Rotary Club of Bacolod South pays a loving visit to the kids of Kalipay Negrense Foundation.
The only international language is a child's cry. ~ Eglantyne Jebb
Some kids just cry louder than most. Others, however, cry in secret — thinking that nobody hears them anyway. But in reality, those who can actually hear are only the ones who care to listen with their hearts.
At the Kalipay Negrense Foundation, they have listened and they have “saved” many children already. It is a non-profit foundation working for the causes of disadvantaged children. “Disadvantaged children” is a cover term for the homeless, the physically and sexually abused, the malnourished, the out of school, and the special children.
The Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. hopes to break the cycle of hopelessness in these children’s lives by introducing them to education, and by providing them with decent shelter, as well as health care and counseling.
But sometimes, the burden becomes too heavy to bear. While Kalipay has the heart, their pockets also run dry. And they badly need help.
Heeding the call of Kalipay Negrense Foundation, the Rotary Club of Bacolod South (RCBS) headed by President Elena Gatanela went there to hold a one-day medical and dental mission. This event was in cooperation with the RCBS twin club, the Rotary Club of Taal-Lemery (RCTL) of Batangas, headed by President Erick Hernandez.
With an air of expectancy, the Kalipay children welcomed the joint Rotary missions team. While they do receive well-meaning guests from time to time, they are still excited when a group comes to visit them. They know that something good is going to happen. They put on their best behavior and their sweetest smiles as they waited for the Rotarians to finish setting up their equipment and presentation.
Four physicians and three dentists as well as officers and members of both clubs helped out in the event that was held last October 21, 2017 at the Recovered Treasures in Bago City, Negros Occidental. A total of 150 children under the care of Kalipay Foundation benefited from the mission. They were able to avail of free medical check up and dental cleaning.
Furthermore, the residents were given first-aid medicines, dental kits composed of toothbrushes and tooth paste, and of course snacks for the day. The Rotary club members also pooled resources to be able to give a sack of rice as well as some clothes for the children.
Sparking Hope | Making a Difference
Even for just a day, the RCBS and RCTL were able to bring hope and joy to the disadvantaged children of Kalipay. The kids got more than just treat for their physical health. The mission and the Rotarians were just instruments to bring hope and make a difference in the lives of the young residents.
It is through moments like these that we become optimistic that the children, who were once devoid of hope, will see that there is still good in humanity despite what they have gone through.
As a society, we have the responsibility of helping raise children who will become powerful, productive, responsible, and emphatic members of the next generation. The responsibility becomes greater when we are talking about disadvantaged children like these who do not have their own parents to guide them. We help them and we seed hope with the prayer that one day, the goodness sown in them will impact them positively and multiply towards the community in the future. We fervently pray that they, too, will pay the kindness forward someday.
Rotary Club of Bacolod South
The Kalipay Negrense Foundation is not the only group that was touched by the Rotary Club of Bacolod South. In line with the Rotary International’s general causes, RCBS continues to think up and hold projects and activities that holistically impact their sector of society.
Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world, to support our peace efforts, and end polio forever.
Nothing beats sports events in fostering peace in the community. This year, RCBS co-sponsored the 1st Recoletos Football Challenge at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) where five teams from different schools joined. The event also seeks to promote and develop excellence in academics and sports among the youth in the region.
At the Bacolod Girls Home, RCBS held a grooming day. The girls were given a seminar on hair care and good grooming. The Rotarians themselves got their hands busy with giving the girls hair treatments. The residents were also given snacks as well as clothes and slippers. It was a rare blessing for these orphaned girls.
Oplan Hilam-os aimed to beautify the Day Care and Community Center in Purok Pepsi, Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City. RCBS members and volunteers helped in the beautification project that resulted in a colorful center, which came alive because of the fresh paint and the vibrant artworks. The 100 something students were very happy with how their centers looked afterwards.
Saving Mothers and Children
In line with their thrust of making a difference in the society, RCBS held a free legal consultation last August 2017 at the SM City Bacolod. Everyone who came was given the chance to receive legal advice on their current entanglements. A lot of those who benefited from the free legal advice were women who are in domestic disputes. Through the event, they were given a voice and hope of getting out of their situation. Where once they thought they were stuck in a rut, they now realized that there can be solutions to their legal woes.
Growing Local Economies
RCBS introduced AlterTrade and the concept of Our Food to the Interact Club of Living Stones International School (LSIS). AlterTrade seeks to provide an environment of fair trade to the local farmers of Negros. Encouraging families to buy from AlterTrade also alleviates the livelihood of farmers under AlterTrade. The RCBS increased the market of AlterTrade through its introduction to the students of LSIS.
Every project is much thought about and it is with the promise that more worthwhile projects are coming from RCBS in 2018. Truly, they are making a difference in Bacolod!
Maria Sigrid D. Lo is a multi-awarded Bacolod lifestyle blogger and social media advocate. It is her desire to make the city known to the world through her online presence. She promotes Bacolod restaurants, food tourism, social media etiquette, breastfeeding, and a greener Bacolod City in her blogs and talks. She loves taking photos, mostly of her children and of food. She is a proud member of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. (NBSI) or the #NegrosBloggers.