By: Atty. Pearl Garganera-Gauzon
TWO years ago, Soroptimist International Iloilo (SII) launched an education project with the Crisis Intervention Unit of the City Social Welfare and Development Office by providing full financial support to the students’ tuition from Grades 1 to 8.
SII also purchased all their school supplies including uniform, shoes, socks, pads, pencils, etc.
To sustain this educational project, SII partnered with Marian Rose, a Global organization in New Jersey, USA, to hold a training workshop for 20 CIU houseparents at Molo’s Marian Rose’s office on May 17-18, 2018.
Prior to the workshop, a group of SII members – Rose Asong, Bombing Coo, Pearl Garganera-Gauzon, Julie Ann Jaranilla, and Pinky Rojo – together with Marian Rose’s Victoria Garcia-Calunsod, met with Miguel Zaldarriaga, a representative of the S.O.S. Children’s Village in Leganes. He gave a brief lecture on the history of the S.O.S. Village followed by interaction with the orphaned and abandoned children living in one of the houses built at the Village.
S.O.S. Children’s Village is indeed an impressive private enterprise that is worth emulating. It not only cares for the bodily needs of the children but for their spiritual concerns as well. SII invited Miguel Zaldarriaga and two house mothers, Anna Norque and Gemma Villa, to share their personal knowledge and experience with the CIU houseparents.
The CIU houseparents appreciated the training commenting that it was their first time to attend and to participate in this interactive workshop.
CIU’s Acting Chief Ana Rapunzel G. Endencia and her Assistant Lenore R. Enriquez, joined SII’s Rose Asong, Pearl Garganera-Gauzon, Julie Ann Jaranilla and Pinky Rojo as well as Marian Rose’s representative, Victoria Garcia-Calunsod, during the workshop.
SII has another project that will be launched during the October 2018 semester break. Following its mission to enhance and improve the lives of women and girl children, the “Dream It, Be It Career for Girls” focuses on students ages 13-18 years old. Career support targets girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and resources to live their dreams.
In a meeting of SII members Pearl Garganera-Gauzon and Val Maravilla with acting Iloilo City Schools Division Superintendent Clarissa Zamora an agreement was reached to pilot the project at the Rufino Hechanova Secondary School in Jaro.
SII’s mission that geared towards women and girls’ education is as timely then as it is now. SII believes and hopes that if girls and women were empowered they would be able to unleash their potential as stakeholders of the Iloilo Community. With the invaluable assistance from the Iloilo City and Provincial governments, SII’s mission would be sustained.
Dr. Elma Marañon is Soroptimist International Iloilo’s indefatigable president. SII’s projects would not have come to fruition without Elma’s full support.