Profile of our social work trainees at the SDC

Katherine Joyce, Lyka and Sherrish are three students, aged around 20 years old, registered in 3rd year of social work at the University of UNO-R in Bacolod City. They are currently undergoing a practical internship within the SDC. Involved into the center four half-day sessions per week over a whole semester, they follow the daily life of the most disadvantaged children of Bacolod City. «Our mission aims at assisting the SDC staff to empower the vulnerable children and the children in conflict with the law through case work activities. Our goal is to promote their social functioning as individuals, to instil good values to them, and render other activities, such as educational film showing followed with debates, group dynamics, lectures on self-discipline, etc.».

They shared that they felt a bit nervous at the beginning of their internship though they were fully confident about their mission objectives. «We had already visited the SDC with our teacher and our classmates, and we had the opportunity to exchange with the former trainees and share their experience. That is why we were familiar with this new work environment and we were impatient to start implementing on the field what we learned at the university.»

The young beneficiaries of the SDC are often marginalized due to their fragile social situation (children living and/or working in the streets) or their problems facing the law (young delinquents). The lack of information related to their specific issues often leads to the community members feeling frightened by them. Katherine Joyce, Lika and Sherrish know the children now and they feel empathy and concerns for them. «We try to help them solving their daily issues and improving their vision of life. The main purpose of the SDC is to fulfill the basic needs of the children in order to offer them a better life», they explained. They added that «most of the children at the center lack of support and guidance from their family; some of them are even deprived of it. It is then essential for us to address these needs the best we can, and build a relationship based on trust and honesty with them. In addition, we have to work with the families in order to create or improve the family bonds, which the children need to develop themselves ».

When asked on their motive to study social work, the students explained that they want to help the people in need and empower them, as it is challenging and exciting. They also want to provide good services and programs for the welfare of the communities. The mission of these young and dynamic women at the SDC is a real illustration of the achievements generated by the partnership with UNO-R. 

HOST-NGO team wishes them success and fulfillment in their future professional life!


A new step toward the rehabilitation of the SDC

The rehabilitation of the SDC, which was planned by the city of Bacolod earlier this year, has been ongoing over the past few months. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of SDC's Center Head, the city engineers and Virlanie-Bacolod team, the achievements will help lifting up the living conditions of the children by improving the level of comfort and hygiene within the SDC.

Over the past few weeks, the electrical system has been repaired. Solar panels have been installed to supply part of the daily needs of the center. The comfort rooms have been unclogged and repaired, and new showers are ready to be used. The shower room has been built outside the dormitory building in order to facilitate its monitoring and maintenance. All year long the sun is rising down quite early in the Philippines and the lighting will clearly change the dark and long evenings.

New shower rooms at the SDC

Following these improvements, the safety level has been reinforced within the whole compound and especially in the dormitory. The mission of SDC's house parents during night shifts has been facilitated for the direct benefit of the most vulnerable children. An other direct outcome is the sustainable implementation of the aïkido activity program, led by volunteers from Warriors for Peace, a local NGO. The sessions are now being held every Thursday evening. The activity room, which is located on the first floor of the dormitory building, has been renovated last May and is now equiped with electricity. It is the perfect environment to hold aikido activities and enable the self-development of each child participating into this program.

SDC's new activity room
This crucial step toward a successful rehabilitation of the SDC follows the ongoing actions which have been implemented by Virlanie-Bacolod team for two years already. Every accomplishment will help the SDC complying with the environmental requirements which apply to the Philippines. 

As a consequence, it will help reaching a higher level of safety and well-being for our disadvantaged children in Bacolod City!


The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) partners with SDC in Bacolod City

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is a public institution dedicated to protect human rights, which shall be guaranteed by the Philippines Constitution itself. It holds two different mandates: to investigate in the case of suspicion of human rights violation, and to run information and education public campaigns to address the issue of human rights protection. 

It is within this frame that the CHR in Bacolod City has decided to organize activities designed to improve child rights protection within the SDC starting this month. Upon meeting the team and beneficiaries of the Social Development Center, the CHR representative in Bacolod City, Mr. Romeo Baldevarona, showed a great interest to help dealing with the issues faced by the children as well as their families. 

His team will hold awareness sessions for the children at the SDC to help them understand their rights for protection, in an attempt to reduce the risks of abuse, violence, or traffic that might affect them. The Commission will also address the children’s families to empower them in their capacity to protect their children’s interest as best as they can. In addition, the staff of SDC will also have the opportunity to participate into seminars on child rights protection to be applied in special care institutions, such as the Social Development Center. This capacity building objective is directly linked with the goal of sharing skills and experience between the local actors involved in child care. The expected outcome should allow the enhancement of the services provided by the SDC, which will better match the individual development of each and every child.

At last, but not least, the CHR has committed to offer legal support to the children in conflict with the law and their families, who might need specific assistance to understand the legal proceedings and be able to assert their rights as minors or legal representatives of the child. This comprehensive range of services proposed by the CHR will help building a major partnership, along with the existing actors involved for several months already. We are looking forward to witness very soon the achievements in terms of child rights promotion and respect to result from this new collaboration!

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.