In 2009, strong monsoon rains (habagat) hit the Philippines and devastated one of the communities called Barangay Bangon Silangan. Virlanie Foundation, together with friends and corporations, provided food, clothes, and house supplies to the severely affected families. Some families even received in-kind donations and financial assistance for the reconstruction of their homes.
But Virlanie Foundation knows that lasting change does not just result from new infrastructure, but in education. Last February 26, 2016, Virlanie and Barangay Bagong Silangan celebrated their 5th anniversary of community-building.
Currently, there are fifty (50) children in Barangay Bagong Silangan who are enrolled through Virlanie’s Sponsorship Program. Carlo De Paz is one of our sponsored children. He was already a fourth-year high school student when he was interviewed by Community Organizer of Virlanie, Ms. Emma Solasco.
According to him, what he had gone through was difficult. He didn’t have a high regard for education back then. He was just usually with his friends and didn’t really think about his future. When Virlanie came into his life, De Paz said that it was Ms. Solasco who encouraged him to study hard and did not give up on him.
He was able to finish a two-year course and is now working as a technician in a well-known company that produces candies in the Philippines. He can’t help but feel proud every time he tells his story: from someone who didn’t have any plans for the future to someone who can now provide for the needs of his family. According to De Paz, this would not have been possible without Virlanie and her partners.