Sunday, June 21, 2009

To all the friends and families who helped make the Assise a success and a joyous occasion...

Maraming salamat!

"I feel the whole Movement here, the volunteers, families, and friends - the three legs of the stool... There is nothing missing!"

- Caroline Faudot, French volunteer based in Bangkok, Thailand

"You welcomed us into your communities - your commitment inspires us."

- Ton Redegeld, Dutch volunteer based in France

Saturday, June 13, 2009

June 21 - Senior Volunteers Assise in Manila

This June, ATD Fourth World Philippines is honored to be hosting the first Asian Regional Assise (General Assembly) of Senior ATD Volunteers.

A total of seventeen volunteers from Asia and France are participating in the Assise.

The first part of the Assise is visiting the different communities and meeting with the families and the ATD friends. The second part is a "private retreat" in Tagaytay where the senior volunteers will be reviewing, discussing and evaluating their commitment and goals for the movement.

We like to invite everyone (old and new friends) on:

June 21, 2009 (Sunday) 2 p.m.
Casa Nazareth, Sto. Nino Parish Church
Pandacan, Manila (near the ATD office)

to join us in meeting our guests. It will also be a despida since most of them would be leaving the following day. It is an opportunity to also know ATD in an international level.

We hope to see you there!

Festival of Learning 2009

Last summer, the ATD volunteers and friends visited four communities for the Festival of Learning... a yearly activity where children in poverty participate in art workshops and summer excursions. This year's theme is the "Rights of the Child" in preparation for the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of the Children's Rights.

The unpredictable weather may have created some havoc in the schedule but this did not dampen the spirits of the families, volunteers, friends and especially the children.

In the four communities (Hilum, Lozada, North Cemetery and Under the Bridge in Quirino Avenue) , the children created beautiful artworks like paper flowers, picture frames, and animal caps. The older children created their very own "Rights of the Child" Journal. The wrote and drew their own interpretations of their rights.

The highlight of the Festival was making the Friendship Train using recycled shoe boxes and magazines. The Friendship Train is based from a children's book depicting friendship among children. After reading this book, the children from the different communities collaborated with each other in making their train.

What made this year's Festival truly special is participation of new friends and groups like the Minstrels of Hope, group of theater dance performers and "Sama Ka Na" (Japanese volunteers).

Till the next Festival of Learning, we hope more new friends can join us!

Photos courtesy of Ry Sedrick Bolodo and Shirley Marsh

Friday, June 12, 2009

All about ATD Fourth World Philippines

All Together in Dignity (ATD) Fourth World is an international non-governmental organization with no religious or political affiliation who works with individuals and institutions to find solutions to eradicate extreme poverty. Working in partnership with people in poverty, ATD Fourth World’s human rights-based approach focuses on supporting families and individuals through its grass-roots presence and involvement in disadvantaged communities, in both urban and rural areas. It creates public awareness of extreme poverty and influence policies to address it.

It was founded in 1957 in a shantytown near Paris, France, by Fr. Joseph Wresinski (1917-1988) who grew up in poverty himself. Presently, ATD is in 30 countries around the world. It has consultative status with the United Nations and the Council of Europe, as a result of our long-term grass-roots commitment and poverty research work undertaken with poor individuals and families.

On November 2008, ATD Fourth World was awarded an honourable mention of the prestigious UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the promotion of a Culture of Human Rights. The award, given every two years, rewards the efforts of institutions, organizations and individuals that have made a particularly important contribution to the promotion of human rights through education and research, and through efforts to raise the awareness of decision-makers and the general public.

ATD Fourth World Philippines has been in existence since 1989. Full time Swiss volunteer Johanna Stadelmann set up the Philippine office upon the invitation of then Secretary Estefania Aldaba-Lim of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Through the assistance and support from friends and some organizations, ATD Philippines has established links with 4 Manila impoverished communities, namely North Cemetery, Hilum and Lozada in Pandacan, Ilalim ng Tulay (Under the Bridge) at Quirino Avenue in Paco. The team also regularly visits resettlement areas of some of the ATD families in Bulacan and Laguna which are located outside Metro Manila.

To honor victims of poverty, Commemorative Stones have been created in different ATD member countries. In the Philippines, there are three commemorative Stones: Manila (Rizal Park), Davao and Mizamis Occidental.

Presently, the Philippine team is composed of 4 full time volunteers: Sarah Ortega , Elisabeth Lavrand, Anne- Sylvie Laurent and Ruth Mores.

In all the communities, ATD Philippines has the following regular programs:

1) Street Libraries
In the different communities, volunteers and friends conduct book reading and story telling, drawing and painting to stimulate the children's learning capability and creativity. The program is also designed to involve the older boys and girls to assist their younger siblings to express their potential skills and talents.

2) Forums/Workshops
In this gathering, the adults from the communities share and express their life experiences. It is also an opportunity to dialogue with people from other backgrounds and to build mutual understanding and respect.

3) Festival of Learning.
During summer months, ATD celebrates the Festival of Learning. It is an educational, recreational and cultural event for children who have less opportunity to enjoy the summer vacation. Activities include book reading, story telling, arts and crafts workshops, drama sessions and presentations to hone their potential talents. Outings with their families also provide sources of learning, time to enjoy beauty of nature and more importantly to celebrate life! Artists and friends are welcome to join and share the best of their talents and skills.

4) International Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty.
Every year on October 17, the International Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, people from all sections of society gather together with people living in poverty to renew the call for a common commitment to overcome extreme poverty.

Aside from these programs, ATD has done Tapori campaigns or children programs. Tapori is a worldwide network of friendship between children of all backgrounds. The children exchange letters, art works, and other forms of communication to learn from each other. Through these exchanges, they are able to be connected despite distance, language, religion and culture.
One of ATD’s newest programs is mentoring and tutorial to out-of-school youths. This program was initiated borne out of the concern of many parents to prevent their children from taking drugs and sniffing rugby.

It has been a conscious action of ATD Philippines, in the past four years, to be semi-financially independent to be able to fund its local programs. Through the initiative and help of the friends, the team has conducted annual fundraising activities to raise money, create awareness in the poverty situation and to attract new friends to join the movement. During these fundraising events, every one (families, volunteers and friends) contribute their skills and resources.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yehey! We have a blog!

Welcome to the ATD Philippines blog! :-)

Welcome and join us fight poverty!

We empower through knowledge.

We do this through:
• street libraries
• forums & workshops
• art activities
• the annual festival of learning

We are ATD Fourth World Philippines
(All Together in Dignity)

Through our programs, people living in poverty have:
• voice
• dignity
• empowerment

We fight poverty!


You could be:
• an individual
• a group of friends
• an organization
• a company
• a school
• of any faith

We shall be VERY happy to hear from you!

Call or visit us at:
ATD Fourth World Philippines
1225 Labores Street
Pandacan, Manila 1001

Tel. / fax: 563 9312