“From Rudeness to Kindness” Success Story of Haven for Women

Lj was a typical bubbly girl who loved to mingle with different people. One day, she met a guy and he became her boyfriend. In an instant, without her even realizing it, her boyfriend’s influence on her got her drowning with vices such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs.

On August 10, 2015 at Alysa Resort, Lj was rescued by the NBI through an entrapment operation after she was sold as a pimp by her own boyfriend.

Haven for Women welcomed Lj with warmth and comfort. However, it was not easy for Lj to adjust in the new environment. Out of trauma, Lj used to express her discomfort through disrespecting the social workers and co-residents.

Despite the negative attitude that Lj showed, Haven for Women’s social worker never got tired of understanding her. They taught her how to be grateful for all the blessings she receives, including that of being sheltered by Haven for Women.

Eventually, Lj, adapted a kind personality that changed how she treats people. She started trusting Haven for Women, most especially her co-residents, and realized how everyone around her helped her recover from her trauma and be a better person.

To show her gratitude, she wrote a poem about her experiences inside the institution:

“Noong una, halos hindi ako makapaniwala,

Hindi ako makapaniwala kasi ayokong maniwala.

Ayokong maniwala kasi wala talaga akong tiwala.

Wala na akong tiwala sa mga sinasabi at paliwanag nila.

Sino ba naman kasi ang magtitiwala

kung nung umpisa palang sinira na ang tiwala?

Kesyo ganito, kesyo ganyan?

Mga linyahan ng mga NBI na yan.

Nung umpisa sobrang hirap

Sobrang hirap mag-adjust

Ang hirap mag adjust kasi hindi tayo sanay

Hindi tayo sanay sa mga gawaing bahay

Kasi hindi tayo sinanay

Puro na lang kasi si nanay

Si nanay sa linis, sa inis, sa walis.

Sa lahat pati na rin sa pagtitiis

Pagtitiis sa lahat ng kalokohan, kagaguhan at kawalang hiyaan

Marahil ilan lang yan sa mga dahilan,

kung bakit kailangan nating matauhan

Matauhan sa lugar kung saan tayo’y may matutunan

Sabi nga sa halos lahat ng Bible study na aking nadadaluhan,

GOD HAS A PURPOSE at iyan ang aking pinanghahawakan.

Kaya habang tumatagal, ako ay napapamahal

Napamahal ako sa lugar

Kung saan nawala ang aking pagiging hangal.

Oo. Hindi tayo pare-parehas  ng pinagdaanan sa buhay

Pero isa lang ang alam kong tunay

At yun ay ang Poon nating mahal

Na siyang nagbibigay sa’ tin ng gabay

Gabay tungo sa buhay na walang hanggan

Kung saan magkakaroon  tayo ng kaligayahang walang humpay

Isa lamang ito sa mga patunay na ako ay may natutunan .

HFW! Kayo ay mga tunay na gabay

patungo sa buhay na matiwasay

Naway’y patuloy kayong gabayan ng Poon nating mahal

Nang sa ganon ay mas marami pa kayong maiayos na buhay.

Mula sa kawalang hiyaan ay hinahatid ninyo sa karangyaan. “

Lj recently passed the Alternative Learning System (ALS) examination and plans to continue her tertiary education to become a Veterinarian.

Haven for Women is a temporary shelter and protective custody to women ages 18- 59 years old who are victims of abuse and trafficking. It is located at Alabang Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, with telephone number 889-1412. ###

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“The Fast Lane: A Story of Baby Girl Cherry” Inspired by the story of Mr. Alfredo Sarte

On April 16, 2019, a mother gave birth to a baby girl while aboard a CHER Transport Bus. The child was then named Baby Girl Cherry.

The almost impossible delivery became successful because of the help of a good samaritan in a form of a Professional Nurse, and this is his story…

At around 5:00 AM on a Holy Tuesday, a man rode a bus from Cubao, Quezon City to his work in Alabang, Muntinliupa City. In the middle of transit, the passengers started screaming and shouted in chorus in attempt to seek assistance for a lady who is about to give birth.

The man, who was then trying to catch a few minutes of sleep, immediately got up from a quick nap and calmly approached the laboring mother. They were in the middle of an expressway with no hospitals nearby, thus, he did what was necessary for the safety of both the mother and the newborn.

Although seemingly impossible given the lack of medical equipment nor facility inside the bus, the man managed to safely pull out the child from the mother’s womb. He then asked for clean clothes and towels for the newborn from the other passengers who cooperatively obliged.

