A bigger home where abused children can seek refuge and hide from their abusers has risen in Bacolod City.
The home has 30 children, many of whom have been abused, but it now has the capacity for 40, Kalipay Negrense Foundation Inc. president Anna Balcells said yesterday.
The old Haven House–A Kalipay Home building at Fuentebella Subdivision in Bacolod City that was run down and being eaten by termites has been torn down and a new one that can accommodate more children has been built by KNFI with a hefty donation from her philanthropist friend from Manila who asked not to be named, Balcells said.
The original Haven House building and property had been purchased by KNFI in 2007 with the help of another Balcell’s friend, Elizabeth Sy, daughter of taipan Henry Sy, owner of the SM Group of Companies.
Haven House was originally located at a rented house in Bacolod, run by American social worker Philip Seckler, 75, and his wife Cecilia Garcia from Negros Occidental, using their pension from the States, when Balcells learned that they were running out of money and food for the children.
Haven’s Home is the reason Balcells started KNFI, she said, because she needed to buy the Secklers a permanent home for the children they were caring for, and to form a foundation because donations were coming in. KNFI has since grown and now fully owns and manages Haven House in Bacolod City since the Seklers have retired, and Recovered Treasures–A Kalipay Home in Bago City.
In March last year Balcells said she was talking to a friend, Miguel Bonet, Kalipay’s ambassador in Spain, about her need to raise funds to build a new house for Haven, which her philanthropist friend overheard.
“The next day she came to me and said I want you to build that house and I said, but how, I don’t have the money,” Balcells said.
To which the philanthropist said “Build the house and I will give you the entire amount you need for it,” Balcells added.
The new building is a two-storey house with three big rooms with bathrooms for the children, she said.
It also has a library-classroom for children who cannot go to school, a time out room for those suffering from trauma who become violent, a kitchen, living room, an office for social workers, clinic, two rooms for volunteers who help care of the children, and a wall has also been built around the property to keep the children safe.
This new home for Haven is a gift to the disadvantaged and abused children of Negros Occidental and Bacolod, Balcells said.
None of the money for the building came from Negros, Balcells said, but she appealed to Negrenses to help Kalipay sustain at least, the monthly needs of the home that cost about P150,000 for food, medicine, clothing and the education of the children living there.
“We want this house to be a refuge for children who are being abused, they can run there and we will take them in,” Balcells said.
“We want to put notices out that if a child is being beaten up and hurt we can take them in at Haven,” Balcells said.
Balcells said they have a room separate from the main house where social workers can assess and care for children who run to them for help.
“This new house is well thought out with the intention of being a refuge. We hear a lot of stories of children who are abused who don’t know where to run to hide and seek help, we want to be that place for them,” Balcells said.
Those interested in helping Kalipay may call 09177002345 or 7091215, or email@example.com.*CPG