On September 23, 2016, the board of trustees of Sta. Teresita of Miarayon Community School (STMCS) headed by their founding chairman Fr. Kit Bautista SJ, Ma. Resurreccion Alejo and Teresa Quijano visited Lao Foundation. The meeting was to discuss their proposal for the assistance to the elementary education of school children in the Lumad community in Brgy. Miarayon, Talakag, Bukidnon.
STMCS is looking for partners for their school operation, feeding program, college scholarship, and livelihood potential. By improving the state of basic education of the community, STMCS hopes that the cycle of poverty-ignorance-disempowerment would somehow be reversed as an educated community recognizes the expanse of choices that are available to them and leads them to claim their rights and exercise self-determination.
On September 28, 2016, LFI visited Bukid Kabataan Center of St. Mary Euphrasia Integrated Development Foundation (SMEIDF) located in Gen. Trias, Cavite, and met with Sr. Mary Lea Comia, RGS, Program Coordinator, Sr. Rose Tapia, RGS, Bookeeper, Sr. Arabella Balingao, RGS, Administrative and Finance Officer to gather more information regarding the proposal they submitted to LFI.
The center caters to children survivors of street life and multiple abuses. Originally a program of Caritas Manila, the management of the center was transferred to Religious of Good Shepherd in 2004 due to the restructuring of Caritas Manila. With the full transfer of management to RGS, the funding from Caritas Manila ceased. The center currently caters to 34 girls (28 elementary and 6 high school). The elementary students attend school in the multi-level elementary school inside the center along with 20 indigent children from the surrounding community that is also provided with educational assistance in the form of (uniform, school supplies, snacks and lunch). Their high school students attend school outside the center (2 are scholars at Lyceum of the Philippines University and 4 are in public schools). The children stays in the center for 2 to 3 years while undergoing psychotherapy and while it is not yet safe for them to be reintegrated back to their families.
On September 29, 2016, LFI went to Our Lady of Lujan Mission Center – Mercy Home for Girls in Caloocan City and met with M. Maria De Cristo Pobre, SSVM, Center Directress/Local Superior, Sr. Maria Soledad ng Porta Vaga, SSVM, St. Maria Talang Maliwanag, SSVM.
The Center provides long term residential care and educational assistance to impoverished and socially at risk children from the communities. They are either referred by the parish priest or by the Missionary of Charity in Tayuman and Samar. While at the center, the girls are provided with education from elementary to college and they stay in the center until they are employed.
LFI is looking forward to assist in furthering the missions of these noteworthy groups.