Since the umbilical cord is still connected to the mother, the man then instructed the bus driver to drive to the nearest hospital while the other passengers helped in clearing the traffic to get to the destination. They arrived at the Emergency Room of Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

This humble Samaritan is no other than Mr. Alfredo “Al” Sarte, a Nurse – I at the Elsie Gaches Village under the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region. He hailed at the province of Bicol and received a degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008 at the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi and passed the Nursing Licensure Examination on the same year.

His professional career started by volunteering at Hospicio De San Jose, Manila. A year after that, he decided to start his career with DSWD in 2009 as a Nurse under contract of service at the Jose Fabella Center, then transferred in 2012 at Elsie Gaches Village, under a permanent position. All these were attributed to his outstanding job performances partnered with his utmost dedication to his job, unconditional love for the clients, and loyalty to the department.

As time goes by, he continues to develop professionally through the various capacity building opportunities provided by the DSWD. He is also constantly improving himself through other means, such as exploring and enhancing new skillsets. He is also working as a Property Consultant during his free time.

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Healing and Grief Management for Peer Support Mentors

The participants of the Training on Healing and Grief Management for Peer Support Mentors together with the INA Healing Center Staff headed by Ms. Myrna C. Comota, SWO III – OIC-Head

The DSWD – NCR Inang Nangulila sa Anak (INA) Healing Center conducted a 3-day training on Healing and Grief Management for Peer Support Mentors on November 11 – 13, 2019 at Treasures of Bolinao Beach Resort, Pangasinan.

The training aims to enable the Peer Support Mentors from the Local Government Units (LGUs) of NCR to understand and have knowledge on healing and grief management, increase their confidence and competence in facilitating bereaved clients of the Center, and to provide additional knowledge for the participants on Grief Etiquette Coaching.

Ms. Russelle Ane Dela Cruz, Guidance Counselor of Rizal Technological University, served as the Resource Person for the topic “The Grief Etiquette”. She imparted the importance of understanding the grief etiquette as one of the basic skills of a Peer Support Mentor.  Ms. Emmanuelle Santiago, also a Guidance Counselor of the RTU, discussed the “Healing and Grief Management”. She emphasized that grief is a normal response in an emotional suffering when someone or something we love is taken away from us. Lastly, Ms. Mary Beth Miranda, Guidance Counselor as well of RTU, discussed the “Psychological Aid for Grieving Person”. The Psychological First-Aid or the PFA is the First-line Psychological support to an individual after a crisis event. PFA is a humane, supportive, and practical assistance to fellow human beings who recently suffered a serious stressor.

The participants during the “Bidding Final Goodbye to the Loss” activity

On the second and last night of the training, the participants were gathered along the seaside and bonfire as part of the “Bidding Final Goodbye to the Loss” activity. They were all asked to wrote down their pains from the past so that they can let go, empty their hearts, and make room for new beginnings.

They also shared their past experiences on grief and how they were healed through INA Healing Center’s programs and services.

INA Healing Center is a non-residential facility where grieving individuals who lost their loved ones are given psychosocial support to help others who are in similar situation. The Center is located at the DSWD Central Office, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City. ###

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New Partnership for Innovative System

The National Vocational and Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) held a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing with Indie Learning System, a provider of immersive program for non-techies on November 5, 2019 at the NVRC Conference Room.

NVRC Officer-In-Charge Center Head Ms. Flor Cecille Calabarazon and Indie Learning System’s General Manager Ms. Marie De La Rama represented their respective parties on the said MOA signing.

Ms. De La Rama and Ms. Capadocia as they train the three deaf clients

Indie Learning System aims to turn the non-techie’s knowledge, passion, and interest into online business, through their program named “Camp Enterprise.” Camp Enterprise offers a specialized education and training program on online entrepreneurship that aims to benefit the Center’s clients. A 10-day training program for online business website will be provided to the hearing impaired clients so that they may have an opportuity to work home-based.

Ms. Jolina Capadocia, NVCR’s Psychometrician and language interpreter for deaf trainees, will facilitate and provide support services during the training, coaching and mentoring sessions for the students who will be attending the first boot camp.

Three (3) deaf female clients were already trained to capture the gist of the said training. Meanwhile, Indie Learning System is yet to donate an online business website for NVRC.

The National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) is a non-residential facility that provides an integrated approach to physical, social, cultural, spritual, educational, and vocational measures for Persons with Disabilities (PWD), to attain their highest possible level of functional abilities. ###

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HFC Halloween 2019

HFC’s children wearing their Halloween costumes

Haven for Children, a residential care facility that caters to boys who are victims of substance abuse, conducted their Halloween 2019 celebration on October 30, 2019.

