Last March 16, our partner community in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, celebrated 7th anniversary of community development. In the community center decorated by mothers and children themselves, our assisted families, along with barangay officials and Virlanie staff, gathered to recognize their 7 years of collaborative effort.
The celebration started with an opening remark from Emma Solasco, Virlanie Outreach Manager. She said, “Embracing and strengthening families is the first step of Virlanie in our Family Program. We aim to build families and communities with one goal.”
The food served was cooked by the mothers, themselves. All attendees shared lunch together while being entertained by talented children.
The program continued with the inauguration of new community officers. The officers are the ones who will implement the community-based projects led by Virlanie. These community officers are being equipped so they can organize viable groups and families who can recognize and make full use of livelihood and income generating opportunities. Among their projects is the rice retailing enterprise. The community members even initiated to have a revolving fund that they can use for emergency health aid for children needing medical assistance.
How it all started
In 2009, tropical storm Ondoy claimed at least 35 lives from Barangay Bagong Silangan. The storm left families with dilapidated homes and no source of income. Because of this, Virlanie conducted a relief operation to provide food, clothes and house supplies to affected communities. They also received monetary donations and financial assistance to rebuild their homes.
But Virlanie knows that lasting change does not just come from new infrastructure, but in community building and education. Through Virlanie’s Family Program, communities are empowered by enabling children to attend school and enhancing the capacities of families through trainings and counseling.
Currently, there are forty-six (46) children in Barangay Bagong Silangan who are enrolled at school through Virlanie’s Sponsorship Program. The mothers are also attending livelihood skills training such as sewing, cooking and baking. Through the trainings, we hope that mothers can earn additional income that can potentially improve the economic condition of their family.