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Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse

by Tahanan Sta. Luisa, Inc.
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Empower Filipino teenage girl survivors of abuse
Sharing a commitment to empower girls
Sharing a commitment to empower girls

Veronica and Cecilia did not know what to expect during their first encounter with the girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa. They kept an open mind and soon found themselves humbled and enlightened by the experience.

“What struck me most is that we had more in common than I expected. Just like me, these girls have dreams and hopes for their futures as well as apprehensions and occasional doubts,” Veronica said. Since then, she and her family have strengthened a long term partnership with Tahanan and committed to a mission to empower street girl survivors of abuse.

“We want their experiences, rather than to hinder them, to give them an immeasurable strength and a unique world perspective. We hope that the girls will grow to develop a sense of self-worth and to wholeheartedly believe in their dreams,” she said.

Veronica and Cecilia are inspired not only by the girls’ stories of resilience and hope, but also by the selfless dedication and passion of the staff members who work tirelessly to help the girls heal and recover from trauma.   

Armed with a better understanding of the challenges faced by the girls, Veronica and Cecilia renew a resolve to support the girls and assure them that they are not alone in their journeys.

“These past years with Tahanan have taught me that the circumstances you were born into matter less than what you make of what you are given. Each visit to Tahanan leaves me feeling humbled because of the realization that if these girls can be happy and have so much faith in themselves and in each other, than who are we to be ungrateful for what we have,” she said.

Veronica admits that going to Tahanan in Antipolo is challenging considering its distance from Manila, but it does not stop her from regularly visiting the girls and supporting them the best way she can. She is moved by how stories can inspire and empower: “I believe in the power of storytelling to evoke compassion and in turn, encourage others to get involved in the mission.”

Girls express themselves through art
Girls express themselves through art
Volunteers empower girls by sharing life skills
Volunteers empower girls by sharing life skills
Volunteers empower girls by sharing life skills
Volunteers empower girls by sharing life skills

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Marvin and the girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa
Marvin and the girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa

His family’s meaningful encounter with the girls ignited his desire to build a community that empowers street girls in simple yet profound ways.

Kuya Marvin, as the girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa know him, has been supporting the organization and its mission for over two years now. He came to know about Tahanan more than a decade ago, when he was visited by the center’s founder, Ms. Tessie Silva.

“She showed me the love and compassion for these girls, their situation, their needs and I immediately fell in love with the cause,” Marvin said of Tessie. Moved by Tessie’s incredible display of motherly love, Marvin promised to visit Tahanan Sta. Luisa and get to see the children for himself. It took many years before that promise was fulfilled, but the opportunity to treat the girls to lunch and provide them with supplies was one that Marvin and his family cherished in their hearts.

“It was a heartfelt, unforgettable experience for me and my family. That is why it was a no-brainer that Tahanan Sta. Luisa instantly became one of our adopted centers,” Marvin said.

Marvin and his group's main goal is to provide development opportunities that empower the youth to create a positive change. Marvin adopted Tahanan as the beneficiary of his own personal outreach programs. He encouraged his friends to get involved since they had a shared passion for educating and supporting the youth.

“We want the girls to feel that hope is not lost and that they can always lean to us,” Marvin said. Our programs and activities for the girls of Tahanan Sta. Luisa focus on empowering the girls to be changemakers in their own simple ways. We are helping the girls prepare for their future through skills training.  “We want them to learn to be independent in life moving forward. We want them to become young, active citizens of our communities and create positive change not just in their lives but to people they meet in the future as well,” Marvin said.

Marvin and his group have been engaging the girls of Tahanan through tree planting programs, fund raising projects, and outreach activities.

Kuya Marvin and his friends are looking forward to more meaningful activities and programs with the girls of Tahanan. By sharing their time and presence with the girls, they are able to inspire the girls to push forward in their journey towards healing and recovery. 

“It doesn't take a fortune to help, all you need is a heart. You will never regret helping. It's a great experience immersing with the children of Tahanan and their smiles and hugs are invaluable,” Marvin said.

Outreach activity for the girls of Tahanan
Outreach activity for the girls of Tahanan
Planting seeds of hope
Planting seeds of hope
Planting seeds of hope
Planting seeds of hope
CarDrawling activity
CarDrawling activity
Makeover magic
Makeover magic
Spending quality time with the girls
Spending quality time with the girls

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Learning more about dimensions
Learning more about dimensions

What does she get from sewing?

