Vol 1 Issue no. 3 April-June 2005





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THE GRANTEES.  Children from two communities of Isla de Oro and Macabalan

Who proud of their school supplies


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GsK on Saturday is FULL HOUSE


The number of children supported by GsK this SY 2005-2006 is four times increased.    The center started with eight (8) children who were wards from former Balay sa Gugma.  The new grantees were recruited from three groups- Isla de Oro (10), McDonald territory (10) Dunkin donut area (2) and indigent family (2).


During Saturday the center is in full house of the children who comes for tutorial particularly in language both English and Filipino, mathematics, science and social studies. Also, it is family day to strengthen the bonding of both new and old children playing games and watching television.


Eight (8) children are in the secondary school while twenty-four are in the elementary grade.  Ms. Rizalie Lagnason, GsK social worker have visited the school and delighted to received the feedback.  “Crismon’s comprehension is well except he is weak in reading.”   At an early age of 6 years old Crismon was on the street    He is now 16 years old and in second grade.  “Ian behaved well in school.  But he is weak in reading too.” Ian, Paolo and Eduardo were school drop- outs too.  Two years ago the teachers were burdened with their poor academic performance compared this time.  Ms. Lagnason informed them that GsK is helping the children in their academic needs too.



GsK 1st Summer Camp


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In April 23-29, 2005, twenty (20) children of  Gugma  sa  Kabataan were chosen to participate in the 1st Summer camp   of   Gugma  sa Kabataan.  Together with the staff the 1st summer camp was held in Dumaguete in the island of Visayas.


Summer camp 2005 provides an opportunity for the children to develop skills in drama and leadership. Also, it is an adventure for the children to see other places. The theme “Ako ay Matatag,”   which in English connotes I am resilient.  It is an affirmation to the children that against all odds they have the capability to hope, to celebrate, to enjoy, living a life that is abundant   and free and the courage to say NO to the power of darkness.



Activities like drawing, learning new songs, Bible lessons, directing a drama and field trips have enriched the faith journey of the children as a person, as a performer, as a leader and as a community builder.  During the field trip to Silliman University Marine laboratory the consciousness to be an environmentalist was raised.  The tour guide underscored the laboratory, cultured the endangered clam species that grows to twenty-five (25) centimeters.


Show case was the culminating activity of the children.  They were able to recognize and appreciate their gifts in acting, singing, dancing, directing, and script writing.  Ian Awitin and Eduardo de la Cruz were recognized as best performers. Also, Crismon Escolano and Paolo Talampas were awardees on best entertainers.  However, the leadership award goes to Dondon Ponlaon





In two different occasions members of the International Board came and visited GsK center. Dr. Stefan Wolfenstetter, President of Balay sa Gugma in Germany and Vice-President of the newly born organization of Gugma sa Kabataan came for his annual visit in April 16-24, 2005.


 With him was a long time friend and committed donor of Balay sa Gugma Mr. Raimund Haber.  Mr. Huber with his Spanish wife Teresa is now based in Madrid, Spain.  The visit intended to attend the 1st annual Board Meeting of Gugma sa Kabataan and spend time with the children both in the center and in jail.  




A SERIOUS CONVERSATION.  At Gsk Center from Left-

Minda Domingo, Executive Director, Stefan Wolfnestetter from

Germany and Raimund Haber from Spain.


Dr. Wolfenstetter was a channel of bringing donated gift from friends in Germany. Medicines, stuff toys and billiard table. Stuff toys were intended to share to the pediatric ward of German Doctors and GsK center for the therapy sessions. On the other, a billiard table was donated too in jail for the amusement use of the children.  Both Haber and Wolfenstetter did not leave without fulfilling the promise to donate a set of television and DVD to GsK center.


In May 18 Ms. Jillian Cooper, our Board member representing Australia, who was on a visit to a family friend came to GsK center.   Ms. Cooper brought a Koala key chain holders present from Australia for the children 






Arnel Jimenez with family           Gsk ED, Freddie and Aunt Belen      Gsk Coordinator with


School year 2005-2006 is another milestone for the children of Gugma sa Kabataan to be a part in the history making as awardees and graduates. 


Freddie Acierto has finished his Junior year with a flying color at Tagoloan National High School. He received a medal award of an average grade of 87.56. Also, he got the award as best in Science and Math.  Ms. Belen Acierto, guardian of Freddie, has witnessed and participated in awarding the medal.  Also, it is a way of Freddie expression of gratitude for the love and care of given to him. 


