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Uncategorized

Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Christmas Caroling

As the holiday season approaches, the employees of OHFWI embraced the festive spirit by organizing Christmas Caroling events for the Board of Trustees members.

To ensure a harmonious and delightful caroling experience, the staff gathered at the OHFWI Fairview office on December 15 for a practice session. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and camaraderie as the group rehearsed classic and modern carols, refining harmonies and perfecting their festive tunes. This preparatory session set the stage for the upcoming caroling events, creating a sense of unity and sharing excitement among the carolers.

The holiday cheer extended beyond the office premises as the carolers boarded a special journey to Tagaytay on December 18. BOT Ma’am Marlyn was the recipient of this musical endeavor. The team, having left the Fairview office after lunch, made their way to Tagaytay to serenade Ma’am Marlyn with the timeless melodies of the season. The picturesque backdrop of Tagaytay added an extra layer of enchantment to the caroling experience, creating lasting memories for both the carolers and Ma’am Marlyn.

Continuing their mission to spread joy and warmth, the OHFWI carolers visited Ma’am Lilet and Atty. Taya on December 19, and Ma’am Linda on December 20. The heartwarming tunes echoed, bringing smiles and festive vibes to the homes of these esteemed colleagues. The personalized touch of caroling at the residences of Ma’am Lilet, Atty. Taya and Ma’am Linda added a sense of intimacy to the celebrations, fostering a stronger sense of community within the OHFWI family.

The Christmas caroling served as a testament to the spirit of togetherness and joy that defines the holiday season. From the spirited practice session at the Fairview office to the memorable visits to the homes of the three members of the board of trustees and the executive director, the carolers successfully brought the magic of Christmas to life. The OHFWI family created cherished memories that will undoubtedly be treasured for years to come, solidifying the bonds of friendship and camaraderie within the organization.

Indeed, these heartwarming gatherings brought joy and merriment to both the carolers and the members of the Board of Trustees.

Prepared by:

Jesusa Bedia, Admin Officer

Categories
inspirations

Inspiring Success: A Resilient Journey

Inspiring Success: Michelle P. Trinidad’s Resilient Journey

Meet Michelle P. Trinidad, a beacon of resilience and determination in a large family of 11 siblings.

Growing up, she witnessed her family’s challenges and admired her father’s hard work as a diligent farmer and her mother’s capacity to love. Michelle, the youngest in the family, harbored big dreams and life principles.

Believing that their struggles would one day yield prosperity and success, Michelle’s unwavering spirit led her to become a scholar of the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. in 2018. In the last school year (2021-2022), she accomplished a significant milestone—graduating with a Bachelor of Secondary Education degree from Cagayan State University. Shortly after, she had an opportunity to travel to Thailand and put her acquired knowledge into practice.

Fast forward to 2023, Michelle embraced the challenges and conquered them by passing the Licensure Examination. Her story is a testament to resilience and optimism, proving that hard work and perseverance can transform adversity into triumph.

Michelle’s journey and mindset serve as an inspiration to everyone, showcasing the remarkable outcomes that determination and a positive outlook can bring to one’s life.

Prepared By:

Maejorie U. Ortega, RSW, Program Area Coordinator

Categories
inspirations

The Inspiring Journey of Antonette, a Resilient Soul Triumphing in the 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers

The Inspiring Journey of Antonette, a Resilient Soul Triumphing in the 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers 🌟

Antonette’s story is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Raised in a broken family, facing challenges that could have easily been stumbling blocks. Instead, she used her experiences as stepping stones, propelling her forward with unwavering strength.

In 2019, Antonette’s life took a positive turn when she was granted a scholarship from the Open Hearts Foundation Worldwide Inc. Beyond financial assistance, the scholarship provided her with more than just support—it became a source of moral encouragement and a surrogate family. Over time, her resilience became evident as she consistently prioritized and excelled in her academics.

Antonette’s journey culminated in her graduation with honors, earning a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Mathematics Magna Cum Laude at Bacolod City College. This year, guided by both divine grace and her abilities, she successfully conquered the 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers.

Antonette’s story is not just about overcoming obstacles; it’s a narrative of transformation, growth, and the incredible impact that support and resilience can have on an individual’s journey.

Prepared by:

Maejorie Ortega, RSW, Program Area Coordinator

Categories
inspirations

Congratulations for Passing the November 2023 Board Examination for Agriculturists, Reymark L. Orilla, L. Agr.

Reymark’s remarkable success story is a shining example of resilience and determination. Hailing from a humble background as a son of a farmer in a mountainous community in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro, Reymark faced challenges that could have deterred many. Reymark pursued his passion for agriculture and took BS in Agriculture at Mindoro State University, Main Campus.

With the obstacle of financial constraints, Reymark didn’t enroll in any review school for the November 2023 Licensure Examination for Agriculturists. Instead of succumbing to the challenges, he chose the path of self-review and emerged victorious, passing the examination with flying colors.

