Zamboanga City Has New Social Center For Street Children

July 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 29 Jul) – Filipino officials on Sunday inaugurated a P4-million social center for street children whose funding came partly from the Spanish foundation Manos Unidas.

Called the Akay Kalinga Center, the building have two dormitories, a guest room and a library, a conference and an office and also showers and toilets, a terrace and a playground.
Akay Kalinga, a Filipino term which means “caring guidance.”
Mayor Celso Lobregat and project proponent Spanish priest Fr Angel Calvo and Zamboanga City Archbishop Romulo Valles led officials in the inauguration.
“This center shows how much our community can do together for our street children, who in biblical terms are the most vulnerable members of our society,” Rev. Valles said in a statement released by Peace Advocate Zamboanga headed by Fr Calvo.

“Today, I dedicate this house to the street children of the city, in behalf of the church. This center is a humble parable of the meaning of love and care and dedication. With this, we walk with our street children in their aspiration for a life of dignity and security and peace,” Fr Calvo said.

Those who stay in the center will also be given scholarships grants.

“Our street children need everybody’s assistance and the Akay Kalinga is part of the solution to the problem. This building is a monument of love and care for them,” Mayor Lobregat said.

Last year, the Spanish government thru Manos Unidas also granted the Philippines P50-million for the construction of a five-hectare housing project for poor families in Ayala district in Makati City.

In June, Spain granted a P40-million, two-year educational project that will benefit Filipino students and teachers in Zamboanga City and nearby Zamboanga Sibugay province, coinciding with the celebration Friday of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day.

Called the Acceso a la Educacion y Mejora de la Calidad Educativa en Colegios de la Peninsula de Zamboanga (Improving the Access and Quality of Education in the Schools of the Zamboanga Peninsula), the project by the Agencia Español Cooperacion International and Fundacion Humanismo Y Democracia, both charity arms of the Spanish government, and the Philippine Business for Social Project (PBSP), is expected to benefit more than 23,000 elementary and secondary students, including teachers and parents-teachers community associations in the three pilot areas in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

It aims to provide scholarship assistance to more than 2,000 poor and deserving students, and establish a 15-cubicles speech laboratory worth P1.2 million to increase the proficiency of the students in English and also to help promote and preserve the local Chavacano language, a unique mixture of Spanish and other Filipino dialects.

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