Let the rhythm out!

Musical therapy has been recently launched at the SDC within the frame of the educational program focusing on individual development. This new activity is a natural follow-up of the activities already in place at the SDC, such as aikido practice and art therapy, both aiming at promoting self-expression and social development for these vulnerable children and youth.

Thanks to LEAD Volunteer (League for Environmental Advocate for sustainable Development), a local not-for-profit organization, this music project has been started at the SDC. Sandra and Daryl, two of their active volunteers and members of the Punta Tay Tay Drum Beaters band, brought their drums and other percussion instruments to introduce the children with their music. The whole band first held a concert at the SDC on December 1st. Following the positive feedback from the children, they have started organizing three music sessions per week. The young participants have been practicing on the bamboo drums made by Sandra.

The objective of this music project is to prepare the children to perform in front of a public. The attempt schedule is to have the children ready by March 2013 for the next Family Day, which will be the opportunity to play for their families and friends.

The musical therapy aims at encouraging the children to express their feelings in another way than through violence or anger. It also promotes mutual respect and communication to get successfully involved in a group. It should help increase the self-confidence of the children, as well as their ability to follow social norms and collective behaviors.


Organic gardening

Negros Island is a reference in terms of organic agriculture in the whole Philippines. Therefore the region holds the necessary know-how to transform the SDC's existing garden into an integrated organic learning and experimenting area.

Upon the recent partnership with CAPGEM, Capitol Government Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the team in charge of community development within CAPGEM has been supporting the SDC to set-up an organic garden within its premices. This garden represents the opportunity for the children cared at the SDC to grow their own fruits and vegetables, to be served directly at their table.

The local agriculturist, Mrs. Edna Garde, from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), has been promoting the benefits of organic agriculture for over 15 years. She is regularly sharing her knowledge and advice to the public through a local radio station. Mrs. Edna accepted with enthusiasm to get involved at the SDC on a weekly basis. Since October, she has been holding activities at the SDC every Thursday, with the objective of educating and raising awareness of the children on the importance of gardening to feed oneself on a daily basis while promoting the protection of the environment.

The following topics will be addressed with the young students throughout the sessions: how to enrich the soil with compost, preparation of plots and containers, concoction of natural fertilizers, effects of pesticides and chemicals, laying out of the gardening area, solid waste management, etc.
All the participants have showed great interest from the very beginning of this activity and they are now used to take care of the garden everyday. The first outcomes are very promising: eggplants, squash, and chinese cabbage are growing fast thanks to the suitable local climate.

The initial part of this training intends to provide the children with actual gardening skills, which might help them to find a job when they return to the community. In the Philippines, there are indeed over 30% of agriculturists. Mrs. Edna also wishes to maintain her support throughout the year in order to share the love of the earth and healthy food with as many underpriviledged children as possible. With all these fruits and vegetables to be prepared, the SDC's cook and his young assistants won't be out of work in 2013!


'Hugpong', united volunteers of the Philippines

The Masskara Festival, held every October in Bacolod City, was the opportunity this year to gather volunteers organizations from Bacolod City and the whole provinces of Negros Occidental and Oriental, to organize a collective communication campaign during this nationwide famous festival. The following organizations decided to join the project: Ikaw-Ako (Japan), Peace Corps Volunteers (United States), AYAD (Australia), OISCA (Japan), JICA (Japan), Warriors for Peace (Philippines), Greenheart Hermitage (Philippines), LEAD Volunteer (Philippines), Virlanie Foundation (Philippines/France) and HOST-NGO (France). Thanks to the support of LEAD Volunteer, the newly formed group, named Hugpong (meaning unity and gathering in local dialect), was authorized to set-up a booth on two of the main event locations.

