SDC in action!

Far from the skipping ropes, pokemon cards and other activities of the playgrounds all over the world, the new trend at the SDC is the Capoeira!

Short reminder for those who might have missed the phenomenon:
According to Wikipedia®, "Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that would find its roots in the methods of warfare and in the dances of the African people of the time of slavery in Brazil." In reality, capoeira is a sport that combines dance, rhythmic movements and combat, and it is a way for our the SDC children to have fun and especially to unwind!

On alternate Thursdays, two volunteer teachers come to teach the art of capoeira to young during sessions of one hour and a half. Prof and Kit, owners of Mandala centering place in Bacolod therefore offer their time to mentor twenty children and introduce them to the practice.

In addition to capoeira lessons, Prof, whose capoeirista name is “Contra Mestre Parabolica” shares a few minutes at the end of each session to give kids a lesson in good manners, for example, reminding them why it is essential to have good hygiene or the importance of respecting the adults who supervise them at the SDC.

Since the launching of the activity at the beginning of 2014, children have shown a real interest in capoeira and invest heavily during each session in order to progress.
Periodically, competitions are organized to motivate the kids who now even practice by themselves in the dorms!

On November 15th, the Mandala centering place was the scene of a major event, an important gathering of capoeiristas who came straight from Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore. This day was an opportunity for teachers to reward capoeiristas students by the rise in rank. Capoeira grades are represented by ropes of different colors depending on the level.

Joel, a children of the SDC who had already distinguished himself as being particularly good at capoeira in recent competitions at the center was invited to attend this event. While he was initially supposed to simply join the group, Joel was finally rewarded by “Contra Mestre Parabolica” who gave him his first grade: yellow and white rope! Joel then got back to the center after a day full of emotions with his rope and his new outfit of capoeirista offered by Prof!

Can you imagine a professionnal capoeirista coming from the SDC?

Joel with his godfather of capoeira!


“Life is full” HOST-NGO’s film documentary at Festival de Cannes 2014 – Short Film Corner

Here we go!

HOST-NGO is represented for this 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Aside the official competition and its red carpet, there is one of the biggest film markets in the world that spans over acres in the town. The Short Film Corner, where “Life is full” will be shown as world premiere, allows film authors to submit their production to film professionals who are distributors, buyers or film festival organizers. The role of the distributors, if the presented film complies with their editorial or artistic lines will be to sell it to TV Channels, manage its cinema operations and lifespan. Generally, film buyers work for TV channels and they are trying to acquire the rights of films that will be broadcasted on their network. This year BBC, Canal +, TV5, Arte, France Télévisions, SBS from Australia, and many others in the game...

But the Short Film Corner is also a public place for audiences that come and see movies at the Digital Library (see photo) on individual screens in order to enable them to shortlist and vote their favorite movies they’d have liked.

Finally, each participant in the Short Film Corner can organize a screening in one of the three rooms provided purposely. The goal is to initiate a face to face between cinema professionals and film makers and start building common great film opportunities and careers into other festivals or on television.

My strongest wish through my film “Life is full” is to reach wider audience in order to raise awareness of the issues that face children in the streets of Bacolod especially those passing in the Social Development Center where HOST-NGO got mobilized to help and protect.

Victorien V.


One of the brightest stars

Capoeira ! Hold my hands my friend !

