Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
When thinking of ways on how to help families from marginalized areas, the first programs that come to mind are usually those that address physical needs-food, shelter, health, and education. Equally important however, are programs that seek to cater to the spiritual needs of the poor. As Pope John Paull II stressed during his Papal visit to the United Nations, “The poor have needs which are not only material and economic, but also involve liberating their potential to work out their own destiny and to provide for the well-being of their families and communities.”
Last November 19, the Men of Sacred Heart of Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish teamed up with the Everest Academy K4J (Kids for Jesus) Club to help the Mano Amiga students and their families develop a more profound understanding of the unconditional love of Jesus and to see His presence in their lives, despite the challenges that each day may bring.
The afternoon began with catechism using games and crafts. The students listened attentively as the volunteer catechists explained how the sins of man deeply hurt God’s heart. Even at a young age, the students could already grasp that God must love us so much to allow Himself to be vulnerable. Afterwards, the K4J members and Mano Amiga students then made heart-shaped cards containing promises and resolutions on how they could show their love for Jesus.
The students and members of K4J and Men of Sacred Heart then gathered outside for the enthronement of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Simplicio of Ina ng mga Dukha Church, a parish near the school, led the prayers. The Mano Amiga teachers and parents joined the students in the solemn celebration.
The afternoon concluded with the sharing of snacks. The Men of Sacred Heart also donated to the school much needed school supplies and uniforms for the children.
Lead activity organizers were Men of Sacred Heart of Sanctuario de San Antonio Parish members Mike Limpe, Jun Rodriguez and Ditto Lesaca, Everest Academy Catholic Formation teacher Christa Huddart and K4J Volunteer Mom Karen Limpe.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Men of Sacred Heart as well as the K4J club for giving this simple yet very meaningful activity,” Mano Amiga Development Director Lynn Pinugu said. “In order for us to be successful in our mission of transforming the community, we need to form these children and families not only intellectually and humanly speaking, but spiritually as well.”
Monday, November 8, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Studies show that these activities have an even greater impact on the lives of economically disadvantaged children. Making team sports and performing arts accessible to at-risk youth led to improved over-all academic performance, lower drop- out rates, and decreased occurrence of emotional and behavioral problems. Unfortunately, the children who need these programs the most are the ones least likely to get them.
Mano Amiga Academy has partnered with the founders of Futbol Funatics and Dance Basics to help give poor but deserving students an opportunity to pursue their interest in arts and sports.
Futbol Funatics’ (http://www.futbolfunatics.com/) first encounter with Mano Amiga students was a year ago when the group decided to hold a one-day outreach camp in the school. Founder and Head Coach Candice Grey-del Rosario remembers vividly how the students had zero knowledge about football at that time, “Most of them did not know any other sport apart from basketball. At first, all they wanted to do was dribble the ball using their hands. After a few exercises, the students fell in love with the sport and tried their best to apply defense tactics and score goals.”
Coach Candice and her co-founder Coach Avery del Rosario felt that playing football would teach Mano Amiga students valuable lessons that would help them reach their future endeavors. They decided to offer free, regular classes in the school to broaden the students’ exposure to football. Every Friday, Futbol Funatics takes over the PE classes and holds different fun drills to introduce the students to the fundamentals of the game.
“It never ceases to move me whenever I see them get so excited in class. We are committed to providing these children with an enriching experience that would impact their lives in the same way football did for us,” Coach Candice shared.
Dance Basics (http://dancebasics.wordpress.com/) was founded in 2004 by ballerina sisters Nesa Tanyag and Trina Tanyag-Zafra. What was originally a school with only one class grew fast into a school offering four levels. The two sisters approached Mano Amiga because they wanted to extend their love for dancing to underprivileged children.
“We have always wanted to make ballet more accessible to children who cannot afford to pay the high cost of training,” Teacher Nesa said. “We chose the Mano Amiga community because we saw how eager the children are about learning new things as well as the parents’ desire to give their family a better life.
Dance Basics now holds free ballet lessons in Mano Amiga on Saturday mornings. There are 40 students enrolled in the class. The most promising students will be awarded with dance scholarships for a more intensive training.
Other students of Dance Basics have also been helping out by serving as teachers’ assistants. Some of the students also donated their old (but not worn out) ballet shoes, tights, and leotards so the Mano Amiga students could have the proper attire.
“Our company has been so blessed and we are thankful for the opportunity to share those blessings with the Mano Amiga students.,” Coach Nessa said. “We believe that Ballet will be a good learning experience for the children, and hopefully, pave the way for educational and career opportunities in the future,” Ms. Tanyag added.