The first gathering of Hugpong was held on Friday, 12th of October, by a bunch of volunteers wearing common shirts and badges to emphasize on their unity. The strategy of this first location was to show various products and items generated by the organizations via livelihood programs: kamote chips, wallet and bags made of recycled plastic, silk purses, organic coffee, macrame bracelets and belts made by the kids at the SDC, etc. A collection of clothing was also organized to especially benefit the street children passing through the SDC. The volunteers presented their activities and projects via a slideshow presentation and numerous chats with the interested visitors. The afternoon was followed by the festive night events happening all over the city, yet another opportunity to meet the locals.

Upon that first successful meeting, Hugpong gathered for the last and most important week-end of the festival on Lacson street, where the booth was set-up for two nights. The street parade, 'Electric Masskara', organized by the gallery Orange, was one of the vibrant highlights. The crowd was intense and everyone was responding well to the music and street dancing. Hugpong had a few special visitors that week-end: a journalist and a cameraman from GMA Network, a local TV channel, who interviewed the group members. In addition, Hugpong appeared on a morning program of another local TV channel, ABS-CBN. The communication campaign was really successful!

As a good conclusion to this busy and relevant event, a member of Green Hermitage proposed to every Hugpong member to display their products and items in the gallery-coffee shop, Ikon-Café, located downtown. All non-profit organizations were very greatful of this opportunity to generate additional incomes to sustain their activity in the Philippines.

Hugpong project was born:
because we all wish to be actively involved into community life;
because we all believe that building a fair and united world is possible;
because our diversity makes us stronger;
and because unity is the key to sustainability.

Hugpong's objectives are to raise awareness among all members of the society on the collective approach and promote volunteering in Bacolod City and all over the Philippines. You'll always be welcomed to join our action!


SDC's Family Day

On Saturday, 22nd of September was organized the very special Family Day, an event gathering all the families and friends of the children catered at the SDC for a festive and playful reunion. Every child and member of the team was very excited and nervous to see how the day will turn out. It was actually very successful as 26 families came to the SDC to support the children during that difficult period of detention.

The volunteers from Lifegate involved themselves and organized the first games, dance and music performances in the morning, with the participation of every child, family and staff member of the SDC. Lunch was a collective sharing from families and from the City with a whole assortment of local specialties: chicken and porc adobo, valenciana, bihon, afritada, etc. In the afternoon, Mrs Gina  F. Castro, Center Head of the SDC, introduced the art creations made by the children during the art therapy sessions held by Pastor Arthur Bayles, a local artist from Bacolod City involved at the SDC. The emotion was high among the families as the art topic focused on the children's life, dreams and family.
This discussion was followed by a movie about the relationship between parents and children. Afterward, the 'FUN' took over the SDC with the organization of basket-ball and collective games, which everyone took part of in a happy atmosphere: children and their families, university interns from UNO-R, SDC's team members, volunteers from Virlanie-Bacolod and Peace Corps, members from Lifegate Congregation, etc. The snack (locally called “merienda”) was offered by HOST-NGO to be shared with all the participants. The celebration ended with a “karaoke party”, which was the opportunity for the children to sing and dance with their friends until the night came along.

Life at SDC can be pretty hard as most of the children bring along their issues and difficult background. However this type of event helps them to share moments of pure youthful joy and leaves a warm feeling of love in their heart.


Art therapy program

Hardly encouraged to express themselves and not really used to being congratulated for their actions, the children cared at the SDC often have low self-esteem, which may result in anger and violence. It is actually the usual reason why they are admitted at the center.
Following a long-term observation period, Virlanie-Bacolod's team has assessed the increasing need of the children to express themselves via artcrafts and leisure activities: drawing, painting, cutting, modeling, in a word, the need for CREATION. As a complement to the educational and training program implemented at the SDC, it is indeed necessary to focuse also on individual development, which is part of the rehabilitation process.

For a month now, Pastor Arthur Bailes, a local and active artist of Bacolod City who is running CANVAS Gallery, has been proposing his voluntary services at the SDC to hold art therapy sessions for the benefit of every interested child. This new activity has been very successful from the start as 30 children regularly attend the weekly sessions.

