Iloilo

SOS Children’s Village Iloilo

On September 2003, two houses were opened in SOS Children’s Village Iloilo. Only seven children were welcomed then. A year after, 10 additional houses were completed and that made it possible to welcome 80 more children. Now, the 12 houses and the new youth facility provide a loving home to 89 children and 50 young adults respectively. The SOS Children’s Village also provides educational and medical support to 1,662 children in 11 communities across Zarraga, Iloilo.


Our stories

Life with a view

Coming from a troubled family, Joemarie was able to find a loving home when she was welcomed in SOS Children’s Village. Early on, everybody noticed that she was smart. At school, she made the cut for the Special Science Class, a curriculum for exceptional students. She finished elementary with honours and easily earned high grades in high school.

Since childhood, Joemarie always dreamed of travelling the world. So when she went to college, she enrolled in tourism. With big dreams and strong spirits, Joemarie worked on the side so she can start saving while studying.

“Although all our needs are provided, I still wanted to earn extra for my future and my brothers’ as well,” she explained. She sold beauty products and became a part-time makeup artist.

“I, myself, love makeups. I make sure I always look good and presentable because I will be a tourism practitioner in the near future. I will be the face of the tourist site so I need to look my best at all times,” she added. Apart from that, she also sold food carts and houses. “I earned a lot of money back in college from selling food carts and houses,” she said.

Having shown good attitude towards her studies, Joemarie was chosen to be one of the few who were endorsed by the university to do on-the-job training in a cruise ship in Singapore. “It was a dream come true for me. It was my first time to travel abroad and I was even more motivated to fulfill my dream of travelling,” she said.

After graduation, Joemarie braved the odds and went to Boracay Island, the country’s top tourist destination in central Philippines, to apply for a job in the biggest and most expensive hotels there.

“When I decided to go to Boracay, I only had four copies of my resume. I didn’t even know where to sleep that night but I still decided to go,” the brave woman said. Not surprisingly, she was immediately hired as a receptionist in a high-end hotel.

With her savings back in college and earnings from her current job, Joemarie was also able to tour around Southeast Asia. “I’ve been to Malaysia, twice in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. This was all because SOS taught me to strive hard. The support that SOS gave me when I was struggling served as my inspiration,” she said.

This year, Joemarie is gearing to put up her own business in Boracay. “I want to put up a computer shop here because I have seen many young people needing it,” said the business-minded woman.

All of her success she traces back to SOS Children’s Village. “Without SOS, I won’t be as fulfilled as I am now. I love my SOS family. In fact, I am always in contact with them and I love going back every time I get the chance,” she said.

“My advice to SOS children is to believe in themselves. They should dream big and prove that they can reach that because SOS will always be there to support them,” she ended.

Coming from a troubled family, Joemarie was able to find a loving home when she was welcomed in SOS Children’s Village. Early on, everybody noticed that she was smart. At school, she made the cut for the Special Science Class, a curriculum for exceptional students. She finished elementary with honours and easily earned high grades in high school.

Since childhood, Joemarie always dreamed of travelling the world. So when she went to college, she enrolled in tourism. With big dreams and strong spirits, Joemarie worked on the side so she can start saving while studying.

“Although all our needs are provided, I still wanted to earn extra for my future and my brothers’ as well,” she explained. She sold beauty products and became a part-time makeup artist.

“I, myself, love makeups. I make sure I always look good and presentable because I will be a tourism practitioner in the near future. I will be the face of the tourist site so I need to look my best at all times,” she added. Apart from that, she also sold food carts and houses. “I earned a lot of money back in college from selling food carts and houses,” she said.

Having shown good attitude towards her studies, Joemarie was chosen to be one of the few who were endorsed by the university to do on-the-job training in a cruise ship in Singapore. “It was a dream come true for me. It was my first time to travel abroad and I was even more motivated to fulfill my dream of travelling,” she said.

After graduation, Joemarie braved the odds and went to Boracay Island, the country’s top tourist destination in central Philippines, to apply for a job in the biggest and most expensive hotels there.

“When I decided to go to Boracay, I only had four copies of my resume. I didn’t even know where to sleep that night but I still decided to go,” the brave woman said. Not surprisingly, she was immediately hired as a receptionist in a high-end hotel.

With her savings back in college and earnings from her current job, Joemarie was also able to tour around Southeast Asia. “I’ve been to Malaysia, twice in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand. This was all because SOS taught me to strive hard. The support that SOS gave me when I was struggling served as my inspiration,” she said.

This year, Joemarie is gearing to put up her own business in Boracay. “I want to put up a computer shop here because I have seen many young people needing it,” said the business-minded woman.

All of her success she traces back to SOS Children’s Village. “Without SOS, I won’t be as fulfilled as I am now. I love my SOS family. In fact, I am always in contact with them and I love going back every time I get the chance,” she said.

