SOME 25 years ago, the late Xavier Ledesma, Margot Osmeña, Agnes Magpale and MCE got together to initially organize “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko” (Cebu) in coordination with Orly Mercado. The main goal was to create a sustaining delivery system and logistics to help children with cancer. Thereafter, the group included trustees Marissa Fernan, Vivina Chiu, Debbie Limchiu, Vivian Dyhongco, Ely Abellana, Bonifacio Sia and Jeruel Roa. Letlet Mission was the first chief executive officer, who eventually became member of the Board.
With the expansion of Kapwa’s projects and patients, an office staff, presently led by pioneers, Letlet Mission, Christine Escolano, Jeanilyn Tuñacao, Grace Maria Valoria Fria Fe Panulde, Shalimar Allego, Rhea Caraballe, and currently Lolita Baguio, Daniel Maratas and Joan Brigoli, managed the projects.
The success of Kapwa’s “Pangga-a Ko” projects all these years was sustained by selfless benefactors and volunteers: Province and City of Cebu, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, IPI6; GMA7, SM City Cebu; Alpa Foundation, JEG Dev’t Corp.; Department of Education, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Chateau D’Busay and Simon Enterprises.
The long-term projects are “Pangga-a Sab Ko,” “Kanser Eskwela,” “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko sa Radyo”; regular optical, dental, surgical missions; A Day Away from Chemotherapy; blood diagnostics; cervical cancer and prostate screening; surgery projects; educational and advocacy seminars; direct health services, among others.
Tomorrow, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m., “Kapwa” celebrates its silver anniversary at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall. Our friends, volunteers, children and benefactors will have a thanksgiving dinner, “Salamat Sa Pagpangga,” in an evening of memories and music.
The colorful tree lighting events at SM City Cebu, Cebu City Marriott Hotel and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino have worthy causes which made Christmas more meaningful.