I was invited to bear witness to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites, an Accor hotel. Every year, they invite the Virlanie Foundation. Virlanie’s ojective is to bring Saya, Kaya, Laya and Pamilya or Happiness, Livelihood, Freedom and Family to the urban poor families of Manila. By empower them, Virlanie gives them a chance and freedom to live and be happy in this lifetime.
They have initiatives like “Likhaya” by Virlanie, which promotes sustainable livelihood among the urban poor through arts and crafts. They teach mothers useful skills like sewing to increase their value, allowing them to produce items that cost more (ex. from PHP 40 to PHP 400 per unit). Viralie’s theme for the year is “Bayanihan sa Paskuhan” or “Heroism in Christmas”. Tondo mothers use Eco Materials like reused magazine pages to create “ningning” (Christmas tree star ornaments) and accessories.
To show support, I bought 5 purple bracelets with beads made of recycled pages from old magazine at PHP 100 per piece. I absolutely adore them!
Virlanie focuses on the different facets of daily life, and their wholistic approach ensure success: Street, Community, Residential, Health and Psycho-social, Education, Integration and Advocacy. As part of the advocacy, Virlanie Foundation organized Virlanie Voices, a choir that gives a voice to the children of Tondo, who are at risk of being silenced by today’s society. They sang beautifully as Joy Nostalg’s Christmas Tree lit up.
Personally, I think what Virlanie does is great, and Joy Nostalg’s long-lasting support for the cause is commendable.