On the other hand, Arnel Jimenez and Kristina Jalalon received their elementary certificate.  Arnel Jiminez is an awardee in math of Balingoan Elementary school.

Another graduate Williamar Ponlaon is very happy to receive his high school diploma and received an award on deportment service.






Ms Iris Koch of Action Medeor in Germany has donated antibiotics, deworming pills, ophthalmic and skin disease ointments, and vitamins.   Both children in the center and jail were beneficiaries of said medicines.



In April 20, 2005 Ms. Ingrid Berger from Germany donated a billiard table to the children in Lumbia jail.


The Silvanosa family celebrated the 27th birthday of Cerelito Silvanosa in a non traditional way.  In May 21, 2005 the Silvanosas headed by matriarch, Helen Silvanosa, donated a pack of light evening meal for GsK children.  Caroline, the daughter who is a nurse in USA said,” this is how we celebrate the birthday of our families.  We go around the city and distribute food for the street people.”


Ten (10) young people from the TAU GAMMA PHI-Triskelions Grand Fraternity spend the afternoon with the children having fun.  Also, they donated used books and clothes for the children.


Mr. Willy Velasco, a long time friend of Balay sa Gugma remains committed to the street children.  Two brand new basketballs were given to the center for the children to enhance their psychomotor and team building skills. Also, two boxes that are newly harvest of unripe mangoes are given for the children.





The street dwellers who are no longer qualified beneficiaries of GsK were organized as Simple Boys Club. These street dwellers are occupying the Dunkin Donut area who worked as car washers and car watchers    GsK  provided materials for the identification cards needed by the  street dwellers.  The identification cards will provide them identity and personality.  “There were car owners who don’t pay the fee and run away after cleaning”, noted by the chosen president, Keljing Montilla.


Guardians and parents of children have organized themselves too.   Ms. Belen Luza is the elected president.  The primary goal of the organization is to strengthen the relationship between the center and families.  One of the tasked of the parents is to provide voluntary services like cooking for the food ration of the school children.  On the other hand, the center assisted parents to be economically productive.  A seed money of five hundred (Php500.00) to a maximum of Two Thousand is availed to parents as a short term loaned with zero interest.  Two single parents have the financial capability to pay.




In cooperation with Balay sa Gugma in Germany through Dr. Stefan Wolfenstetter, Action Medeor Germany through Ms. Iris Koch and the management of Col. Ernesto Abella, Warden of Lumbia Jail, thirty seven (37) children in Lumbia city jail were treated  on skin disease.  The children were primarily suffering from scabies, a skin disease which is frequently caused by dirty water supply in the area.   Also, deworming was administered.  To supplement the nutrients needed, vitamins were given.




SING YOUR SONG OF HOPE.  Anxiety, homesickness of

the children can be suppressed whenever guests and

visitor comes around.


Rodney Valleja, a third year medical student of Xavier University convened a group of volunteers who helped in the treatment.  Ms. Josephine Antiquina, one of our Board members  together with  Mr. Leo Martin Tobo, a physical therapist and Mark Anthony Lustre a Civil Engineer have helped to assist in the treatment.




IN JAIL.  Board member Ms.Antiquina    Rodney valleja (center) cleaned and

took the data of the children while           treated the affected skin area.

Dr. Wolfenstetter and Mr. Haber

distributed the deworming pills.






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Jason can beautifully create anything from blocks.


Jason is one of the two children left at the center.  He wanted to be in school like the other children.  He had never been to school.  It is too sad that no teacher would like to accept him.


Jason has a bulging eyes and impaired speech.  Zorayda recalled, “He is a victim of having an irresponsible father.” “When his father was still alive he loved to play chess. He hated to be disturbed while playing.  One time while playing Jason cried.  Jason was less than a year old then.  Jason’s father irritated by the cry picked him up from the crib and hanged upside down outside the window to stop crying.  After few days we realized that the eyes of Jason were bulging.” 


All the six children are school drop-out.  Zorayda is a side walk vendor earning US$1 from selling spices. Zorayda spent most of her time in the market and Jason together with the other growing children is left in the house.  Hence the family is living below poverty- inadequate of food, no electricity, drinking not potable water, doing laundry and taking a bath in a dirty lake.


Jason’s impaired speech and eye defect is not an obstacle to have a good future.    His imagination, perseverance, and creativity are amazing.  The center facilitates to help him count, recognized colors, shapes and sizes.