The objective of Pastor Arthur is to encourage the children to create and develop ideas of their own on various topics. The first sessions have been focusing on the family and the children were taught how to draw their own cartoon story. Each child was able to address this topic with his own emotions and creative abilities. The children had the final goal of presenting their cartoons to their families on the Family Day, to be held end of September at the SDC. In addition, our psychology interns from the University UNO-R will use this material to better understand the children's profiles in order to address their issues over the psychological support program to be started in November.

The following sessions will be organized around the Masskara Festival, happening in October in Bacolod City. This will be the opportunity to set-up a workshop to make masks out of clay to be decorated with bright and joyful colors. Afterward, Pastor Arthur will conduct mural painting sessions, which will allow the children to bring colors to their housing facilities right at the SDC!


AIKIDO: how to reach harmony and peace

Thanks to the involvement of Warriors For Peace (W4P), a local non-profit organization specialized in conflict resolution and prevention, an aikido program has been implemented for a few weeks already at the SDC. Based on weekly sessions, the volunteers from W4P intend to use this martial art as a mean of pacifying the children and promoting a non-violent approach to deal with conflict. Noël, the Senseï (master teacher), and his two students, Kenneth and Sol, are educating the children and youth of the SDC on aikido's ethical and philosophical frame. In addition to the actual practice, there is also a whole set of rules and values to be observed by the participants.

Aikido, initially created by the Japanese Morihei Ueshiba, means “the way of harmonizing with the universal energy”. This statement is the actual basis of the educational program conducted by W4P at the SDC. Principles and virtues to be taught include humility and gratitude, respect for others, empathy, harmony and cooperation, reconciliation, openness, and integrity. W4P team is using innovative methods to teach and integrate aikido and its unique properties in addressing how the children react to, respond to, work with, and handle issues and difficulties.

The first sessions have been dedicated to teach the children how to avoid conflict and confrontation facing an opponent, and how to select the best strategy to stop him or her. This is not an easy thing to do for these children who often react to violence with more violence, without even thinking of the possible consequences of their actions. They also have to reject their competitive instinct as aikido does not involve any kind of competition and there shall be no fight.

After a few sessions, an increasing number of children are getting voluntarily involved into the activity, even though they were shy and discreet at first. We noticed a great improvement in terms of behavior as the children are more and more focused, listening quietly, participating with calm and positive energy, and showing greater self-control. The volunteers encourage the children to feel more responsible and they expect some of them to progressively step in to lead the activity very soon.

In addition, W4P will dedicate some time to educate and train the team members of SDC relating to conflict understanding and transformation. They would like to increase their capacity to constructively approach conflict and advocate changes toward a non-violent approach.


Conflict management & prevention with Warriors For Peace

Within the frame of Virlanie's support program put in place at the Social Development Center, a new partnership has been concluded with a local not-for-profit organization, Warriors For Peace Pilipinas. This organization is now involved at the SDC and is proposing weekly aikido sessions for the children at the center.

Warriors For Peace Pilipinas (W4P) is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization, promoting the use of aikido to approach conflict and help bringing peace between the communities in a positive and constructive manner. Based in the Philippines, W4P develops and executes programs that address the education, practice and network with other groups and individuals interested in exploring alternative and innovative ways of conflict education and peace work. The main objective of W4P is to spread awareness towards a more adept community in dealing with conflict. This approach can be brought by different methods in teaching and integrating aikido and its unique properties in addressing how individuals react to, respond to, work with, and handle problems that might otherwise have negative results.

Aikido, Japanese martial art, means “the way of harmonizing with the universal energy”. Originally,  Morihei Ueshiba developed a martial art which was based on a brutal Japanese art called Budo or Bushido (the way of the samurai). Aikido was then officially established in 1942.
Several principles and virtues are taught by Aikido: humility and gratitude; respect for others; empathy, harmony and cooperation; reconciliation; openness; integrity.
W4P propagates the aikido as a vehicle for understanding and transforming conflict. It works with communities to develop its capacities to constructively approach conflict. It mentors aikidokas to further the aikido approach in conflict transformation and advocates changes in systems and structures toward non-violent means.

