RAFI-DACF Holds Grant Awarding Ceremony for Bata ng Calabnugan and Partner School
The RAFI Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund (RAFI-DACF) held an online Grant Awarding Ceremony for the Bata ng Calabnugan and with its partner school, Holy Cross High School last September 1, 2021.
Bata ng Calabnugan was founded by Filipino-Italian couple Francesco Izzo and Flora Aguit with the aim to provide refuge for young children aged 0-10 years old in the remote barangay of Calabnugan in Sibulan, Negros Oriental.
“Our main mission is to provide a comfortable family-style living environment with lots of love and individual attention to the children that we care for,” Ms. Aguit, who now acts as the Executive Director of the organization, stated during the ceremony.
With the help of the Italian organization, L’isola dei Bambini, Francesco and Flora were able to realize their vision for Bata ng Calabnugan. The orphanage was built to serve as a home for girls who no longer have their own. They set out to find female children within Region 7 who are orphaned, neglected, abandoned, and physically disabled whose families are unable to care and provide for their basic needs.
They started their operations in 2010 with only 5 children. Now, their center has expanded its capacity to 20 people. But at present, the orphanage has faced some hardships with the 32 children that they are currently housing in their orphanage center. Even with the expansion and added capacity, they are still running short of accommodations for the children that they want to protect.
In 2016, RAFI-DACF awarded a 5-year grant for Bata ng Calabnugan to support the education of their beneficiaries. With the contract nearing its end and the COVID-19 pandemic on-going, the organization is finding it harder and harder to look for other funders. They especially need help in the basic education of 23 girls who are enrolled in Holy Cross High School in Dumaguete City.
Over the years, the organization and its stakeholders have been diligent in providing the support and care that the young children need for them to be able to realize their full potential, regain their dignity and experience a normal home environment where they can play, eat, rest, do simple chores and be educated.
With the utmost care, love and healing that they give to the children, RAFI-DACF saw them as the right organization to capacitate through a grant. DACF, therefore, pledged to support 50% of the total school fees (tuition and miscellaneous fees); which amounted to Php 214,762.00.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Bata ng Calabnugan. We hope for a better future for the children through the quality education provided for them. We, in RAFI-DACF, continue to fulfill our mission of enabling ‘communities to champion for children’. Definitely, Bata ng Calabnugan is one of our champions!” said Jenny Lea Menchavez, RAFI-DACF Junior Executive Director.
During the ceremony, Ms. Aguit emphasized their belief, “that education is the key to overcoming poverty – because of the support given by the grant of RAFI DACF, our children will have the opportunity to grow intellectually and broaden and expand their capabilities and skills.”
The quality of their service, regard and respect for each child can be seen in all the things they do and provide. Because of that, they deserve the help and support not only from DACF, but also from the community as a whole.
The Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-DACF) aims to enable communities to champion for children to reach their own potentials. Its Grants Program supports initiatives promoting the welfare and development of children through Early Education and Health and Nutrition.