Our listening and helping work to these children continues and the deployed energy intensity from the volunteers and partners does not seem to fade out, quite the contrary.
Daily work is not easy but hope and passion are still here. Even though resources are sometimes limited, motivation and imagination sometimes can do real miracles. We must show them a way and never falter, these children do trust us and we cannot let them down. There is always a solution and most important is to believe.
They are being continuously given attention and consideration from members of the civil society organizations involved in that process of giving them hope and a future. Recently, we were able to provide new sports trainings such as Basketball and Capoeira, coached by appointed and motivated teachers.They love it! A chest activity is being put in place at the center. May the best win!
We are striving to trigger any interest from them for particular sport or activity and we are pleasantly surprised to discover real talent among these children. It is very encouraging to see the results achieved in a few sessions! Why nobody did offer them this opportunity before? Of course, playing sports andhaving fun is not enough, although we have improved and intensified School (ALS). Now are 3 half-days a week regardless of their level or age and compulsory for all of them. Don’t make them spoiled!
Our team begins work to renovate the main dormitory that will accommodate thirty children now in decent conditions and build an outdoor kitchen made in bamboo and raw material.
The next step would be to complete the sports room and have the last dorm renovated so that all children can sleep peacefully in a cozy and clean bed. Aside, we pursue other previous activities like hygiene and medical check-up, waste management, organic garden, sanitation awareness, fellowship, values lecture … and so on. We are also working on a dance, music and cooking training school ... One of them may become the new tomorrow starand nobody will remember where she/he came from ... except him/herself.
“And they'll say told you so. We were the ones who saw you first of all. We always knew that you were one of the brightest stars”
Monsanto are you here? Of course not it's organic
Teacher leaves the kids alone ! :)

There is joy and no snow for Christmas !

Last night a deejay saved my life


Heaven knows how they are miserable now

In the aftermath of the strongest typhoon ever hiting the Philippines, we would probably find more and more children and their families living in the streets again. For those who luckily survived this calamity, the path to a brighter future is not already over ... warm thoughts to the filipino nation during that time of disaster suffering. We haven't forgotten you !

Indeed, the SDC children have been benefiting from many improvements. In addition to maintaining the activities that we have already implemented, we have helped to renovate and equip a dormitory which can now accommodate more healthily more or less twenty children (the youngest in priority) . We build colorful concrete beds and benches, made 9 twin bed size washable foam mattresses, put mosquitos screens and doors and finally repainted all the dorm in friendly colors coming along with a beautiful mural painting. That latters would surely give them more energy to develop theirs ideas to how to ponder their future. This dynamic support and active solidarity, thanks to the help of the City of Bacolod and local private partners , the center has been equipped with seven brand new showers and led lights in every rooms powered by panels solar. However, it remains further efforts and resources to be provided in order to complete the rehabilitation of the remaining damaged dormitories, especially the one for girls, and the creation of a kitchen and dining room. According to the future donations that we can raise, we would also like to allow a steady supply of hygiene and health items to the children, medical check-up and continue the educational and physical sports activities which will have undoubtedly a very positive impact on their behaviors and values acceptance.

New dormitory for having seet dreams !

Doc, I don't feel well but I want to go school !

Can I go and wash my room ?

I can no longer have a house ... and a street


Positive feedback on CHR's involvement at the SDC

Since early August, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Bacolod City has been providing weekly services to the Social Development Center and the children taken into protective custody. This public organization, introduced in an article last month, has partnered with SDC and HOST-NGO. The CHR aims at raising awareness on children's rights and ensuring that these rights are fully observed within the center.

Following the first two months of this partnership, we have conducted a quick overview of the activities led by Mr. Romeo Baldevarona, CHR supervisor, and Mrs. Gina Alli, investigator and CHR officer. The first sessions have been dedicated to raising awareness on their own rights for every child catered at the SDC. The objective is to inform the children on their right for protection, especially in case of child abuse or exploitation committed by adults. The issue of child labour and child trafficking was also discussed by the CHR members and the children at the SDC. These activities showed to be perfectly adapted to the youth's needs and challenges as many of them have a disadvantaged social background and have been facing such issues. Our young beneficiaries have been carefully listening to the various testimonies and advice, and even shared their own experience with the other participants.

The CHR has also been conducting two sessions on individualized legal support targeting the children in conflict with the law who are dealing with a court case. This activity aims at informing each targeted child on his/her particular situation, rights and duties, so that he/she understands the issues at stake and take the necessary decisions to fulfill his/her own interests. As of today, a dozen young people have been supported thanks to the CHR's useful explanation and advice, in addition to the daily follow-up provided by SDC's social workers.

