As the date looms closer for the ABS-CBN Ball, the country's most-anticipated fashion spectacle, the public is eagerly awaiting the red carpet looks of celebrities, young creatives, and industry paragons who are slated to grace this year's red carpet. Beyond the glitz and glamour however, lies the altruistic leanings of the ABS-CBN Ball, placing the shindig within the broader context of being "In The Service Of The Filipino Worldwide," as it aims to celebrate friendship and togetherness through sharing love and giving back, relaunching an advocacy that will help Filipino children: the Bantay Bata 163 Children's Village.
Bantay Bata 163's transformative approach does not only lie in its capacity to change the lives of these children in need, but also applies to its operational vision as it endeavors to find new ways of combating abuse while remaining at the forefront of child welfare and protection in the country. "Len," a product of incest, grew up without a mother and was passed from relative to relative, never experiencing the love of a family. She suffered abuse and neglect until Bantay Bata 163 rescued her and gave her a home in the Children’s Village. Today, Len is finishing her studies as a scholar of Bantay Bata 163. She is determined to lead a new life and help other children as a teacher. “Even now as an adult, I remember staying in the village and feeling safer than I ever felt anywhere else,” said Len. “This is where I first realized that a better future is within my reach. The Children’s Village gave me hope because it showed me that it is possible to be loved, cared for, and eventually rise up from abuse,” said Len. “It gave me a home when nobody else did.”
The ABS-CBN Ball seeks to transcend being an aspirational event, where much of the attention is directed towards the red carpet looks. This year, the Ball has the capacity to transform lives for the better, as it puts a spotlight on a much marginalized sector of society. With the relaunch of the Children’s Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan in November, more children will be able to get the care and guidance they need to overcome the effects of abuse. It will continue to provide immediate care and holistic healing for at least 120 children at a time and help them build a better future for themselves through physical and psychological means in a structured, therapeutic family-like environment. Social workers, health care professionals, and house parents will look over the children in the complex, which has an administrative building, multi-purpose hall, and cottages, where children stay. “As Bantay Bata 163 celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation’s child welfare and protection program will continue to evolve as it remains in the service of the Filipino children,” said Jing Castaneda-Velasco, program director of Bantay Bata 163.
For more information on the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village log on to www.abs-cbnfoundation.com or follow them on Facebook. For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abscbnpr.com.
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