Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky”SolimanSaturday thanked the Negrense Volunteers for Changefor investing time, energy and resources to make change happen, especially for the children of Negros.
Investing in children’s healthand education are important steps to breakinginter-generational poverty, she said.
Soliman, who was the guest speaker at the NVC second anniversary at the Agape Hall of the Carmelite Monastery in Bacolod City, said “The energy and creativity of NVC should be like a virus that should spread beyond Negros and make everyone not just inspired, butmoved to act and invest in change.”
Millie Kilayko, NVC president, told the volunteers she is sure President Benigno Aquino III was thinking of them when he sent this text message: “Without all of you what would I have been able to do. That’s why I truly thank you all.”
NVChas so far built 82 classrooms in Negros Occidental,with 44 more expected to be completed by the end of the year,Kilayko said.
Of the 82 classrooms 64 were built with funds allocated by Senator Sergio Osmeña III, 12 classrooms werefunded by Aklat, Gabay at Aruga tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa(AGAPP) Foundation, and six by Angelicum Foundation and Fundacion Familia Barcelona, she said.
NVC aims to complete 20 more classrooms for AGAPP and 24 for Angelicum Foundation and Fundacion Familia Barcelona in Negros Island by the end of 2012, she added.
The NVC is also implementingthe Start Right, Live Bright Nutrition Program that focuses on the manufacture and distribution of complementary food for infants, toddlers and young children during the vulnerable period of early growth, she said.
It is alsoimplementing the Books Build Change Project where books have, so far been provided to 36 public elementary schools, andthe IBM Young Scientists of Negros program that has provided science books, science labs and teachers training for five public elementary schools.
Launched during its anniversary rites Saturday was the “Bright Island Project: for smarter island kids” that provides boats to ferry children who live on islands to school, so they do not have to wade through water to get there or miss classes for lack of money to pay for their banca fare, Kilayko said.
Beneficiaries of the boats distributed yesterday will be the children of Molocaboc Islands, Suyac Island amd Matabas Island in Sagay City, and Roma Islet in EB Magalona.
The project was inspired by the work of Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, headed by Jay Jaboneta, who also was at the NVC anniversary.
Mayor Rafael Cueva andLilibeth Cordova, received the NVC ceremonial turnover ofclassrooms, school suppliesandboat for the children of islands of Sagay at the NVC anniversarySaturday.
To help NVC, Robinsons Land Corp.is also putting“Gifts of Change” cans at all its malls where shoppers can drop coins to fund NVC projects on Suyak Island, Kilayko said.
Soliman , in her speech, lauded the NVC members for not stopping at makinga change of leadership, “they continued the journey with the rest of nation to make the change happen.”
“Let us celebrate your investment at making democracy work and the future bright for our children,” she said.*CPG