W4P has deployed a team of volunteers at the SDC to share its knowledge and skills throughout the teaching of aikido technics to the children. The activity program aims at promoting peace between the children with the use of a non-violent conflict management approach. The aikido practice should help the children to better control their anger and frustrations, while reaching a more balanced emotional state. These weekly sessions will encourage self-expression and individual developpment of each young participant. The volunteers from W4P will not only teach the respect of others and their differences, but also attempt to changing the way of thinking of these children often coming from underpriviledged communities, where violence is frequently displaced.

To conclude, the ultimate objective of this new formed partnership is to inform and educate the children, and also the team members of the SDC, in preventing conflicts usually generated by understanding issues. This should definitely bring a safe and peaceful atmosphere for everyone at the center!


Partnership with the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R)

Virlanie-Bacolod's team had been discussing with the President of University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R) for a few months already about a possible collaboration with the Social Development Center (SDC). This month of August, it reached a final point with the official signature of a partnership between the representatives of UNO-R and SDC.

The ceremony gathered all relevant stakeholders : University President, Rev. Fr. Emeterio D. Buñao, Dean of Art & Sciences Department, Dr. Nieves H. Pepito, Dean of Engineering Department, Engr. Christopher G. Taclobos, Dean of Criminology Justice Department, Mrs Jasmine Parreño, SDPC Representative, Mr. Lino Z. Sumbillo, University Vice-President, Father Jorge D. Peligro, as well as UCDO Manager, Mrs Mely S. Flores, who facilitated the building of this partnership. Mrs. Flores was indeed the first contact person who has been working along with Virlanie-Bacolod's team until the official conclusion of the collaboration with SDC.

Virlanie Foundation was represented by Mr. Dominique Lemay, Founder President, Mrs Sara Vial and Mr. Ton-Trong Ho, Virlanie-Bacolod Program Managers, and Miss Pauline Maura, Virlanie-Bacolod Human Rights Coordinator. Mrs Gina F. Castro, Head of the SDC, also joined the signature of the Memorandum of Agreement and she will be responsible to ensure the sound implementation of the partnership within the SDC facilities.

The collaboration with UNO-R aims at offering an efficient and continous support at the SDC. The University is indeed committing to provide human resources in various areas: interns specialized in psychology, social work and criminology justice, will help reinforcing the skills and knowledge of the local team of the SDC. In addition, engineering students will offer specific support dedicated to the rehabilitation of the center in order to renovate and upgrade its facilities.

This partnership actually represents the promise of huge benefits for the SDC and its children, and it is definitely the beginning of sustainable and strong collaborative efforts.


Bacolod Community Development Consortium

Last July 25th, Bacolod City Mayor published the Executive Order n°14-2012, establishing the Bacolod community development consortium for the People-Private-Public Partnership (PPPP). The objectives of the consortium is to increase the cooperation between the public and private sectors, as well as with the civil society, in the development and implementation of infrastructures and services dedicated to the whole community. This comes in line with the PPPP program, which was initiated by the City last March 2011.

On July 30th, the City called a meeting for all members of the community, who would be interested to participate into the consortium. The Management Board, appointed to represent the consortium members, is currently composed of the City Council (City Mayor and assistant) and other stakeholders from the private sectors. The Board is in charge of coordinating the assigned committees of the consortium: finance and resource management committee, project design and development committee, procurement and inventory committee, monitoring and evaluation committee, community mobilization committee.

The participants had the opportunity to discuss the details related to the sphere of intervention, as well as the administration of the consortium, and join the hereinbefore committees. Numerous actors from the public and private sectors were willing to get involved into this collective initiative: city departments, universities, companies, chambers of commerce, professional groups, media, and also non-governmental organizations, such as Soroptimist International, Lions Club, HOPE Foundation, or Virlanie Foundation, represented by Sara Vial and Ton-Trong Ho (program managers based in Bacolod).

