This year’s Christmas festivities slated for Friday, 3 November 2017, start early with the Tree-Lighting Ceremony at The Manila Hotel. Themed “Ang Ating Tanging Yaman” (Our Treasured Heritage), this brings to the forefront the beauty and hospitality the Filipino Christmas celebration is known the world over.
Led by world renowned event stylist Rachy Cuna, the installed Christmas décor enhanced the already beautiful interiors of the hotel as he continued to use local materials in burnished gold, warm grey and white. A “Bahay na Bato” welcomes guests as they saunter into the ante Lobby of the hotel and a beautifully decorated giant Christmas Tree placed beside the famous Amorsolo painting and other trees around the main Lobby provide the additional festive spirit. According to Rachy, “Bringing out the essence of a truly Filipino Christmas is to highlight the very best of local materials, talent and products that beautify many other homes and commercial establishments around the world. Why not bring this sense of Filipino-ness to the iconic heritage hotel by the bay and allow our foreign guests, returning overseas Filipinos and locals alike to feel the treasures of our heritage through our most celebrated holiday of the year?”
The Christmas Tree Lighting programme will be on Friday, 3 Nov 2017 at 6 pm.
6:00 pm Registration and Arrival of Guests
6:15 Opening Remarks
6:17 Welcome Speech
6:20 CEU Choir performance – first performance
6:30 Light the Tree (with Guest of Honour) and Photo Opportunity
6:32 Special Number by the House of Refuge
6:35 Gift Giving to the Children
6:40 CEU Choir performance – second performance
The main beneficiary of the Tree-Lighting Event is the House of Refuge Foundation, Inc.
Founded on Hope
The House of Refuge began when a group of fervent individuals encountered street children who had been abandoned, neglected or maltreated by their own families. Prodded by a heartfelt resolve, this auspicious event birthed a halfway house in September 21, 1986, which gave shelter and provided the basic needs for street children. The halfway house was named Bahay Kanlungan in 1990. In the following year, it became alicensed child-caring institution, which adopted the name House of Refuge Foundation, Inc. (HORFI).The HORFI has gone a long way from the first group of 7 street children in 1986. Since its inception, the House of Refuge has served more than 1000 children. In 2016, House of Refuge has cared for 38 children, ages ranging from 4 to 16 years old.
Committed to Serve
House of Refuge is driven by the desire to nurture the children in the Christian faith and enable them to discover their gifts and purpose in life, develop an excellent self-image, sustain healthy relationships with others, and develop the capacity in carrying out significant choices in life.
House of Refuge goes beyond the provision of a home atmosphere and basic necessities. It believes that nourishment of the spirit, mind and body is vital in facilitating meaningful change in the kids. Its emphases on spiritual nurture, formal and informal education, and soft arts are consistent with the vision of enabling the kids under its wing to not just become survivors but to provide positive contributions to society.
Sealed with Excellence
House of Refuge is one of the best non-government institutions providing quality care to children and highly recognized partner and level 2 accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development of which there are only a few child-caring institutions in NCR. Most of the child-caring institutions in Metro Manila are level 1 accredited. This year, House of Refuge is now being assessed for level 3 DSWD Accreditation which is equivalent to a level of “Center of Excellence”.
The organisation is also an active member of the Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines(ACCAP), The National Council for Social Development Foundation, Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, and DSWD Area Based Network. The House of Refuge is also duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The growth of House of Refuge into one of the creditable private institutions for 30 years is an indication of the zeal and dedication of the organization’s management, staff, partners and supporters.
They are an effective Christian child-caring institution where their client-children are nurtured in the Christian faith and provided opportunities to:
1. Develop or regain healthy self-esteem.
2. Develop the ability to establish and maintain good interpersonal relationship.
3. Acquire basic skills for daily living.
4. Develop a capability to effect meaningful changes in their lives with the help of skilled, knowledgeable and mature Christian workers.
To pursue and promote the total well-being of client-children and enable them to become well-adjusted, productive citizens who have a strong Christian foundation.
1. To provide temporary residential care in an atmosphere approximating a normal Christian home to orphaned, abused and abandoned children.
2. To nurture and enrich the spiritual lives of client-children.
3. To inculcate moral values and positive character.
4. To provide other basic needs for food, clothing and medical care.
5. To provide educational opportunities whether formal or informal.
6. To prepare children for placement in alternative family care.
7. To pursue legal procedures as needed.
Its Programs and Services:
The House of Refuge has three (3) major programs: Residential Care, Alternative Family Care through legal adoption and Independent Living. Under Residential Care Program, the following services are provided to the children:
1. Formal and Non-formal Education
2. Health Care and Nutrition
3. Socio-cultural and Recreational Activities
4. Character Building and Spiritual Nourishment
5. Psychological Evaluation
6. Home Life
7. Life Skills Training and Preparation for Independent Living
8. Intensive Adoption Preparation for Children
9. Case Work and Group Work by a trained Licenced Social Worker
10. Volunteer Services
Its Target Beneficiaries:
1. Children who are abandoned, orphaned, neglected and surrendered for adoption with ages ranging from 4 to 12 years old, male and female.
2. Former House of Refuge children who were reunited to their parents/relatives who needed extended educational assistance based on the thorough assessment by the Social Worker.
3. House of Refuge children ages 16 years old and above, who have not been placed-out for adoption and are prepared for independent living.
Its Area of Coverage:
House of Refuge operates only in Metro Manila.
Successful Case Management:
The House of Refuge will never get tired of enabling all the kids under its fold to not just become survivors but provide positive contributions to society.
Carlo and Chris Mhel are brothers. They came to House of Refuge with their younger brother Melvin. Due to unstable economic situation of their parents, they were not cared for properly and they ended up in the street until they were brought to a drop-in Center in Caloocan City. Since the drop-in center was over populated, they were transferred to the House of Refuge for further case management and disposition and to receive quality care, formal education and enjoy opportunities for their future.
These brothers are blessed with so much talent and are full of hopes and dreams. They excel in school academically as well as in other school’s extracurricular activities.
When they were given a chance to attend classes in WUSHU, a form of Chinese Martial Arts, these boys again showed great potential. To further develop them, House of Refuge supported Carlo and Chris to continue training in WUSHU with some other HORFI children until they were given a chance to compete in local competitions; district and national competition, organized by WUSHU Discovery Center, WUSHU Federation and the Philippine Sports Commission.
In every competition, they win. The Batang Pinoy National Championship held in Cebu City last December 2015 was one of their biggest competitions. The seven (7) children of the House of Refuge came home with 11 medals, a combination of gold, silver and bronze.
The WUSHU Federation and the WUSHU Discovery Center saw great potential in the children from the House of Refuge including Carlo and Chris. Summer of 2016, the WUSHU Federation invited these seven (7) children for an even more intensive training. Because the performances of Carlo and Chris were really remarkable, they were chosen to be part of the National Athletes – the same Filipino athletes who will eventually represent the country in other WUSHU competitions, here and abroad.
To contact the House of Refuge Foundation, Inc. for more information, please call Ms Glady Bunao at (63) 0906 488 4776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.