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Abused Children Can Escape, ‘Kalipay’ is their Refuge

 

It was with tears that Anna Balcells acknowledged how retired social workers Philip Seckler and wife Cecilia had changed her outlooks in life and vowed to pursue a "thankless" job of providing concrete facilities for children who are homeless, sexually and physically abused, the out of school youth and special children.

Last March 7, 2012, Father Narciso de la Cruz prayed and blest the "Haven House Kalipay Home" at 12 Neptune Street, Fuentebella Subdivision where twenty five young children initially raised by the Seckler couple smiled as they sang and danced to a small group gathering.

Anna Balcells said, "Behind those smiles, you should hear the horrible stories of these children individually."

The crimes committed are known to those working for them under the Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc., but being very young, some of them cannot define their inner pain and suicide can be an option. These cases, she said, has to be brought to Manila for proper therapy and treatment but which is very expensive.

Running a haven for broken children, therefore, Anna Balcells articulated a very strong message to fellow Negrenses during the blessing of the "Haven House", that they need all the help "in whatever way, in whatever amount" as this gargantuan task of saving children is awesome.

She does not have access to funding agencies so drawing money from her pocket, calls her group of committed friends and the mission is "to save a 5-year old kid gangraped at midnight in one of the streets of Bacolod".

"Miracles and miracles" is how Anna Balcells and friends described the establishment of Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. back in 2007 and two days ago, in a private property, a haven was built that can comfortably accommodate 40 children.

An apt response to what the Kalipay website reads, "Of the 1.6 million street children in the Philippines, 60,000 are prostituted. Six million Filipino children are malnourished. Roughly 28 children get arrested everyday or more than one child for every hour."

IN NEGROS OCCIDENTAL ALONE, AN AVERAGE OF THREE CHILDREN ARE RESCUED DAILY, it added.

Contact Kalipay Negrense Foundation , Inc., 63 34 7091215; 63 34 4953500 and Mobile 93917 700 2345 for your donations.*

 
Abused children get new refuge


A bigger home where abused children can seek refuge and hide from their abusers has risen in Bacolod City.

The home has 30 children, many  of whom have been abused,   but it  now has the capacity for 40, Kalipay Negrense Foundation Inc. president Anna Balcells said yesterday.

The old Haven House–A Kalipay Home building at Fuentebella Subdivision in Bacolod City that was run down and being eaten by termites  has been torn down and a new one that can accommodate more children has been built by KNFI with a hefty donation from  her philanthropist friend from Manila who asked not to be named, Balcells said.

The original Haven House building and property had  been purchased by KNFI in 2007 with the help  of another Balcell’s friend,   Elizabeth Sy, daughter of taipan Henry Sy, owner of the SM Group of Companies.

Haven House  was originally located at a rented house in Bacolod, run by  American social worker Philip Seckler, 75, and his wife Cecilia Garcia from Negros Occidental, using their pension from the States, when Balcells learned that they were running out of money and food for the children.

Haven’s Home is the reason Balcells started KNFI, she said,  because she needed to buy the Secklers a permanent home for the children they were caring for, and to form a foundation because donations were coming  in. KNFI has since grown and now  fully owns and manages  Haven House in Bacolod City since the Seklers have retired,  and   Recovered Treasures–A Kalipay Home in Bago City.

In March last year Balcells said she was talking to a friend, Miguel Bonet, Kalipay’s ambassador in Spain,  about her need to raise funds to  build a new house for Haven,  which her philanthropist  friend overheard.

“The next day she came to me and said  I want you to build that house and I said, but how, I don’t have the money,” Balcells said.

To which  the philanthropist  said “Build the house and I will give you the entire amount you need for it,” Balcells added.

The new  building is a two-storey house  with three big rooms with  bathrooms  for the children, she said.

It also has a library-classroom for children who cannot go to school, a time out room for those suffering from trauma who become violent, a kitchen, living room, an office for social workers, clinic, two rooms for volunteers who help care of the children,   and a wall has also been built around the property to keep the children safe.

This new home for Haven  is a gift to the disadvantaged and abused children of Negros Occidental and Bacolod, Balcells said.

None of the money for the building came from Negros, Balcells said, but she appealed to Negrenses to help Kalipay sustain at least,  the monthly needs of the home that cost about P150,000  for food, medicine, clothing and the education of the children living there.

“We want this house to be a refuge for children who are being abused, they can run there and we will take them in,” Balcells said.

“We want to put notices out  that if a child is being beaten up and hurt we can take them in at Haven,” Balcells said.

Balcells said they have a room separate from the main house where social workers can assess and care for children who run to them for help.

“This new house is  well thought out with the intention of being a refuge. We hear a lot of stories of children who are abused who don’t know where to run to hide and seek help, we want to be that place for them,” Balcells  said.

Those interested in helping Kalipay may call 09177002345 or 7091215,  or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .*CPG

 

by Carla Gomez

 
Working Induction by Bacolod City Sugarlandia Lions Club

On Nov. 19, 2011, Bacolod City Sugarlandia Lions Club celebrated their 38th Charter Anniversary and Induction of Officers held at Bacolod Pavillion Resort Hotel. Kids from Kalipay Haven Home were their special guests. Their President Pureza V. Taneza, assisted by Virgie C. Lopue gave donations and gift packs to the kids. Kalipay Board Member Elaine Eleazer gave her Acceptance Speech while the kids also gave an intermission number.

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Medical & Surgical Mission at Kalipay Home

 

On Nov. 12, 2011 Kalipay Home was privileged to avail of the medical and surgical mission  headed by Cham Dacles of St. Scholastica’s Alumni. The kids were given free vitamins and antibiotics after free consultation & circumcision .

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