The consortium's role and mission, stated in the Executive Order, were presented to the public. It will be in charge of the design of program and budget proposals, project identification and preparation, and project execution. In the following months, the Management Board will establish the guidelines and protocols of the consortium, and specify the membership conditions and role of its members. The first project run by the consortium will be the Bacolod Youth Home, which implementation shall start within the first quarter of 2013.


Youth Home Ground Breaking

SDC Center Head Gina Castro, Bacolod City Police Office Director Ricardo De la Paz, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia

Early August, a ground breaking ceremony was held on the construction site of the future rehabilitation center for the children in conflict with the law in Bacolod City. This landmark event is giving birth to the Youth Home, which is the first project to be implemented within the People-Private-Public Partnership (PPPP). 
The construction of the center should start in 2013 in the Vista Alegre - Granada district located in the outskirts of Bacolod City. It falls in line with a relocation program launched by the City for the underpriviledged communities suffering from critical housing and living difficulties. It will offer rehabilitation opportunities to the vulnerable children of these families, who are often affected by delinquency issues.

In Bacolod City, there is indeed no available public infrastructure dedicated to specifically treat and rehabilitate young offenders in Bacolod City. The Social Development Center (SDC) is currently the only institution catering for the children in conflict with the law and the street children. It will function as a processing center prior to the transfer of the children, who will benefit from the rehabilitation program offered by the future Youth Home.

All relevant actors were present on that special day to show their enthusiasm. The City Mayor adressed the guests and the members of the neighbouring communities with a confident and hopeful message. The volunteers' team from Virlanie-Bacolod and HOST-NGO also attended to witness the success of their collaboration with the local authorities. It is safe to conclude that everyone is looking forward for the building to start...


Sustainable development opportunities

Following their participation into the seminar on sustainable development, the City engineers and Virlanie-Bacolod team have been discussing the opportunity of developing technologies using renewable energies to address the requirements of the future Youth Home. Last week, they conducted a visit of a designer and manufacturer of pumping solutions, Eco Agri, located in Bacolod City. This was a major opportunity for the participants to discover the equipment and its features. As an example, the windmill pictured below, allows to pump ground water and it could be used as a community-based water system.


Seminar on green empowerment in Bacolod City

Amélie, volunteer trainer, is receiving the appreciation certificate from
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia.
Throughout the month of June, several workshops have been held on sustainable development at the National Government Center (NGC) in Bacolod City. Mainly designed for the team of managers and engineers of the City Engineering Office, the training focused on the major urban and environmental challenges happening in the Philippines: climate change, global strategy of dealing with environmental, social and economic factors, water management, waste water treatment, energy management and production of renewable energies.
Study classes and practical workshops have been proposed to allow a better application of these concepts to the Youth Home project, which is programming the creation of a rehabilitation center for the children in conflict with the law (CICL) aged 15 to 18 years old. In particular, it has been planned to develop a natural waste water treatment plants system (irrigation purposes), to recover rainwater to limit pumping of ground water, to design architecture adapted to the climate in order to guarantee comfortable facilities while reducing energy consumption, and to produce solar energy to prevent increasing energy costs. These technical choices are expected to help reducing the operating costs of the facilities. 
It has also been planned that the Social Development Center (SDC) will benefit from these sustainable technologies, which are to become actual standards for all the future projects managed by the City.
The Youth Home project is a pilot project initiated within the frame of the People-Private-Public-Partnership (PPPP) concept. The assessment phase should lead to the construction of the center in September. The Virlanie-Bacolod team is currently providing organisational and technical support, and helping the City to find partners to financially contribute to the development of the project.


In English, please!

