Kalipay Miracles

A Sound Mind
Ms Anna Balcells, founder, Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc.
Ms Anna Balcells, founder, Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc.
Five remarkable children graduated at UST-Angelicum College
Five remarkable children graduated at UST-Angelicum College
Ms. Astrid Hocking, Kalipay's long term volunteer/honorary board with kids
Ms. Astrid Hocking, Kalipay's long term volunteer/honorary board with kids
Mr. Sillador and this writer with Kalipay's miracle child
Mr. Sillador and this writer with Kalipay's miracle child

Do you know that every second of every day, a child is abused? Are you aware that there are about six million malnourished Filipino children? There are about 1.6 million street children in the Philippines and 60,000 are into prostitution. It’s a sad reality and the numbers are growing each day.

Negros Occidental has responded to the need of protecting its children through the Provincial Council for the Protection of Children (PCPC). The council is composed of provincial offices and non-government organizations (NGOs) working for the causes of disadvantaged children.

Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. (Kalipay) is one of the active organizations focusing on helping disadvantaged children.

Seventeen (17) years ago, Anna Maria Claparols Balcells founded Kalipay.  Kalipay aims to bring joy to disadvantaged children. It seeks to make a difference by supporting the causes of these disadvantaged children.

Kalipay has assisted more than 400 hundred children in different ways through living expenses, education, housing, counseling, and medical needs. Kalipay has facilitated adoptions in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its partners, both national and international.

The home is situated in Bago City, where about one hundred (100) children reside, ages one month to twenty-two years old.

Private individuals, corporations, and organizations have been supporting the foundation. Some people sponsor a child – for his/her home life, education, and other needs. Not all children have sponsors.

According to their website, in August 2018, Kalipay children adopted the Re-entry Education Agenda for the Poor of the REAP educational system in partnership with the University of Santo Tomas – Angelicum College. REAP was created with the vision of helping those who are not able to utilize the traditional learning system. It caters to out-of-school youth and adults who are motivated to complete their primary and secondary education.

Sometime in June, five children completed their high school education and attended their graduation at UST Angelicum College in Manila.

Then, on Kalipay’s 17th anniversary, the 6th Moving Up Ceremony was held in the Kalipay Home.

I was honored to be asked by one of the graduates to go up the stage with her as her “Parent.” It was a memorable day.

I used to work in Kalipay and witnessed so many miracles during my time there. One story is about “Robert.” Robert was a severely malnourished child when we rescued him. His family lived in the streets and had limited resources to buy food.  When we brought him home, we made sure he had food, clothes, and other needs. We also brought him to a pediatrician who gave him a special kind of milk. Slowly, he became stronger.

Now, after eight (8) years, looking at him, you will not see the hardships he has experienced. This is what Kalipay does. They empower children, give love, and care for the children.

Some children had mental health concerns. Counseling was provided – thank you to the Guidance Counselors from the University of St. La Salle and other volunteers.

There are Kalipay children who are now a professional teacher, a registered Social Worker (who is already a staff member), and living independently with families. Some are working outside of Negros Occidental.

Kalipay also has a program for volunteers. There had been volunteers from Spain, Germany, France, and yes, from the Philippines.

If you wish you know more about Kalipay and are interested in sponsoring a child, please visit their office in Villamonte, or visit their website https://kalipay.org/ or call them at 09177002345.

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