The Mano Amiga parents have expressed their gratitude to the school and the two organizations for offering football and ballet classes in Mano Amiga because they know these are opportunities their children would not normally have access to due to financial constraints.
“Akala ko po sa panaginip lang posible na makapag-aral ang anak ko ng ballet o kaya football,” Grade 1 parent Marlyn Nieva said. “Talagang malaki po ang pasasalamat namin na nabigyan kami ng ganitong pagkakataon. Nagsisikap kaming bigyan ng mas magandang kinabukasan ang aming mga anak upang hindi masayang ang mga paghihirap ng Mano Amiga at ng lahat nang mga taong tumutulong sa amin.”
(I thought that my child would never have access to ballet or football lessons, except in my dreams. We are all very grateful to have been given this opportunity. We are working hard to give our kids a brighter future because we do not want to waste the efforts of Mano Amiga and the other people helping us.)
Friday, October 15, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
It is quite difficult to give a gift to the people we know who seem to have everything they need. Show your loved ones how much your care for them by helping a child fulfil his dreams.
Mano Amiga Academy is selling In lieu of Gift cards. Each all-purpose gift card contains a message explaining that a donation has been made in the recipient’s name in lieu of traditional gifts. The amount donated is not indicated. The cards feature special portraits of the Mano Amiga students taken by well-known Filipino photographer Mr. Jun de Leon, who volunteered his services for free. Proceeds from the card will go to the Mano Amiga Academy Scholarship fund. For orders, you may get in touch with Ms. Lynn Pinugu at 09063361663 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those who want to get a head start on their Christmas shopping, complete your gift list by giving Christmas Cards produced by Picture Company. Instead of a gift, give your family and friends an Idream Christmas card and help a Mano Amiga scholar continue his schooling. The cards could be personalized; it could feature your company logo, personal message, family crest, etc. Pre-order now and get it after 14 days. Pickup and payment could be in any Picture company branch.
For orders/inquiries, kindly email: email@example.com or call 756-0020 (Greenbelt 5 branch)
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
To help generate more awareness about the product, all items donated in buyandshare.org will also be sold on buyandsellplus.com. Sellers will get an acknowledgment letter from Mano Amiga once the items have been sold. Direct cash donations could also be made through the site.
Registration is free! Unload those unwanted items and help send a child to school at the same time! For more information, please visit: http://www.buyandshare.org/
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Not being able to finish college is one of Mary Grace Waras' biggest frustrations in life, “When I was in college I was a scholar. I failed in one major subject during the first semester of my 2nd year. I just needed one point. My teacher told me that it can still be fixed, but I chose to run away because of shame and because I knew it would cost me my scholarship. Instead of staying in school, I used the final payment of my miscellaneous fees to buy a ticket and I ran away.”
It was during this time she met and soon after, married Alberto Waras. As a construction worker, Alberto earns P7000 a month. Without a College degree however, Mary Grace found it difficult to find a good paying job with a salary that would enable her to afford someone who could look after the children while they are both at work. She has not given up though. “I plan to work when my children are a bit older so I can save up for their college education. It is only through good education that they could have a better life. ”
Joshua first entered Mano Amiga Academy last year as part of the Kindergarten class.“I tried enrolling my son in a different school but they did not accept him because they were worried I would be like my sister who couldn’t pay the tuition fees there regularly. We found out that Mano Amiga was looking for enrollees so I inquired here, and I immediately saw how this was a much better school.”
Mary Grace now believes that Joshua will go far because of the exceptional formation his son is receiving. “Mano Amiga is really a blessing to our family. The school is advanced and the teachers are very committed. Joshua is only 5 years old but he already knows a lot of things that I don’t even know! Mano Amiga also places a lot of emphasis on values formation. This is very important for me because the kids in our area are already cursing at such a young age and I don’t want my children to be like that.”
Mary Grace hopes that Joshua will continue to be a scholar in Mano Amiga Academy until he reaches 12th grade. “He really likes it here which shows in the enthusiastic way he does his homework. He doesn’t like being absent, unlike in other schools where the students have to be dragged to come to school.
“Everything your child will ever need to ensure a good future for him can be found here- morally, academically, spiritually. That’s why I’m hoping that my other child will also be enrolled here. So just like Joshua, she will learn too and have a good future,” Mary Grace adds with a hopeful smile. #
It takes P25,000 to send one child to Mano Amiga Academy for one year. We are currently looking for partners who would like to help with a full or partial scholarship. For more inquiries on how you can change the life of a child with the gift of education, you may contact Lynn Pinugu at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 09063361663.