Within the frame of the integrated educational program implemented at the SDC, activities dedicated to promote English language have been launched at the beginning of June. In addition to the tutorial sessions held by the students from Riverside University, the children and youth have now access to English lessons held three times a week by a French volunteer. The learning program is emphasizing on developing the children's abilities to communicate in English, on both oral and written basis. The first sessions allowed them to learn or review the basics : how to introduce oneself and one another in a simple yet effective language. The children were encouraged to express themselves without any shame in front of the class. Upon the first month, they were more and more enthusiastic to speak out in English during and also outside the study sessions. Every activity lasts about an hour and a half and includes exercises focused on grammar, pronounciation, conjugation, as well as recreational activities such as games or songs, and the use of any interactive way to stimulate individual creativity and encourage the children's participation. From July onward, the English activities will be held twice a week according to the availability of the volunteer.


Mudpack spirit at SDC

Following the mudpack festival organized every year in June in Mambukal, an hour away from Bacolod City, the children recreated the spirit of this celebration within the SDC !
On June 26th, the young people, staff members and volunteers from Virlanie-Bacolod took the opportunity to paint themselves and wear some eco-friendly outfits, made of cardboard and other recyclable materials. The activity topic of the day was the making of cameras from cardboard with the help of Amélie, one of the volunteers. The children learnt how to make the camera from scratch, cutting and assembling the different pieces, and incorporating a silver film within each small boxes. Upon the finalization of these home-made cameras, the children spent the whole afternoon posing in their outfits and make-up. This was actually a very special experiment from the children as they had to stay still for at least 10 seconds in order to avoid blurred and fuzzy pictures... which was not so easy to do! Here are the results of this fun and educational activity...


Updates on People-Private-Public-Partnership program in Bacolod City

PPPP workshop with Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus A. Sayson.

On June 11th, two representatives from DELGOSEA (Partnership for Democratic Local Governance in Southeast Asia) came to Bacolod to assess the implementation progress of the People-Private-Public-Partnership program conducted by the City with the support from Virlanie Foundation. Bacolod City was indeed elected in 2010 to become a pilot city for the implementation of the PPPP concept. This model of best practices, originating from Cambodian example, is aiming at enhancing the cooperation between the public and private sectors and the participation of the civil society in local governance.

The DELGOSEA national representative and the consultant deployed in South East Asia, take advantage of this visit to meet with the City's team, as well as Virlanie Foundation's volunteers. Significant topics related to the sound management of the program were addressed over this one-day seminar.

The first workshop was dedicated to specific issues related to the implementation of the Youth Home project (rehabilitation center for children in conflict with the law aged 15 to 18 years old): budget planning, operational specifications, financial tools, etc. The official launching of the construction of the rehabilitation center is expected to start in September and Virlanie-Bacolod team is currenlty calling for potential partners and donors. Bacolod City Mayor has already committed to partly fund the construction and operational costs. The remaining expenses are to be covered by private partners approached by Virlanie Foundation (corporate foundations, local non-profit organizations, professional groups, NGOs, institutional funding, etc.).

Following a working lunch, the participants visited the Social Development Center (SDC) and the construction site of the future Youth Home. The seminar ended with a friendly dinner dedicated to highlight the achievements and congratulate all stakeholders involved in the management of Bacolod City Community Development program, including Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus A. Sayson, and Hon. Counselor Em L. Ang.


Involvement of Bacolod City Livelihood Department at SDC

Virlanie-Bacolod has been working in collaboration with the City of Bacolod to support the vulnerable children within the Social Development Center (SDC). It was then justified to contact some of the city departments to suggest their involvement for the benefit of the children at risk. It is indeed the strategy to call for every type of partner, private and public ones, as well as the civil society, to be committed to rehabilitate and train the children and youth, for a successful community integration and empowerment.

The City Cooperation and Livelihood Department Office has decided to join this intervention and proposed to organize training sessions at the SDC. In May, the children were offered to learn how to make jewelry (earings, necklaces, bracelets and rings) thanks to the city employees from this department.
The training has a double objective: providing them with skills and knowledge, which could be used in their adult life, and also empowering the children to increase their self-esteem and personal confidence. This is a critical asset to be considered in terms of individual development and life accomplishment.