The Psychological Service who headed the program provided two (2) contests for the Children. The  most awaited part, the Trick or Treat, was also conducted wherein Ms. Ma Adela Guerrero, Psychologist III of Central office, Ms. Maricel Enteña, Activity Therapist of Elsie Gaches Village, and Mr. Warren Murillo, Guidance Associate of Saint Paul College of Parañaque served as judges for the scariest cottage and costume.

Narra Cottage, which was transformed into a cemetery, won the first prize for the Scariest Cottage 2019, followed by the Yakal Cottage which was transformed into an abandoned office, and the Kamagong Cottage which was transformed into a hospital, won the third place.

Halloween 2019 is being conducted yearly by Haven for Children as part of its recreational activities for the children. Recreational activities such as these help children recover from their traumatic experiences, cope up with therapies, and adapt better in the rehabilitation processes. ###

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Social Welfare and Development Forum for the Rights of Filipino Children and Youth with Special Needs

October 25, 2019     DSWD-NCR led a Regional Convergence Effort in Advocating and Promoting the Equality and Protection of the Rights of Filipino Children at Rosemead Inn, Inc., West Avenue, Quezon City.

Participated in by DSWD’s officials, representatives from City Social Welfare Development offices of Metro Manila, and DSWD-NCR’s Units, Sections, Centers and Residential Care Facilities, the said Advocacy Forum aims to serve as a venue for open discussion on the children’s issues and policy concerns among partner-stakeholders, re-assess critical provisions to generate further recommendation for the enhancement of the proposed Senate Bill No. 171 or the Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) Act introduced by Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, and to strengthen partnership and collaboration in advocating and lobbying the said bill.

DSWD-NCR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Ms. Edna J. Sacedor and Protective Services Division Chief Ms. Glenda M. Derla shared information regarding the cases of children with special needs and as to why the Philippine legislators need to take said children’ concerns and situations into consideration. “It is also important to take good care of the young people with special needs because they are not different to the normal ones when it comes to their right to study and have a better living,” Ms. Sacedor said.

Further, Mr. Mauro Paris Garret, Planning Officer III of DSWD’s Legislative Liaison, shared on an interview with PTV 4 that Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) need the right equipment and facilities to cater to their specific needs. He also emphasized that teachers, parents, and guardians of the CYSN will also benefit from the said proposed bill. “For parents and guardians bibigyan sila ng appropriate training to actually handle CYSN, para atleast through their own home sila na ‘yong bahala magpalaki ng maayos sa mga anak nila para maipasa ito ng tama sa mga teachers and pag nabigyan na rin po ng training ‘yong mga teachers sila na rin ‘yong tatayong pangalawang magulang para sa mga CYSN.” Mr. Garret expressed. ###

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United Nations 2019 at Marillac Hills

On October 17, 2019, Marillac Hills conducted various activities to commemorate the United Nations or the union of different countries after the World War. This year’s theme is “International Year of Indigenous Languages” which aims to promote the usage and appreciation of different languages of all nations.

Flag making contest, essay writing contest, slogan-making, and other activities were held as part of the celebration. The highlight of the event was the search for Ms. United Nations wherein selected students from different grade levels showcased their talents and charms onstage as they represent different countries of the UN.

The search for Ms. United Nations 2019 started with an invocation led by Jose Fabella Memorial School, followed by opening remarks from Ms. Lina Emata, Social Welfare Officer of Marillac Hills.

The candidates also performed an opening number wherein they danced to the folk songs of the countries they are representing.

All the candidates showed their best poise and elegance for the Ms. UN pageant. Rising above all the contestants was Miss Philippines who won the Ms. United Nations title.

Marillac Hills is a residential care facility of DSWD NCR which caters to girls ages 7- 17 years old, who are victims of abuse. ###

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2019 Miss Earth Candidates visit Nayon ng Kabataan

On October 17, 2019, ten (10) candidates from Miss Earth Pageant conducted their annual charity visit at Nayon ng Kabataan. The candidates shared food, played with the residents, and promoted their 5Rs Advocacy (Rethink, Reuse, Recycle, Reduce, and Respect) to all the participants.

Miss Earth’s advocacy is to promote environmental awareness. With this, the institution became a regular donor that conducts outreach programs for NK’s residents, as their activities complement the services provided by the Center in relation to the promotion of programs that focus on the best interest of children.

Miss Air Philippines 2019 and Miss Water Philippines 2019 hosted the said outreach programs. Together with the other candidates, they reminded the children of Nayon ng Kabataan to follow their advocacy and to take good care of Mother Nature.

Nayon ng Kabataan provides programs and psycho-social services and interventions to children in need of special protection, ages seven (7) to eighteen (18) years old. It is located at Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. ###

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