“My advice to SOS children is to believe in themselves. They should dream big and prove that they can reach that because SOS will always be there to support them,” she ended.


Above the Flood

In the Philippines where typhoons frequently bring heavy wind and rain, many families situated in low lying areas are faced with the recurrent problem of destructive flooding. Vanessa’s family is but one of the millions of Filipino families facing this predicament.

“Every time there was a strong typhoon, or heavy monsoon rains, we always evacuated to our relatives’ house. It was cyclical. It happened every year,” she recalled.

Her parents were always wary of losing everything each time a typhoon arrived. They cannot be blamed since their house was just made of light materials such as bamboo, wood, galvanised iron sheets and some cement. This was aggravated by the fact that they lived near the town’s biggest river that easily overflowed when there was heavy downpour.

This difficult circumstances pushed Vanessa to strive hard and reach for her dreams amid poverty. And her hard work always paid off. She finished elementary with honours and graduated from high school as one of the best in their class.

Despite her determination, she sometimes felt hopeless during college when things got more difficult for them financially. With her father’s meagre income from doing unskilled manual work and her mother’s insufficient earnings from selling scrap and vegetables, Vanessa’s vision of finishing college became dark and bleak.

“I was careful in spending back in college. With my 200 pesos weekly allowance, I needed to prioritise school expenses,” she said. “I would have wanted to eat nice food with my classmates or buy decent clothes but I could not. I did not have enough money back then.”

Then a silver lining appeared just when she was losing hope. Her family was enrolled in the Family Strengthening Programme of SOS Children’s Village Iloilo. One of the most notable benefits they received was educational assistance. Vanessa received transportation allowance, school fee subsidy, book allowance, and uniform and shoe allowance.

“With the help of SOS, I was able to get what I needed to keep going to school. Without the educational assistance, our debts from loan sharks would have grown too big that we would have a really hard time paying them even after I graduate and find a job,” Vanessa confessed.

With her courage and resilience, she was able to graduate with Latin honours. On the same year, she passed the teachers’ licensure examination and was hired at SOS Kindergarten Iloilo. Now, she has been teaching there for nearly seven years. With her dedication and love for her work, she was promoted as Head Teacher in 2015. She is currently studying further, taking up a master’s degree in Education.

With her success, she managed to add a second story to their house. “We are not afraid of the flood anymore because we now have a second floor where we can be safe,” she said. “I am really very grateful to SOS for helping me stand on my own and reach my dreams.”

In the Philippines where typhoons frequently bring heavy wind and rain, many families situated in low lying areas are faced with the recurrent problem of destructive flooding. Vanessa’s family is but one of the millions of Filipino families facing this predicament.

“Every time there was a strong typhoon, or heavy monsoon rains, we always evacuated to our relatives’ house. It was cyclical. It happened every year,” she recalled.

Her parents were always wary of losing everything each time a typhoon arrived. They cannot be blamed since their house was just made of light materials such as bamboo, wood, galvanised iron sheets and some cement. This was aggravated by the fact that they lived near the town’s biggest river that easily overflowed when there was heavy downpour.

This difficult circumstances pushed Vanessa to strive hard and reach for her dreams amid poverty. And her hard work always paid off. She finished elementary with honours and graduated from high school as one of the best in their class.

Despite her determination, she sometimes felt hopeless during college when things got more difficult for them financially. With her father’s meagre income from doing unskilled manual work and her mother’s insufficient earnings from selling scrap and vegetables, Vanessa’s vision of finishing college became dark and bleak.

“I was careful in spending back in college. With my 200 pesos weekly allowance, I needed to prioritise school expenses,” she said. “I would have wanted to eat nice food with my classmates or buy decent clothes but I could not. I did not have enough money back then.”

Then a silver lining appeared just when she was losing hope. Her family was enrolled in the Family Strengthening Programme of SOS Children’s Village Iloilo. One of the most notable benefits they received was educational assistance. Vanessa received transportation allowance, school fee subsidy, book allowance, and uniform and shoe allowance.

“With the help of SOS, I was able to get what I needed to keep going to school. Without the educational assistance, our debts from loan sharks would have grown too big that we would have a really hard time paying them even after I graduate and find a job,” Vanessa confessed.

With her courage and resilience, she was able to graduate with Latin honours. On the same year, she passed the teachers’ licensure examination and was hired at SOS Kindergarten Iloilo. Now, she has been teaching there for nearly seven years. With her dedication and love for her work, she was promoted as Head Teacher in 2015. She is currently studying further, taking up a master’s degree in Education.

With her success, she managed to add a second story to their house. “We are not afraid of the flood anymore because we now have a second floor where we can be safe,” she said. “I am really very grateful to SOS for helping me stand on my own and reach my dreams.”