Original Painting
for Sale

Update on SOS Children’s
Village Project - Iloilo 2009

May 14, 2009:
It was another sultry day when we drove to Zarraga.
Regino (my brother-in-law) and his son Roy (my loving nephew) travelled with me.

After three years of absence, I was again in familiar surroundings – the SOS Children’s Village in Zarraga, Iloilo.

SOS Village Iloilo
The Newly Opened Youth Facility

The village is home to 140 children who have lost their parents or who cannot grow up with their biological family.

Mr. Renie Masongsong (Village Director) and his coordinator, Miss Roquita Batogon, gave us a warm welcome. After some friendly exchanges and updates, we started our tour with Renie as our personal guide.

Once again, I was so impressed to see how the children, the "mothers" and the rest of the Village’s residents have managed to keep their homes and surroundings spic and span, green and colourful.

Papa Renie & Luzette Villareal with some of the SOS children

"Papa" (Renie) got tight hugs, embraces and loving welcome from all his children. Seeing the close relationship he shares with these sweet and unspoiled kids is indeed awesome.

In him, they find the emotional security that was missing or lacking in their early growing years.

We visited two out of the twelve homes plus the Youth Facility, which was opened in July 2007. I could see familiar faces among the children and youth who greeted us.

SOS Children Iloilo

The highlight of this visit was when a boy group, teenaged residents of the Youth Facility, serenaded us with a religious song. They were amazing!

Today the SOS Village has a Social Center and a Kindergarten School.

I was given pamphlets, brochures and reading materials about the SOS Children’s Villages, Philippines.
Let me share with you the important issues and statistics:

As of December 31, 2008, there are 7 SOS Villages in the Philippines, including this one in Zarraga, Iloilo. The number of SOS children in these 7 villages is 704 plus 257 youths.

Each SOS Children’s Village has -

1. Youth Care
When young people reach the age of 14, they are then transferred to a Youth Facility. It is an attached home with a degree of supervision leading to final independence.

Great attention is given to support them in selecting career paths and training so they can go on to a steady income, be independent and take responsibility for themselves.

SOS Village Iloilo

In July 2007, the Iloilo SOS Youth Facility was opened. It consists of three houses that could accommodate up to 20 young people. There is a common dining room and a library.

I was also lucky to meet their mentor and guidance counsellor, an easy-to-like kind of a guy, who introduced me to all his young protégées. These young boys greeted us with their shy yet sweet smiles.

With the encouragement of their mentors and qualified social worker volunteers, the boys learn how to work as a team and behave responsibly. Maintenance of the Youth Facility (like painting and gardening) is also one of their duties.

2. SOS Kindergarten
It has four classrooms and a multi-purpose hall. The kindergarten can be attended by up to 100 children both from the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood. At SOS Kindergarten Iloilo, courses for the local inhabitants, especially for girls and women, are held in the evenings.

3. SOS Social Centre
It includes a day-care centre and a room for medical treatment. Children of working mothers are taken care of and essential medical care is provided to the local community.

According to Renie, relief goods for typhoon Frank victims were received and repacked here for distribution to neighbouring communities that were under water.

The children were asked to help in repacking the goods, a task that helped them feel good as active partners in what was an awesome community project.

4. Family Strengthening Programs
In 2007, SOS Children's Village Iloilo launched its family strengthening programmes. These programmes help families to learn to look after themselves to be able to live independently in the long-term.

Works are done together with the communities concerned, local partners and government authorities.

Family strengthening programmes also provide nutritional, educational and health support as well as vocational training, career counselling sessions and job placement support.

Below are receipts for the cash donations to SOS Children’s Village - PHP 8,500.00, plus USD 100.00 (total approximately USD 280.00).

Receipt for 8,500 Pesos

Receipt for $100

On behalf of these special kids, thank you so much! Your generous donations have made a big difference to these children. God be with you.

Donate $50 or more and be added
to our Honorary List of Contributors

The $ refers to US Dollars (USD)


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