The coming activities will be dedicated to carry on this awareness project while working on another important topic: staff training on issues related to child-rights protection. Seminars will be held by the CHR members to help SDC's team to offer better services to answer the specific needs of their young beneficiaries and reduce the risk of child abuse.


Profile of our social work trainees at the SDC

Katherine Joyce, Lyka and Sherrish are three students, aged around 20 years old, registered in 3rd year of social work at the University of UNO-R in Bacolod City. They are currently undergoing a practical internship within the SDC. Involved into the center four half-day sessions per week over a whole semester, they follow the daily life of the most disadvantaged children of Bacolod City. «Our mission aims at assisting the SDC staff to empower the vulnerable children and the children in conflict with the law through case work activities. Our goal is to promote their social functioning as individuals, to instil good values to them, and render other activities, such as educational film showing followed with debates, group dynamics, lectures on self-discipline, etc.».

They shared that they felt a bit nervous at the beginning of their internship though they were fully confident about their mission objectives. «We had already visited the SDC with our teacher and our classmates, and we had the opportunity to exchange with the former trainees and share their experience. That is why we were familiar with this new work environment and we were impatient to start implementing on the field what we learned at the university.»

The young beneficiaries of the SDC are often marginalized due to their fragile social situation (children living and/or working in the streets) or their problems facing the law (young delinquents). The lack of information related to their specific issues often leads to the community members feeling frightened by them. Katherine Joyce, Lika and Sherrish know the children now and they feel empathy and concerns for them. «We try to help them solving their daily issues and improving their vision of life. The main purpose of the SDC is to fulfill the basic needs of the children in order to offer them a better life», they explained. They added that «most of the children at the center lack of support and guidance from their family; some of them are even deprived of it. It is then essential for us to address these needs the best we can, and build a relationship based on trust and honesty with them. In addition, we have to work with the families in order to create or improve the family bonds, which the children need to develop themselves ».

When asked on their motive to study social work, the students explained that they want to help the people in need and empower them, as it is challenging and exciting. They also want to provide good services and programs for the welfare of the communities. The mission of these young and dynamic women at the SDC is a real illustration of the achievements generated by the partnership with UNO-R. 

HOST-NGO team wishes them success and fulfillment in their future professional life!


A new step toward the rehabilitation of the SDC

The rehabilitation of the SDC, which was planned by the city of Bacolod earlier this year, has been ongoing over the past few months. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of SDC's Center Head, the city engineers and Virlanie-Bacolod team, the achievements will help lifting up the living conditions of the children by improving the level of comfort and hygiene within the SDC.

Over the past few weeks, the electrical system has been repaired. Solar panels have been installed to supply part of the daily needs of the center. The comfort rooms have been unclogged and repaired, and new showers are ready to be used. The shower room has been built outside the dormitory building in order to facilitate its monitoring and maintenance. All year long the sun is rising down quite early in the Philippines and the lighting will clearly change the dark and long evenings.

New shower rooms at the SDC

Following these improvements, the safety level has been reinforced within the whole compound and especially in the dormitory. The mission of SDC's house parents during night shifts has been facilitated for the direct benefit of the most vulnerable children. An other direct outcome is the sustainable implementation of the aïkido activity program, led by volunteers from Warriors for Peace, a local NGO.  The sessions are now being held every Thursday evening. The activity room, which is located on the first floor of the dormitory building, has been renovated last May and is now equiped with electricity. It is the perfect environment to hold aikido activities and enable the self-development of each child participating into this program.

SDC's new activity room
This crucial step toward a successful rehabilitation of the SDC follows the ongoing actions which have been implemented by Virlanie-Bacolod team for two years already. Every accomplishment will help the SDC complying with the environmental requirements which apply to the Philippines. 

As a consequence, it will help reaching a higher level of safety and well-being for our disadvantaged children in Bacolod City!