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Consuelo Foundation: 20 years of hope

Posted on: February 25, 2009

By Anna Valmero, Izah Morales
First Posted 03:06pm (Mla time) 10/13/2008

Filed Under: Charity, Foundations, Good news

MAKATI CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE) For 20 years, Consuelo Foundation has offered hope to about 50,000 children and families in the Philippines.

Offering support to non-government and nonprofit organizations, the Consuelo Foundation has been involved in programs for the development and rehabilitation of abused children and spouses, as well as the homeless.

The Consuelo Foundation has about 125 partner organizations both in the Philippines and in Hawaii.

The Consuelo Foundation started a year after Consuelo Zobel Alger’s meeting with Patti Lyons who established Child and Family Service Philippines in 1987. Lyons was foundation president and CEO until 2006.

After struggling with funding for the shelter program for the sexually abused kids in Baguio, Lyons met Consuelo and introduced the Filipina who retired in Hawaii to the shelter kids.

Alger had a vision to renew hope for those who have lost it and give hope to those who have never had it

“After introducing to Consuelo the 40 children in the shelter, she told me: ‘You know dear, I never had a child of my own. And I think that now I have 40 children and I want to do this forever.’ Consuelo then became a benefactress of the CFSPI. And a year after started her foundation,” Lyons said.

Alejandro Padilla, Consuelo Foundation board of director member and grand nephew of Consuelo, said the foundation supports organizations through various activities, including capacity building, training in entrepreneurship, finance and service delivery or whatever aspect that the foundation sees is required to better run operations.

“We are forming joint ventures by choosing organizations with programs that can be duplicated in other areas and support them in the long-term so we have a sustainable program, Padilla said.

A good example of this join venture is the foundation’s program with local partner International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) Philippines. Bohol-based IDEA trains houses deaf and blind individuals, allowing them to earn by working in the restaurant and café located within the vicinity of the organization’s compound.

According to Geri Marullo, the president and CEO of the Consuelo Foundation, the organization will focus on different programs this year.

These programs will include ‘Healthy Start’ under which LGUs will go house-to-house to look for cases of abuse in families, training for e-skills, livelihood as well as teaching social responsibility and life skills.

Among the 122 partners of Consuelo Foundation, two of them shared how they built their dream and achieved their goals through their partnership with the foundation.

“I was just beginning with a dream and they believe in that dream. So they partnered with us. And they were the first one to give us the first building of a dorm school,” said Fr. Rocky Evangelista, founder of Don Bosco Tuloy Foundation (DBTF).

Evangelista said the Consuelo Foundation helped them with the operations and encouraged them to pursue their dream.

IDEA president Dennis Drake recalled how Consuelo Foundation helped them through financial, moral support and technical expertise. IDEA was able to send 361 kids in school and employ 120 deaf in different skilled professions.

Drake shared the story of a deaf beneficiary who was once an abused child and is now a successful chef, a husband and a father to a college student.

“So he’s just part of the regular community and everybody looks to him as a success story. Very successful and contributes to the community well,” added Drake.

The beneficiaries Maricar Miranda, 16, and Marilou Cuevas, 16 of DBTF also shared their story of regaining hope when all was lost.

“Dati po, hindi po ako nangangarap. Pero ngayon po, may patutunguhan po ung mga tulong nila sa amin [Before, I wasn’t hopeful. But now, their help has given us hope,” said Cuevas.

Cuevas who is now taking vocational technology course in electrical and electronics technology at the DBTF, wants to enter the call center industry when she finishes school.

Meanwhile, Miranda said the foundation has helped them build their character, helping them achieve their dreams and ambitions even if they are poor.

The foundation will soon start a program for training foster parents who will take care of the children coming from the shelters they support.

The Consuelo Foundation together with its partner organizations held a program Monday to commemorate its founder. Concurrent with the program is a two-day meeting of the foundation’s local partners to share best practices and innovations.


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