Thursday, September 12, 2013

Richelle's Run for a Cause

Richelle May Penalba, a Fil-American based in California is running 13.1 miles at the Long Beach Half Marathon for the first time to raise funds for education scholarships.  Her goal is to raise $1,200 from pledges to be able to send two children to Mano Amiga Academy for one whole year!

 In 20 days, 23 people have already supported her cause enabling her to raise $751 about a month to go before the marathon won October 13, 2013. She plans to visit the Philippines this coming December so she could personally meet the Mano Amiga scholars she'll be helping. 

Please spread the word and support Richelle in her endeavor to finish her first ever marathon and to provide two deserving children a full scholarship in the school.  

You may learn more about her project at: http:///  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Michael Kors and SSI conducts feeding program in Mano Amiga

Michael Kors in action

The article below found on the website of SSI, talks about their experience with our Mano Amiga scholars in a partnership feeding program with Children’s Hour.

More than just being a market leader in the world of fashion, Michael Kors, the premium lifestyle brand that has brought classic pieces of timeless elegance, has also been exerting tremendous efforts to alleviate the issue of world hunger. Stores Specialists Inc. (SSI), the exclusive distributor of Michael Kors in the Philippines wholeheartedly supported the brand’s global movement through partnering with Children’s Hour.

The long-standing value of SSI for social responsibility is alive through its continuous efforts to organize outreach activities that address different social issues.

Through the company’s CSR effort, aSSIst, “SSI always finds a way to do its share in helping out and giving back to the community,” said Michael Huang. This is also why joining Michael Kors’ fight against hunger was a natural response to them. “The issue is not something invisible to us here in the Philippines. It’s sad that this is a big issue but the hunger problem is not unsolvable,” Huang added.

Kors cares

It was a meaningful experience as SSI employees gave their time to prepare healthy lunches and meet the bright and active children of Mano Amiga Academy in Taguig City this July. Founded in Mexico in 1963, Mano Amiga Academy’s mission is to offer high-quality education to underprivileged children. The school’s specially-conceptualized curriculum aims to provide children with an education that is at par with the best private schools in the world, to widen their horizons and effectively motivate them to have higher aspirations in life. Through the non-profit organization Children’s Hour, SSI has been sponsoring the 27 kids from Mano Amiga’s second-grade class since 2011.

The volunteers from SSI visited and engaged the kids of Mano Amiga in a series of activities that included fun storytelling, educational games, and personal one-on-one time as they shared the hearty, healthy lunches they prepared. On the final day of activities, genuine smiles were abound despite the rainy weather as the 109 kids of Mano Amiga Academy each received two bags filled with a carefully-selected assortment of nutritious groceries to take home to their families.

The kids thanked SSI and Michael Kors through a feel-good performance of the song “Lean on Me”. They also expressed their sincere gratitude with artwork which they personally created during their art class, thanking “Mr. Michael Kors for feeding the hungry around the world.” On behalf of SSI, Michael Huang received the precious gift, together with a banner that read “#WatchHungerStop,” the campaign’s official social media tag, signed by SSI’s 27 Mano Amiga scholars.

United Nations World Food Programme for this mission, the brand released the “100 Series” watch as part of its WATCH HUNGER STOP campaign. For each watch sold, 100 children in a hunger-stricken area will receive a nutritious meal. The watch has a detailed map of the world etched on the colorful dial, along with the words “100 Series.” Michael Kors’ signature is engraved on the back, as is the campaign name, WATCH HUNGER STOP, and the message “1 WATCH = 100 MEALS.”

The collaboration of SSI and Michael Kors was indeed an inspiration to urgently and consciously address the world hunger crisis. July being Nutrition Month, the endeavor was also quite timely and apt. Geenette Garcia, Assistant Executive Director of Children’s Hour, commended this movement and said, “For us, they become stronger champions of Children’s Hour. They become stronger champions of children.”

Mano Amiga has a New Home!!!

The photo above shows the awarding of the Php 10M donation 
by MPCI last September 3, 2013.

Mano Amiga Academy will have a new home!

