Who we are
Unang Hakbang Foundation Inc. (UHF) exists to make children happy by nurturing and empowering them, esp. those from very poor communities, to expand their life options and become the best they can be.
We envision all children growing into caring, mature and productive individuals actively engaged in creating a society of empowered and empowering communities.
We want to see . . .
§ Children confident that they are loved and cherished. We call our centers homes, e.g., Bahay ni San Francisco, Bale nang San Isidro, and refer to them as sanctuaries for children, a safe place to be, away from bullies, “bad” friends, and inhospitable neighborhoods. “Hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa dahil naalala ko . . . mahal nila kami, hindi nila kami pababayaan” (I did not lose hope because I knew they loved us, they will not leave us behind).
§ Children with a strong sense of meaning, purpose, and mission. Children have invariably told us “gusto ko ang nakakatulong sa ibang mga bata” (I like that I can help other children) which being a peer tutor or reader make possible. They like being able to share their knowledge and believe “kung kaya namin, kaya rin nila” (If I can do it, so can they). It is an attitude animated by the children’s vision of themselves progressively as participants in the larger project of Creation.
§ Children who have the ability to visualize and create a positive future for themselves & their community. The children have also told us that they have become “mas masayahin” (happier) and good role models – “hindi na ako mayabang” (I am humbler, no longer so prideful). We see them translating this feeling of freedom and joy into choices that illuminate the values they hold and demonstrate their desire to make their lives great.
UHF is an operating foundation providing direct services to children and youth from very poor families. We have community-based centers in Mandaluyong City and Pampanga. In Mandaluyong City, we have a center in Welfareville, Bgy. Addition Hills and another located in our main office in Bgy. Highway Hills. In Pampanga, we have centers located within the compound of the San Isidro Elementary School in Bacolor, Pampanga and the Pandacaqui Elementary School in Pandacaqui, Mexico, Pampanga. Additionally, we maintain a presence in Bgys. Sta. Tereza 1st, Del Carmen, and Sta Rita in Lubao and in the NHA Resettlement Area in Arayat.
For over 15 years, we have served upward of 300 children daily under the following programs:
Aral Kalinga. We help keep children in school by enabling those at-risk of dropping out keep up with schoolwork and nudging them to raise their aspirations. We provide street and out-of-school children and youth (OSCY) alternative opportunities for channeling their energies and activities to help them regain a sense of their personal worth and navigate a way out of the streets.
AK is a support system helping children affirm their resolve to improve their lives. Read more . . .
Buhay Kalinga. BK is a formation program based on the proposition that it is our experiences that shape us. The heart of the program is a bundle of activities that test the children’s limits and their ability to interact and emphatize with others and be reflective. We organize these in order to hone their skills in critical thinking, nurture their innate resiliency, and encourage them to make the practice of charity an integral part of their lives. Read more . . .