Reymark’s story is a testament to the transformative power of providing opportunities to the youth. His achievement echoes the mission of Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc., proving that when given the chance, young individuals could indeed reach for and achieve their dreams.

Congratulations Reymark for your outstanding achievement, and may your journey continue to inspire others to overcome obstacles and reach new heights.

Prepared by: Jay Frank Diaz, RSW

Program Area Coordinator

Congratulations for Passing the November 2023 Board Examination for Agriculturists, Reymark L. Orilla, L. Agr.

Reymark’s remarkable success story is a shining example of resilience and determination. Hailing from a humble background as a son of a farmer in a mountainous community in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro, Reymark faced challenges that could have deterred many. Reymark pursued his passion for agriculture and took BS in Agriculture at Mindoro State University, Main Campus.

With the obstacle of financial constraints, Reymark didn’t enroll in any review school for the November 2023 Licensure Examination for Agriculturists. Instead of succumbing to the challenges, he chose the path of self-review and emerged victorious, passing the examination with flying colors.

Reymark’s story is a testament to the transformative power of providing opportunities to the youth. His achievement echoes the mission of Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc., proving that when given the chance, young individuals could indeed reach for and achieve their dreams.

Congratulations Reymark for your outstanding achievement, and may your journey continue to inspire others to overcome obstacles and reach new heights.

Prepared by: Jay Frank Diaz, RSW

Program Area Coordinator

Categories
Monitoring

OHFWI’s Program Expansion in Cagwait, Surigao Del Sur

The 10th and 11th of October 2023 marked two significant events in Cagwait, Surigao Del Sur, which played a pivotal role in shaping the journey of the Cagwait Scholars. These events were made possible through the Program Area Coordinator of Open Heart Foundation Ms. Maejorie Ortega as well as the dedication and unwavering commitment of the volunteer coordinators, Mr. Wilson Irizari and Mr. Romel Montenegro. Their tireless efforts ensured the success of these essential activities.

On October 10, 2023, a virtual orientation was held to acquaint the new OHYM Scholars in the area of Cagwait, Surigao Del Sur, and to clarify their roles and responsibilities, along with those of their parents. This orientation served as a beacon of knowledge and inspiration for the scholars, providing them with the necessary tools to navigate their educational paths.

The scholars, together with their parents, joined the virtual session eagerly, knowing that this event would empower them with valuable information. The orientation was facilitated by the Program Area Coordinator and joined by the dedicated volunteer coordinators, Sir Wilson Irizari and Sir Romel Montenegro, who have consistently guided the scholars throughout their educational journey.

The topics discussed during the orientation included the following:

– Introduction of the foundation and its mission.

– The roles and responsibilities of Cagwait Scholars, emphasizing the importance of academic dedication and community involvement.

– The complementary responsibilities of parents, highlighting their vital role in supporting their children’s education.

– The resources and support networks available to the scholars, reinforce the idea that they are not alone in their educational pursuit.

This orientation not only provided the scholars and their parents with a clear roadmap for success but also ignited a sense of purpose and motivation, uniting them in a common goal of academic excellence and community engagement.

Following the orientation, on October 11, 2023, the dedicated Volunteer Coordinators, Sir Wilson Irizari and Sir Romel Montenegro organized a meeting that was instrumental in the efficient functioning of the scholarship program. The key highlights of this meeting included:

1. Formal Kasunduan Signing: A significant milestone was achieved as the scholars formally signed the Kasunduan (agreement), underscoring their commitment to their studies and the responsibilities associated with their scholarship. This Agreement is designed to encompass scholars, parents, and the foundation.

2. Officer Elections: The meeting provided a platform for the scholars to actively participate in the management of their scholarship program. Elections were held to appoint officers who would represent the scholars’ interests and serve as their voices. This democratic process encourages the scholars to take ownership of their educational journey and instills a sense of responsibility.

3. Allowance Distribution: The meeting signified the initial distribution of financial allowances to the scholars, signifying the importance of this financial aid in helping the scholars meet their educational requirements and achieve academic success.

The events of October 10 and 11, 2023, bore great significance for the Cagwait Scholars and the entire community. These activities were a testament to the dedication of the volunteer coordinators, Sir Wilson Irizari and Sir Romel Montenegro, to the scholars’ success. They also demonstrated the scholars’ determination to excel in their education and to give back to their community.

As these events unfolded, it was clear that the Cagwait Scholars’ journey was not just about financial assistance, but about building a strong, supportive community that values education and believes in the potential of its youth.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of these events, and we look forward to witnessing the growth and achievements of the Cagwait Scholars in the days to come.

Prepared by:

Maejorie U. Ortega, RSW, Program Area Coordinator

Categories
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

Categories
Monitoring

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

Categories
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!

Categories
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.

Categories
Monitoring

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