FORGE’s Scholarship Program for Children



Three urgent appeals
PERSPECTIVE By Cherry Ballescas (The Freeman) Updated August 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Several appeals have reached us since Monday.

First came this urgent appeal from newly-elected Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon. He wrote that 1,500 urban poor families were left homeless in Brgy T. Padilla, Cebu City after a fire gutted their homes Monday noon. The fire victims need food, drinking water, used clothing, and blanket.

To those among you who wish to share whatever you can, for any form of assistance that you can share, please coordinate with the barangay officials of T Padilla c/o Capt. Rallota whom you can contact at this number, 09189123920 or Kagawad Jumao-as at 09218495784. You may also contact the office of Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon at 2544334. Kindly look for Shyne.

If you saw the tv footage of the fire last Monday, the faces of the fire victims may still be difficult to erase from your memory. The same problems related to fires in many communities of the city were also reported: water shortage narrow alleys, crowd control, among others. Perhaps, it is time for the new set of Cebu City officials to draw up a more reliable, efficient disaster management system, not only to address problems related to fires but to other forms of disasters and calamities as well.

Councilor Nida Cabrera hopes to move in that direction in a scheduled meeting with multisectoral partners at her officed this Thursday afternoon. The immediate reason for the meeting is to draw up urgent measures to manage the infestation of caterpillars at Bgy. Toong which has prematurely turned the green leaves of the teak trees in the area to brown Some residents of the area have also reported having the til-as in their homes, even on their beds.

What is clear is the need and the appeal for a clear effective system of collaborative partnerships and initiatives to respond positively and effectively to the various problems affecting the residents of Cebu City.

Finally, the third came from FORGE, a time-tested, proven, authentic and sincere NGO. This is a message from FORGE to those who wish to partner with them to make a child’s dream come true. Their appeal is directed to partners and donors who will assist a very special group of children have a better future.

“ Tina is a college student taking up Social Work in a downtown university. She was a little girl lost when we found her in the streets many years ago. She had run away from home after being sexually abused by a male cousin. A pimp took charge of her and she managed to survive earning from her work in prostitution.

Delia is a young woman working in the Mactan Export Processing Zone. She learned to fend for herself at a very early age after her parents broke up and left her in the care of an old and destitute aunt. She started to live on the streets with friends who introduced her to drugs and eventually to prostitution. After two years of regular visits to the FORGE-RESCUE Activity Center where she participated in varied psycho-social activities, she enrolled in the alternative learning system and finished the course.

Tina and Delia are only two of the many girls who have changed the course of their lives after being active participants in FORGE RESCUE program. RESCUE stands for Rescuing Sexually-exploited Children Under Eighteen. Through intensive outreach work, FORGE RESCUE Program has managed to help close to 2,000 commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC). The program covers the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-lapu. For the past three years, it has been able to assist the rehabilitation and reintegration of about 160 children into their families and communities.

For the next three years, FORGE plans to send 200 more children to finish their secondary education. This became a big challenge, however, when the global crisis struck late last year. The funding partner reduced its support by thirty percent. Consequently, FORGE needs to raise the remaining amount of P700,000, hence, this solicitation campaign.

FORGE wishes to share with you the opportunity of helping these children realize a brighter future. For P8,000, you can already send a child through high school and sustain the psycho-social interventions needed for their personal development. However, any amount sincerely given by friends like you will go a long way to make the program a success.

Let us share our blessings with these children. Help make their dreams come true.

For more information about the project, you may contact Aliza Belarmino or Horace Señagan, thru forge_cebu@yahoo. com or call telefax (63 32) 412-6862.”

So much appeal for help. Let us all do our best to share and be part of the solutions to these problems and reach out to our brothers and sisters in need.



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