Freedom through Education and Livelihood

Posted by | Sep 25, 2021 |

People deprived of liberty and children in conflict with the law will once again be given liberty through education and livelihood even still inside the jail sites.

On July 1, 2021, the Inner Wheel Philippines Incorporated District 380 through the Inner Wheel Club of Antipolo Central partnered with Rotary Club of Mutya ng Pasig to launch the project “Sa Libro at Likha, Lalaya” at Bahay Aruga, Nagpayong, Pasig City. The beneficiaries of this project are the children in-conflict with the law (CICL) and the children in need of protection of Pasig City. Specifically, children who are wards at Bahay Aruga and Bahay-Pag-asa, who are also ALS pupils under the Schools Division of Pasig City Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program. It was attended by the Inner Wheel Philippines Inc. District 380 District Secretary Loreta Villame and District Chairman Caroline Q. Entote at the helm. This year long project is headed by Inner Wheel Club of Antipolo Central Pres. Mitch Ballesteros joined by Inner Wheel Club of Central Ortigas President Helen Prado, Inner Wheel Club of Marikina represented by Club Secretary Ms Kath Adriano. IWC Metro Valenzuela, IWC Global City , IWC Valenzuela , IWC Central Monteverde also collaborated in this project . Among those present at the launch of the project are the partners and beneficiaries from the Schools Division of Pasig City – the Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, Carolina T. Rivera, the Chief of School Governance and Operations Division, Manuel A. Laguerta, the Public School District Supervisor in charge of ALS, Dulce Santos; the proponents of the project, the Rotary Club of Mutya ng Pasig – PP Marivic R. Leano, , and AG Dinah Guevarra. Partners from the Library Hub Philippines, Oliver Pe and the Pasig City Chamber of Commerce, Orly Ballesteros also graced the occasion. But most importantly the DSWD Chief of Pasig City Ma. Soccoro P. Jalmasco, was there to welcome the visitors and receive the donations on behalf of the Bahay-Aruga wards.

Meanwhile, Philip, stopped schooling while he was in the 7th grade due to financial constraints. But through the encouragement of the house parents of Bahay Aruga, he was able to acquire livelihood skills that will prove valuable in his life as well. The ALS mobile teachers and Bahay Aruga staff helped Philip get a permit from the city court to enrol at the nearby Technical Vocational Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) school. He enrolled in two courses – massage therapy and bread and pastry-making. He graduated after the 90-day program with good marks. Over the course, he learned to make pandesal, crinkles, brownies and cakes such as Black Forest, brazo de Mercedes and Chocolate Marble. He proudly bakes these goodies for everyone from his fellow

CICL, to social workers in Bahay Aruga, to even the judge on his case. During Bahay Aruga’s Mother’s Day program last May, he gave his mother a chiffon cake, her favourite.

Although it is still uncertain when Philip, now 21, will be released from Bahay Aruga, an opportunity to work eagerly awaits him. His uncle owns a bakery and is eager to get Philip on board.

Such inspiring stories on how education and training changed the lives of many young people who otherwise would have been lost in the fringes of society or have succumbed to a life of crime, are reasons enough for the Inner Wheel Philippines Inc. to consider investing on the project “Sa Libro at Likha, Lalaya”.

The Inner Wheel Philippines District 380 donated one LED T.V., bookshelves and furniture for the newly renovated mini-library and ALS Classroom. They also donated groceries and feminine hygiene kits. The Library Hub Philippines, donated books, and other learning materials for the mini library as well. The mini library will be a place where the Bahay-Aruga children can do independent study. A luxury which previously they did not have. However, the project will also have a livelihood project component for the CICL of the centre. Soon, new ALS enrolees will also learn skills such as high-speed sewing, and basic pattern making. RC Mutya ng Pasig and Inner Wheel Philippines Inc. 380 will be investing on PPE, mask and uniform making at the centre.

Bahay-aruga is an intervention centre for children in conflict with the law. It is located at Molave Street, Nagpayong, Pasig City. Bahay-Aruga and its adjacent Centre Bahay-Pag-asa are the City Government’s response to the Juvenile Justice welfare Act of 2006 or the RA 0334. The centre is renovated to include additional dormitories for the youth residents, a mini library, and an upgraded classroom for the ALS Program. The new additions to the centre were inaugurated on July 2, 2021, by the City Mayor of Pasig, Hon. Vico Sotto and the Representative of the Lone District of Pasig, Congressman Roman Romulo. Both Inner Wheel Philippines Inc. District 380 Chairperson Caroline Q. Entote and the Rotary Club of Mutya ng Pasig Life Changing President Rosalina D. Magat were present at the inauguration.

Marivic R. Leano/ Michelle “ Mitch “ de Ocampo - Ballesteros