Saturday, June 29, 2013

100 Pesos for a Dream

Help us reach our goal of sending more kids to school! 

People can now donate to Mano Amiga through Groupon Philippines. Your donation of 100 Pesos will help fund the scholarship of a child including a daily hot meal for the student.
Please feel free to share or click here if you'd like to help:

Be a part of our collective future! Give a child the gift of quality education today! #100ForaDream

Monday, June 24, 2013

Conversation with a little boy

Teacher Anne vividly recounts her peculiar conversation with one of our scholars.

One of my students was absent yesterday. He’s usually absent because he wakes up late or he has no food to eat. So this morning, I decided to ask my student why has he been absent and late the past few days.

The soft-spoken little boy replied, “Nung Sabado’t Linggo po kasi may sakit na si mama, inalagaan ko po, eh kahapon po hindi pa rin po magaling si mama kaya po binantayan ko po at inalagaan. Kanina lang po naging okay kaya po pumasok na ako.” (Mom had been sick since Saturday. Yesterday, she wasn’t feeling any better so I had to stay home to take care of her. She was back this morning so I was able to go to school today.)

My world turned to a complete stop. In front of me was a little boy who had something not many have, the purity of the heart.

A Banana Monday

School Director, Revelyn Tria-Siasoyco shares her interesting Monday morning encounter with one of our scholars.

Ramila is a 6 year-old grade one student. Her Class Adviser was absent so I took over her Science class. While preparing for snack time, Ramila gave me a banana and said “Teacher Rev, Sa iyo na po itong saging.”(Please take this banana.)

I replied, “Bakit? mas kailangan mong kumain ng prutas”( But why, you need  more fruits than I do) then she whispered “Kasi gusto ko po kayo maging mama (Because I want you to be my Mama) Surprised with what she said, I asked her Why? She replied “Kasi wala po si mama (because my mom is not around!) So I took the banana and told her I am also her mother while she is in school.  

They say bananas are a great “mood food” as they make your brain produce more chemicals to promote good mental health.  Ramila’s banana did not only help in promoting good mental health, but it instantly nourished my soul by releasing the happy hormones I needed to start the week!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mano Amiga Thanksgiving

Since its founding, thanksgiving has been a tradition in Mano Amiga to show our heartfelt gratitude to all our friends and partners for their continued faith in the project and for working with us to see more children’s lives change for the better.

MPIC CEO & President Jose Ma. K. Lim and CFO David J. Nicol

MPIC CFO David J. Nicol and CEO & President Jose Ma. K. Lim with Mano Amiga President Carmelino Alvendia Jr. 

The night started with a mass led by Father Michael Shannon, LC followed by a program held in Bistro 3846 where the Mano Amiga parents gladly prepared a sumptuous meal for everyone that night.

Everest mom Annette Gozon-Abrogar and daughter

Handyman partners Diane Lopez and Yayo Umali

Mommy Amiga Mrs. Wilma Huang, Chef Amelia Alba and husband Sonny Alba, and Mrs. Abiog

Four of our students who are also scholars of Dance Basics stole the spotlight as they danced their hearts out through an African prayer of thanksgiving.

There’s no better way of thanking our partners and friends than hearing it from the scholars and parents themselves.

Rhian Belle Ynona Balwit, the kinder class valedictorian warmly thanked all the partners especially the Everest community whose donations have provided her a scholarship and helped advance her development by investing in her potential.

Parent Letty Diocos, who has been with Mano Amiga since its founding broke into tears as she shared how her life changed with Mano Amiga. Being a mother of 5, she barely knew how to send her kids to school when providing a meal on their table is an everyday struggle. She reflected on her childhood experience having to walk a few kilometers on barefoot and an empty stomach just to get to school.

In recognition to the continuous support, our friends have been giving us, Bistro 3846 gladly prepared a sumptuous meal for everyone and a token of appreciation for the partners especially made and crafted by our Bistro moms.

Mano Amiga parents and scholars
One of our scholars Joshua Pitogo left everyone with a smile when he ended the night by thanking everyone’s effort and generosity to send him and his fellow scholars to school and for the brighter future they are now looking forward to.

To all our partners who were there, our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support in the project

Innovate for Good Manila

Mano Amiga Institutional Development Manager, Grace Cadenilla shares her experience.

I was sitting beside software developers and game designers listening to them talk about the latest advancement in technology and there I thought I was in another dimension, space and time, clueless of every word. Technology isn’t exactly my strength so it seemed very surreal for me to be a part of it.

Having no I.T. background, I felt out of place and worried about the fact that I might not add any value to the discussion. But since we’re not exactly going back to the age of typewriters, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn and adapt with technology.

Day 1: Problem framing, solution brainstorming and visual prototype planning. There were 10 teams with different problems. My team focused on enabling NGOs to achieve greater social impact and because technological skills weren’t to my advantage, I had to use my wild imagination and ask myself as an NGO worker, what help would I need? We came up with an idea to create a virtual community connecting individuals, non-profit organizations and corporations to collaborate and co-create to help shape a more competitive Philippines.

We aim to transform communities where more and more individuals are seeking to create social change in the society because of the ease of access to necessary support in executing their ideas and solutions to the social problems that they see. We also recognize that it is difficult to get someone to care. And we believe that it is due to the lack of awareness and education why social change is necessary. We aim to inform our people that it is cool to care about our community.

Day 2: Visual prototype presentation. The judges were able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each of the projects. For us, there’s still a long way to go and there are hundreds of challenges ahead but with all the speakers who were able to inspire us and made us realize that those challenges make the fight worth it, they were able to inspire everyone to materialize our ideas, which is exactly what my team and I are working on today. As for me, the forum has now helped me to embrace technology, as we are moving towards making our project come to life.

Microsoft showcased the latest ideas that won in the Imagine cup. Every minute was a moment of astonishment and wonder. Microsoft also showcased Windows 8, how it’s built to be a rich and extensible media platform to learn, connect, create and make things possible through technology. I immediately thought how Windows 8 could be very useful in shaping our students in Mano Amiga and make learning more fun, interactive and engaging for them.

My fellow participants and all the people behind the forum gave a whole new meaning to the word youth. Our challenges in making a better world are endless but as long as someone moves and does something about it, we will always be one step closer to our goal. I am fortunate to be part of Innovate for Good. I am overwhelmed with the plethora of ideas and the solutions from like-minded individuals. It is both humbling and overwhelming to work alongside these bright innovators. It is more humbling to know that we’re collaborating to create a much-needed innovation in our country.

Indeed, Microsoft and Gawad Kalinga through Innovate for Good are paving the way to create a borderless society where people are working towards one common goal and purpose; ending our pressing issues like hunger, poverty, human trafficking and pollution through technology.