ABS CBN Foundation
ABS CBN Foundation is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization which helps disadvantaged children in the Philippines. Based in Northern California, the organization helps fund a program to rescue at-risk and abused children in the Philippines through a nationwide emergency hotline "163" (similar to 911) and network of rescue & healthcare workers. It also funds a multi-acre property in the Northern Philippines called, The Children's Village, where the victims of extreme abuse are sheltered, healed and educated.
My work with ABS CBN Foundation began in development - working with donors face-to-face or through communications (phone, regular mail and email) - and moved up to marketing where I wrote, created and designed material for traditional (print and broadcast) and new media. I also represented the organization at several events and fundraising activities across the country.
Wrote the Foundation Chairman's report (2008)
AChange Empowered by Each and Every One
Recently,many of us were caught amid the wave of enthusiasm which engulfed the andrippled throughout the rest of the world. This wave I speak of is the one which amassed excitement during the lastquarter of 2008 and peaked early this year with the inauguration of a new AmericanPresident. It is a wave which bears muchanticipation and promises much change – a change which new President Barack Obamadeclared, we can believe in.
Thechallenges brought upon us in 2008 moved us often in ways validating thenecessity of change. With a tougheconomy surrounding us all, ABS CBN and The Filipino Channel (TFC) has had tolook for ways to adapt to the times while still upholding the ability todeliver quality services to our customers. It has not been an easy task, but like everyone else, we have had torise and face the challenges.
Inthe ABS CBN Foundation, the challenges have been no less demanding. With costs of resources and supplies risingalong with the number of the disadvantaged and needy, finding means to fulfillthe Foundation’s mission has never been more difficult. In 2008 the Foundation raised approximately$670,000 for its various projects in the . And while the donation total remains generousand notable, it had fallen short of our initial goal of $1 million.
Nevertheless,the Foundation in 2008 proceeded with significant projects – primarily theBayaniJuan initiative, which helps revive distressed Filipino communitiesthrough the combined operation of four of our primary programs: Bantay Bata,Bantay Kalikasan, Educational TV and Bayan Microfinance. The name BayaniJuan literally means, “TheCountry of Juan”, and represents the equal share of each constituent of “,” a Filipino icon, in the task ofnation-building. The name was alsocoined from the Filipino term, ,a word encapsuling the spirit of cooperation, lending a brotherly hand and camaraderie.
Withpreliminary project sites in crucial Philippine provinces and localities like, Bulacan,Albay, Masbate, Pampanga, Laguna, Quezon City, Mountain Province and Palawan,BayaniJuan launched feeding, educational programs, microfinancing plans, watertreatment and waste management activities to begin rehabilitation in thedistressed areas. Some of the seed moneyfor these came from fundraising campaigns initiated throughout 2008, in thecities of , and . In all, approximately $197,000 was raisedfrom the tri-city crusade, helping kick off operations in Bulacan (Hagonoy), Albay(Oas), Sorsogon (Donsol), Laguna (Calauan), Quezon City (Tandang Sora), MountainProvince and Masbate (Ticao). The fundraiser,in fact, spawned its own off-shoot event later in the year to help benefit anew BayaniJuan project site along the in Metro Manila ().
Asthe flagship program of the ABS CBN Foundation, Bantay Bata entered its 11year of operations with renewed commitment for disadvantaged Filipino children. With more than 200,000 kids assistedthroughout the past decade, Bantay Bata in 2008 looked to maintain its missionamid the rising challenges of the times. At the core of the Bantay Bata infrastructure is the nationwide network(through the national telephone hotline, “163”) which provides immediateassistance and rescue. With offices inseven key Philippine cities (,, , ,, Pangasinanand Bicol) and social workers and volunteers nationwide, Bantay Bata is able tooffer protective, residential, community and family services, as well as healthand wellness guidance.
Someof the more extreme cases encountered by Bantay Bata in their rescues aresheltered in the Children’s Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan. This past year, the Village took in up to 57kids, securing for them their basic needs as well as providing them with abeneficial community to help heal, develop and grow.
BantayBata has also opened the door for educational opportunities for kids under itsBantay Edukasyon initiative, which in the past ten years has providedscholarships for more than 1,660 children – from elementary to highschool. In 2008, the program has helped put162 more kids through school, further advancing Bantay Bata’s mission to promotea better world for our children.
Anannual predicament for the in general is the unpredictable occurrence of natural disasters – characterizedcustomarily by powerful weather disturbances. This past year, our were not spared of such disturbances as Typhoon Frank (international name: ) roared through a large sectionof central and northern in mid-June. The typhoon claimed morethan 1,300 lives, with at least 800 from the ferry, , which sank in the waters off of , Romblon.
Withina few days, the Sagip Kapamilya program was at work, providing relief goods andengineering rehabilitation efforts in the affected provinces and regions. More than $46,000 was raised from concernedsupporters in , and the donationshelped fund assistance projects for approximately 17,000 families in sixprovinces. Aside from the provision ofrelief goods and first aid, Sagip Kapamilya helped in the area rehabilitationand recovery, and in the promotion of educational and occupationalopportunities.
TheEducational-TV (ETV) program continues to serve Philippine public school childrenwith its curricula delivered through the power of visual media. The program provides adopted publicelementary schools with an audio-visual educational library which helps augmentthe Philippine Department of Education’s (DepEd) national curriculum. Over 460 schools were adopted in 2008,totaling 8,177 of 38,408 public elementary schools to date which have alreadybeen fitted with an package.
With enhancing the learning experience, the grades of school children haveconsistently improved – to as much as 70% in test scores in math, 57% in HeKaSi(a subject which teaches geography, history and civics), 40% in English and 35%in science*.
The program, though, does not stopthere. In the past year, we’ve startedpilot programs for further educational development with the goal of bridgingthe gap between public and private school educational systems. With assistance from the private sector, has set up a couple of model schools whichinclude better facilities and an innovative teaching methodology. The goal is to draw up a model whichPhilippine public elementary schools could emulate to deliver quality educationin spite of limited resources.
As2009 unfolds, the challenges have swelled well beyond the boundaries of the . The current strain in the economy isaffecting many of our North American-based more than ever and the onus is upon us to help one another. To this end, the ABS CBN Foundation will belaunching programs to help our and friends find educational and employment prospects. Under the banner of ,the program will provide workshops and possible scholarships which, theFoundation hopes, may later generate the much-needed opportunities.
Backin the ,the Foundation is scheduled to break ground on its most sizeable project todate – the rehabilitation of the . Perhaps the best known and most significantaquatic lifeline of the ,the is a 15.5 mile (25 kilometers)tidal estuary that runs between the and . Outlining key metropolises: ,, Taguig, , , Mandaluyong and , the runs through the heart of thecapital. It has long been polluted butfar from lifeless, and we aim to bring it back to vibrancy. At the forefront of the campaign is theBantay Kalikasan program, which a few years back successfully revived thedenuded watershed and turned it into the lively recreational site and eco-park it is today. Rehabilitating the is an undertaking that all Filipinos can take part and be proud of.