The craft motivates our girls to be more productive, piques their curiosity, and instills in them the values of hard work and patience.

At Tahanan Sta. Luisa, girls enjoy sewing sessions where they are taught cross stitching, patch work, and embroidery. They get to express their love for arts and crafts through colorful and beautifully designed rags and tote bags. But more than the finished product, sewing opens opportunities for the girls to be productive by helping out in their small ways.

The girls love their new sewing room complete with industrial-type sewing machines and worktables. With their own private spaces to work, they are more encouraged to learn about the craft. They learn how to carefully use the needles and threads, and have fun while deciding on the colors and designs. These simple but profound steps help boost their confidence in their capabilities.

Learning sewing skills is also part of their journey towards healing from trauma. It gives them a fresh perspective - something to look forward to everyday - that inspires them to enjoy their childhood. It’s also one of the best ways for them to spend time with friends and get mentored by social workers and house parents.

Tahanan’s sewing livelihood program is powered by loyal supporters who believe in our girls and their determination to be independent and productive members of society. Through the program, our girls are able to gain life skills that are their stepping stones to success.

Excited to use those threads
Excited to use those threads
Getting serious with sewing
Getting serious with sewing
Colorful rags
Colorful rags
Playing with colors and designs
Playing with colors and designs
Simple yet elegant tote bags
Simple yet elegant tote bags

Links:

Tahanan
Tahanan's new website up and running

Tahanan’s new website is now live!

We are happy to share with everyone that Tahanan has a new and improved website --- https://www.tahananstaluisa.com/ ---to keep you updated about the latest on the organization and the girls we serve. We express our deepest gratitude to all who made this possible for their unwavering dedication and support to the mission.

 

STORIES OF HOPE

With the new website, we hope that more people will be able to know about our program of caring, teaching, and healing for street girl survivors of abuse. We hope to give everyone deeper insights into the many aspects of the program and services and encourage more to be part of the mission to empower girls.

The website also showcases the stories of the girls and the organization --- stories about struggle and resilience, growth and independence, hope and empowerment --- to raise awareness about the plight of the girls and how they are moving forward with the brave decision to overcome the traumatic experiences of their past and carry on with healing, hope, and development.

The new website also shows people how they can be involved in this journey through their time, talents, and treasure. We thank our donors and supporters for their love for the girls and the organization, and we hope more will be part of the advocacy to empower street girls through education, livelihood, and healing.

New website to showcase girls
New website to showcase girls' stories
Tahanan
Tahanan's new website up and running

Links:

Angel pursues her dream
Angel pursues her dream

Angel, pictured here, is an eighteen-year-old girl who has benefitted from the programs and activities of the project. Staying at Tahanan Sta. Luisa made Angel experience what it was like to live in an actual home. But more than the house, it was the joy of genuinely being loved by a family that she treasures the most.

“I was surrounded by supportive social workers, teachers, Nanays (house mothers), and other street girls whom I consider sisters by blood. They gave me hope and inspired me to pursue my dreams of studying again,” Angel shares.

Angel worked hard and learned through Tahanan’s education program. With the help of generous donors and volunteers, she pursued her thirst for education. She took an Alternative Learning System Accreditation test in 2016 and passed. She finally got the chance to enter college. She had long been dreaming of entering the Philippines’ premiere State University. Unfortunately, she was not able to apply to the University of the Philippines (UP) that year.

In 2017, Angel applied and got accepted to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). She took up Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English course. “I learned a lot in my one year stay at the college, but I still wanted to chase my childhood dream of studying in UP,” Angel shares. “Armed with my courage and the grades I obtained from PUP, I decided to apply and transfer to UP.”

She went through the screening process and got accepted to the Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas (College of Arts and Letters). She is now taking up Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Studies Major in Education.

“This is the start of my journey towards becoming a teacher for the street kids. The people who inspired me to fulfill this goal are right: I can do it, I did it, and I will do it,” Angel shares.

A bright future lies ahead
A bright future lies ahead
Excited for the journey to finishing college
Excited for the journey to finishing college
Inspired by a goal to teach street kids
Inspired by a goal to teach street kids

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Tahanan Sta. Luisa, Inc.

Location: Quezon City, NCR - Philippines
Website:
Project Leader:
Maria Fatima Reyes
Antipolo City, Philippines
$35,231 raised of $70,000 goal
 
553 donations
$34,769 to go
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