SPOTLIGHT ON: He Cares
With approximately 1.8 million children in the Philippines (more than 1% of its entire population) “abandoned or neglected” according to the United Nations Children’s Rights and Emergency Relief Organisation, there is an urgent need to alleviate this situation.
About 70,000 street children are found in metropolitan Manila alone.
He Cares Mission strives to get them off the streets and in to loving homes.
A Christian non-profit organisation, He Cares Mission is working to alleviate the suffering of street children in metropolitan Manila by providing clothing, food, education, medical assistance, and spiritual support.
The He Cares Mission reaches several areas in Quezon City, north east of Manila located on the Guadalupe Plateau, these areas being Agham, Project 6, Looban, Tala, Sauyo, NIA, Forestry and Tandang Sora. He Cares also helps a community in Rodriguez, formerly Montalban.
The mission of He Cares is twofold: to help street children find permanent residences so that they may lead safe, healthy lives; and to encourage street children to form personal relationships with God.
Founded by full-time lay missionaries Joe Dean Sola and his wife, Ardis, in 1996, the He Cares Foundation manages The Saturday Feeding and five major programs. These include the Balik-Loob sa Diyos (Back to God), Balik-Kalusugan (Back to Health), Balik-Bahay (Back to Home), Balik-Aral (Back to School), and Balik-Hanapbuhay (Back to Work) Programs.
Every Saturday about 400 children from the most depressed areas in Quezon City come together. For the past 20 years, He Cares Mission has made it a habit to throw a party every weekend for these impoverished children hosted by different individuals, groups and corporations.
Literally translated as “Back to Home”, the Balik-Bahay Program seeks to provide a decent home for those in need and if possible bring street children back to their homes and families.
This program helps provide the street children’s families with a permanent home, whilst working to improve living conditions and beautify the surroundings.
The He Cares building is home to one hundred, with priority given to orphans and abandoned children. The residents of the building have the opportunity to learn daily living skills such as meal preparation, personal grooming, hygiene, and other basic life needs. In line with the Back to Health program, the children will be provided with well-balanced meals and clean water.
The Balik-Hanapbuhay (Back to Work) Program, seeks to provide families of street children with livelihood opportunities and sustainable income.
He Cares Mission offers seminars that educate parents on financial management and knowledge on how to start a business. The parents who are part of this program are educated in these fields before investing money in a potential business. For those who are in need of starting capital, Balik Hanapbuhay offers Microfinance to the parents, lending money in order to establish their livelihood, giving opportunities to those who are willing to work for the betterment of their re willing to work for the betterment of their families.
He Cares Mission holds a variety of training workshops for children and parents, teaching silk-screening, jewelry-making, sewing, welding, crochet, wood-working and other vital skills.
Supporting the livelihood of the He Cares Mission and their programs can be done by purchasing and promoting products and services from the He Cares workshop and bead work jewelry, distributed by Papemelroti. Volunteering to share knowledge and skills, donations of supplies and equipment and assistance in generating donations from corporate sponsors.
All to make a difference in the lives of the street children of the Philippines.