One of the sermons of Jesus to his disciples was “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God”  (matthew 5:9).  It is very interesting to note that many people wanted to have peace.  A dying person’s wished is she/he would like to die peacefully.  In the midst of crises – socially, morally, economically, politically, people longed and prayed to have peace.


However, Jesus wanted us to  be peacemakers and not to be peacekeepers and peace lovers.  As a peacemaker he expressed solidarity with the struggles of the people.  He knew what it means to be socially-out caste, rob w discriminated, to be marginalized and to be in pain.  As a peacemaker, he touched the eyes of the blind to see, made the lame walk, cured the lepers and the bent over woman, released the prisoners, preached the gospel of love to the poor, forgave the sinners, defended the rights of children and women. To be a peacemaker requires a lot of courage, risk, perseverance and patience to break in.  Jesus wanted us to be peacemakers like him.  It is in peacemaking that makes us belong to the family of God because God through Jesus Christ is a maker of peace.


On the 8th month of our faith journey our center, Gugma s Kabataan is serving forty-two (42)  street children of various needs.  We are looking for peacemakers who will embrace the children into an affirming and loving attitude.  We welcome peacemakers who are generous to share resources to capable children who are critical, theoretical and reflective to make them literate.  We invite peacemakers

who will give a little love BUT a lot of understanding to the children.  Peacemakers are enjoined to tap and enhance the gifts of the children in art.


Blessed are you as peacemakers for you belong to the family of God.


Executive Director



An Excerpt from Manila Bulletin- June 14, 2005




If lately, the Philippines can not credit itself with economic progress and a healthy, enlightened, well-off population, the problem may lie in the sad state

of the Filipino child.


According to the State of Filipino Children Report by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), majprity of the Filipino child population aged 0-17 years which totals 32.8 million or 43.4 percent of total population suffered from malnutrition, can not avail of educational opportunities, and reside in depressed areas where quality of life is very low.


The CWC, the focal agency of the Philippine government for children’s concerns created through PD 603, reports that three out of 10 0- six years old are under weight; four out of 10 are stunted and four out of 100 are wasted.


Almost 30 of 1,000 infants die before they reach age one, and about 300,000 Filipino babies are born each year with intellectual impairment due to iodine deficiency.  The sad fact is, how the child develops in these early years sets the stage for later success in school and the character of his or her adolescence and adulthood, the report said.


The sadder fact still is that as far as educational opportunities go, many children do not experience any learning stimulation at home nor have access to day care centers.  Those who go to school usually drop out after the first three years of schooling and only seven of 10 reach grades 6.


Four out of 10 to 13 year old kids do not move on to high school, acquire skills that are below international learning standards.


It is for this reason that the CWC, together with the combined strength for four government agencies – Department of Health, Education, Social Welfare and Development, and Interior and Local Government- has embarked on the Bright Child Project.


Bright Child is the goal and expected outcome of Early childhood Care and Development (ECCD)- an integrated package of services and programs initiated by the CWC which will provide the needed care, support and development in puts to Filipino children aged 0-6.  The program extends to all Filipino children below 18 years of age.


“We want every Filipino child to be Bright Child because  the quality of today’s young children spells the quality of the human resources that well propel the nation’s development tomorrow.  If we want a bright future for our country, we would want every Filipino child to be a bright child now,” CWC Director Lina B. Laigo said.


To be a Bright child, a child needs to get the proper level and quality of care, guidance, and stimulation to nurture his or her mental, physical, and psychosocial potentials during the first six years of life, Laigo explained.

The CWC leads the implementation of ECCD efforts in the country with the active participation of LGU’s, accredited NGO’s people’s organizations, the DOH, DSWD., Dep Ed, DILG, the Dept of agriculture, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA),and the National Nutrition Council.


“The Bright Child brand was conceived as a unifying symbol of the holistic programs being implemented by the above mentioned agencies,” Laigo said. 

The Bright Child program has identified nutritionally depressed areas in Bicol and

Western Visayas as those that are in immediate need of Bright child initiatives.  The combined efforts of the participating agencies will benefit from supplemental feeding programs, immunization packages, early education programs, day care centers, and their proper implementation at baranggay level.


“It takes a community to support this project and keep it going,” Laigo added.  She said the program will benefit not just from government and NGO support, but also, through the active participation of private citizens and the private sector.


An extensive media campaign for the Bright Child Program will be launched in June.