Legal awareness of the children at SDC

Jovi Cabcaban, Head of Woman and Child
Desk Police Department
Often in conflict with the law, the children taken in charge at the Social Development Center (SDC), tend to forget that they have rights and need protection, even though they are suspected or guilty of committing an offense. Many children are actually transferred at the SDC because of a lack of guidance and follow-up.
Therefore Virlanie-Bacolod team has proposed to organize awareness sessions at the SDC to inform the children about their rights and duties in the society. The first session was held at the end of April by Mrs. Jovi Cabcaban, Head of Woman and Child Desk Police Department of Bacolod City.
The information along with the answers to the questions asked by the children should help the children to better understand their own situation and issues. The objective is also to make sure that they are able to claim the respect of the right to be protected from any kind of abuse. Considering the very positive feedback from the young participants, the sessions will be continued on a regular basis, with the support from Mrs Jovin, and possibly from IBP lawyers (Integrated Bar of Philippines), or students from the department of Criminology Justice of UNO-R University, partners of Virlanie-Bacolod.


Riverside University partners with SDC

Educational activity: reviewing the values
Recreational activity: 
organization of a birthday party
Since March and upon the initiative from Virlanie-Bacolod, Riverside University (private institution) has become an active partner at the SDC. The objective of this collaboration is to help the children and youth to become responsible and active members of the community by addressing various topics dedicated to promote individual development. Volunteering students from Riverside University are offering services of medical, therapy and hygiene support, while focusing on behavior and values, especially social and spiritual ones.

Individual counseling session

For a few months now, the children have been provided with educational and recreational activities, psychological group/individual counseling, and awareness sessions dedicated to hygiene promotion. Numerous topics and intervention areas will be addressed in the following sessions, such as tutorial activities aiming at maintaining or improving the school level of the children, as well as medical consultations in order to ensure good health for every child at the SDC.

In addition to the energy and commitment of the volunteers, the children have been provided with hygiene supplies and snacks upon every intervention.

Collective therapy session
(using drawing to express the perception of oneself)


Comprehensive program of daily activities and skill training at SDC

Virlanie Foundation started supporting the Social Development Center (SDC) in January. The involvement of the team deployed in Bacolod City includes the facilitation of daily activities aiming at promoting the children's individual development and well-being.

At the SDC, the children stay for a period of time which can be extended from a few days to one or two whole years. During that “detention period”,  the children are left out of the formal schooling system and other educational programs. Considering that situation, Virlanie-Bacolod team has prioritized the need to protect these children from the society's challenges, and to offer them better chances for future reintegration into their families and into the community.

The team has been collaborating, for a few months already, with the Center Head, Mrs Gina F. Castro, and her local staff, to design and implement a comprehensive program of educational and recreational activities. The activities are currently organized by the center's nurse with the assistance of the house parents, responsible for the children's supervision. Every morning, the children have access to a whole range of activities, which include tutoring, artcrafts, and sport activities. In addition, skill training sessions are organized several times a week in order to provide the children with practical skills and possibly initiate a future vocation: manicure, cooking, bamboo crafts, etc.

Virlanie-Bacolod's mission is to facilitate the sound implementation of the activity program, while encouraging local initiatives from the SDC's team members. The ultimate objective is indeed to increase their involvement and commitment to provide daily follow-up and support to the children.

Support program for vulnerable children and families in Bacolod City

The objective is to design and implement a development program supporting the disadvantaged members of the community of Bacolod City, Philippines. This approach is based on the observation of best practices identified in various projects implemented in Southeast Asia and in the rest of the world. The program aims at providing rehabilitation opportunities to isolated children and families in order to facilitate their successful integration into the local community. This includes dealing with social inclusion, socioeconomic development, public health, sustainable production and consumption, as well as green technologies.