Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's Go MAD 2009!!!

To learn more about our event, its mechanics and how to pledge, just click on the images below! :)

Not your ordinary Saturday

Every other Saturday, Everest Academy Nurse Irene Frayco takes on a different role. She exchanges her white cap for a creative hat, and teaches the Mano Amiga Academy students fun art activities.

“I’ve always loved kids. But the main reason why I’ve been volunteering regularly for Mano Amiga is because I am inspired by the students’ eagerness to learn,” Irene shared.

Irene is one of the volunteers who visit Mano Amiga Academy two Saturdays a month to participate in the Student Enrichment Program which consists of activities that combine values formation, language, and arts.

Volunteers from different age groups lead the students in singing, storytelling, sports, and arts and crafts.

“The aim of the enrichment activities is to reinforce and complement the lessons that the students are learning during the week,” Institutional Development Manager Lynn Pinugu said. “We hope the Saturday sessions would help develop our students’ talents, social skills, and self-esteem.”

Held simultaneously with enrichment activities, is the Values Formation program for the siblings of Mano Amiga students as well as older kids from the nearby community.

According to School Prinicipal Ramon Austria, the idea for the program was born when older kids would gather outside the school, hoping they could participate in the activities for the Mano Amiga students.

“They were very enthusiastic about learning and we wanted to nourish that interest,” Ramon said. “Since we can’t accommodate them in Mano Amiga, we decided that concentrating on character formation would be a good way for us to help them.”

Values Formation programs attract 70-80 regular attendees. The kids are divided into groups of five-eight, with the Mano Amiga volunteers serving as their big brother or sister for the day.

“The most fulfilling part about volunteering is seeing how much the kids have improved in just a few months,” Irene said with a smile. “We really have big hopes for these children.”

Interested in being a volunteer? Please feel free to join us every other Saturday at Mano Amiga Academy, a school that provides high quality education to children coming from low-income families.

For more information about Mano Amiga Academy, please contact Lynn Pinugu at 882-5019 or at

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ayala Foundation-USA is now Mano Amiga's partner

For those living in the US who are interested in supporting Mano Amiga Academy, you can now donate to us via the Ayala Foundation USA website. :)

To donate via credit card just visit:
Kindly indicate that you're donating to us by choosing Mano Amiga Academy, inc. in the drop down selection of organizations.

For cash and checks, just visit:
Please don't forget to fill out the donation form which you could download here:

AF-USA Welcomes Two New Partners!
2/22/2009 Ayala Foundation USA
Ayala Foundation USA welcomes two new partners in nation- building. Congratulations to Mano Amiga Academy, Inc. and Filamer Christian College, Inc.

Mano Amiga (Helping Hand) schools are international schools from pre-school to Grade 12 that cater to children from poor communities. Having grown into a network of 30 schools in 8 Latin American countries, Mano Amiga directly makes an impact on the lves of more than 17,000 students and their families.
Mano Amiga Academy in Taguig City is the first Mano Amiga school in the Philippines. It opened its doors last September 2008 to poor families. Currently, their greatest challenge is to find scholarships for poor students. Funds that will come through Ayala Foundation USA will be used to support the educational needs of the children by providing them with school materials and enabling them to attend formation programs and enrichment activities.

Congratulations to our new partners in nation-building!

complete version of the article may be viewed here:

Kickin it with Futbol Funatics

Last March 14, Mano Amiga Academy students were able to play football for the very first time, thanks to the Football Day camp sponsored by Futbol Funatics.

Co-founder and Head Coach Candice Grey organized the outreach activity after she met the Mano Amiga Academy students during her visit to the school last December, “We wanted to introduce football to them and to give them a chance to experience a fun activity that would provide them with physical and mental benefits.”

Candice, with two other coaches, taught the students the basics of the sport, some drills, and led them in a football game

“It was a day of recreation and healthy competition for our students,” Mano Amiga Development Manager Lynn Pinugu said. “It was heartwarming to see our students having fun and trying out something new, an activity that they wouldn’t normally have access to because of their socio-economic situation.”

Mano Amiga Academy is Everest Academy’s sister school that provides high quality education to children coming from low-income families. If you would like have more information about the school, please contact Lynn Pinugu at 882-5019 or at

Futbol Funatics offers classes at Everest Academy on Mondays from 2:30-3:30pm. For more information, please visit:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Trip to Fun Ranch with Living Dreams

A Feature on Mano Amiga Principal, Ramon Austria

Right Hand Man
By Ruel S. De Vera
Sunday Inquirer Magazine
AS a child, Ramon “Mon” Austria knew what it felt like to be uprooted. Born in Quezon City, he was only 4 when his family moved to the Federated States of Micronesia, where his father Rolando took a job as state physician on an island called Kosrae.
“Only a few people can boast of having spent their childhood frolicking on some island—and I’m one of them,” says Austria. “I could swim whenever I wanted because in Kosrae, you’re never more than five minutes away from the ocean.”
It was education—a theme that would pervade much of Austria’s life—that brought him back to the Philippines after four years. Years after this idyllic childhood, while taking up management economics at the Ateneo de Manila, Austria thought about doing a bit of volunteer work after graduation.
He was drawn to the Regnum Christi, a lay movement within the Catholic Church that provided him an opportunity to be involved in the youth apostolate in Washington, D.C. for a year.
This experience started him on the road to a teaching career, a path the 24-year-old Austria confesses had never crossed his mind.
“Are you kidding?” he says incredulously when asked if this was something he had all planned out. “There’s no money in teaching.”
His eventual work among young students he explains away as "divine intervention." He was never too keen on working with children, he says, and yet he wound up doing just that in Washington. “Little by little, I learned to love working with children,” he clarifies. “It’s something that just happened.”

And what Austria initially intended to be just volunteer work gradually steered him on a set career path. Returning from Washington D.C., he signed up to teach religion at Beacon International School in Taguig City. After two years there, he embarked on a project that was meant to change lives through education, in perhaps the same way that his life had been changed.
Click the link for the full article