocols that need to be monitored, these plans have been temporarily put aside.  However, Open Heart has not wavered performing its services and programs.

For year 2021, the Provincial Social Welfare of Development Office (PSWDO) of Cavite, helped the Foundation in identifying areas where to expand OHFWI programs and services. The PSWDO recommended the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Ternate, Cavite. According to them, many students are in need of educational support because the main source of income of families from the coastal area is only in fishing.

To jumpstart the partnership, Open Heart conducted a gift giving activity to help families who were previously affected by typhoon Maring and also served as its service project in celebration of the Foundation’s 29th anniversary and the commemoration of the 21st death anniversary of its Founder, Robert LeGore.

The assigned program coordinator in the area, Ms. Cheryl Ocampo spearheaded the coordination with the LGU.  Courtesy call at the Mayor’s office, ocular visits, and series of meetings with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) to lay out plans for the activity were conducted in preparation for the activity.

When the strict quarantine restrictions were lifted, the Open Heart staffs immediately resumed planning, purchasing and preparing, then finally conducting the relief mission.  Ternate LGU also provided support by overseeing the selection of recipients, registration, crowd control and implementation of COVID protocols. Everyone worked together to smoothly implement the activity.

The Community Relief mission took place on October 26, 2021 and was held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of Barangay Poblacion 1-A where 150 families were the recipients of gift giving activity.

Staffs from Fairview, Quezon City travelled at 5am to Ternate, Cavite.  The team arrived at the venue at 7AM and immediately began arranging all the goods to be distributed.  When the participants arrived, the program started and Ms. Cheryl hosted the program. 

To officially start the program, Ms. Saleah Uclusin, Open Heart social worker, led the opening prayer followed by the acknowledgment of guests and participants by Ms. Emiliana Ilago from MSWDO Ternate.  With great pleasure, the Hon. Mayor Lamberto Bambao delivered his welcome message.  Open Heart Executive Director, Ms. Linda Perez, also gave an opening message in which she introduced the Foundation’s programs and services as well as the upcoming partnership of the Foundation with the LGU of Ternate, Cavite.

Each family received gift packs containing grocery items like rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, spaghetti noodle with sauce, and cheese. Open Heart also distributed hygiene kit containing alcohol, face masks and face shields to each recipient.  Open Heart also prepared snacks for all.

The Honorable Mayor also expressed his gratitude to Open Heart for choosing his municipality to hold the event which he called Early Christmas Gift Giving. It was heartwarming to see everyone coming out from the venue with a smile that mirrored their happiness. Even OHF staffs felt fulfilled and happy seeing the recipients happy. Services is more important during a crisis like this. They feel that doing these activities together bring a deeper level of fulfillment.

To God be all the glory!

Prepared by: Susie Bedia, Admin Officer

Categories
programs

Provision of Broadband Prepaid WiFi for Beneficiaries in Region 4A

Given the current needs of students in the new learning modalities, the Foundation decided to use the cash incentive it received from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the purchase of Broadband Prepaid WIFI with 500 prepaid load cards.

Open Heart Foundation satisfactorily complied with the requirements in the implementation of Community-based programs and services for Children and Youth and their families in Region IV-A. The DSWD-Standards Bureau awarded this incentive to Open Heart as one of the Social Work and Development Agencies (SWDA) that passed the Level 2 accreditation.

The Level 2 accreditation means that a SWDA is compliant to mandatory and higher set of indicators required for its work areas and will be issued an accreditation certificate valid for five (5) years.

The said cash incentive was used to buy prepaid broadband which were given to all senior high school and college beneficiaries of Open Heart in Binan Laguna, Carmona Cavite, GMA Cavite, Silang Cavite and Rodriguez Rizal, who have difficulty accessing an internet connection. On October 18, 2021 a total of 31 beneficiaries received the Broadband prepaid WIFI. The recipients were grateful, for according to them this will be very useful in their online class.

Prepared by: Cheryl P. Ocampo, Program Area Coordinator

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