Mano Amiga recently welcomed the ber month with an early Christmas present. The school received a Php 10M donation from Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, Inc. (MPCI) and another PhP 10M from a private donor to acquire a 2,350 sq.m property in Paranaque which will be the site of the new campus of Mano Amiga. 

The school will now be able to accommodate at least 780 scholars in the new space.Our heartfelt gratitude to everyone supporting the project.

Kuya Arman Finally Learns ABC's

 Armando De Leon, 38 years old, didn’t know how to read or write. He spent most of his life on the streets. A “kariton’ was his definition of a house. His family would take shelter under bridges and abandoned buildings when a typhoon would hit the Metro. His story represents one of the most common cases of illiteracy and poverty in the country.

It was his everyday life until a Regnum Christi missionary took him out of the streets to give him a better life. His family was bathed, fed and given a decent job to start over his life.

Armando or Kuya Arman as how he is fondly called, now works for Bistro 3846 as a dishwasher. During the summer, a generous Everest parent Mrs. Jehan Rodriguez started teaching Kuya Arman and his son Cyrus how to read and write. The lessons were held everyday. In the most ironic circumstance, Kuya Arman and his son Cyrus are classmates.

In an interview, Kuya Arman shared his thoughts and experiences.

1. Why do you think is it important to read and write?
Mahalaga po para hindi maging ignorante at mangmang kung san ka pumunta. Tulad po ng simpleng pagsakay sa jeep. Kailangan tanungin saan papunta dahil hindi makabasa. Si Cyrus naman importante para sa anak ko na matuto siya para paglaki niya hindi siya maging palaboy na katulad namin kase wala kaming pinag-aralan. Gusto ko makapag-aral siya, makatapos siya at makapagtrabaho siya ng maganda. Pangarap ko po kasing may makita na may nag-aaral akong anak.

It is important to learn to read and write so you don’t become ignorant and illiterate. As simple as riding a jeepney, I need to ask where is it headed because I could not read. For my son, Cyrus it is important for him to learn so he doesn’t have to be like me, I lived in the streets because I was illiterate. I want him to be educated, to be able to finish school and land a decent job. It is my lifelong dream to see my child going to school.

2. How did you feel when you could not read or write?
Ang liit ng pakiramdam ko. Parang wala kang alam sa mga tinatanong o wala kang masabi yung ignorante ka hindi mo alam kung ano yung nakasulat sa harap mo dahil  gustuhin mo man at subukan ko mang intindihin hindi ako makapag-basa.
I felt small. I didn’t know what people were asking me or I couldn’t say anything because I was ignorant. I completely do not know what was written in front of me because even if I would like to understand it, I couldn’t read.

3. What has changed in your life?
Malaki dahil ngayon na natuto na ko , yun bang naiintindihan ko na yung mga bagay, si Cyrus kung pagsisikapan niya makakapag-aral siya. Si Cyrus kase yung unang anak kong makakapag-aral kung sakali.

A lot has changed especially now that I could read. I could understand things. My son Cyrus, if he would work hard, he may be able to go to school. Cyrus would be the first among my children to be able to go to  school.

4. What is your message to Mrs. Rodriguez?
Nagpapasalamat po ako ng malaki kay Mrs. Rodriguez kasi tinuturuan niya po kami. Malaking bagay yun para sa amin kasi yung buhay namin andun sa tinuturo niya. Tulad ko matanda na ko hindi na ko makakapasok sa eskwelahan pero malaking bagay kasi yung matuto andun lahat yun e, pag natuto ka magkakatrabaho ka ng maganda o makakapag-aral ka. Kaya nagpapasalamat po ako kay Mrs. Rodriguez.

I would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Rodriguez because she taught us. It is a big deal for us to learn because our life depends on it. I’m old and I won’t be able to go to school anymore but it is important to learn. If you learn, you will be able to land a decent job, or you will be able to go to school. This is why I’m really thankful to Mrs. Rodriguez.

For Mrs. Rodriguez, teaching is about transforming lives. For Cyrus, it is learning his ABC’s could help him land a Mano Amiga scholarship that could help build his dreams and his future. For Kuya Arman, learning how to read and write could help him maximize his skills to better provide for his family and keep them from living on the streets. #