New kitchen, dining area and comfort rooms to benefit street children
By Mike Baños
Misamis Oriental’s foremost Filipino-Chinese chamber is turning over refurbished facilities to a foundation which manages a Child Development Center and Home for Street Children at Maitum, Upper Puerto, Cagayan de Oro City.
Greg Marten Lao, president of the Misamis Oriental Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (MOFCCCII) said the chamber appropriated some PhP 0.6-million for the rehabilitation of the center’s kitchen, dining room and comfort rooms.
“This is MOFCCCII’s other major project in the ongoing celebration of its 30th founding anniversary in 1986 when our first batch of officers were inducted into office by the late President Corazon C. Aquino,” Lao said.
“Your coming to Mother Theresa Foundation, Inc. is God’s gift to all of the children we are serving and I cannot find the right words to express how happy and grateful we are with your coming and intervening,” said Norma D. Noble, MFTI president. “Truly, you are the answer to our fervent wish and prayers. You came at the right time when we needed you most because of the crisis the center was experiencing.”
MTFI is a non-profit charitable organization that is dedicated to providing care, assistance, and other basic needs to children who have taken to the streets, are abandoned, or are underprivileged.
Registered as a non-stock, non-profit organization with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 9, 1995, its original incorporators included the late Anita G. Magtajas, Generosita M. Chaves, Filomena P. Hojas, Leopoldo M. Velez and current MFTI president Norma D. Noble.
Accredited by the Cagayan de Oro City Council as a non-government organization (NGO) in 1996, MFTI was awarded a “License to Operate” by the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in July, 1997 and a Certificate of Recognition/Accreditation as a “Literacy Service Provider/Proponent” through the NFE-LSCS by the then Dept. of Education, Culture & Sports (now the DepEd). It has similarly been issued a Certificate of Accreditation by the Dept. of Health (DOH).
It is the belief of the organization that attending to the needs of the children and working for their survival today can go far in ensuring that they have a future to look forward to.
The Mother Theresa Foundation’s biggest philanthropy is the orphanage that is home to more or less 60 street children.
Originally located in Barangay 31, Santo Niño Cogon, Cagayan de Oro, the Child Development Center – Home for Street Children has transferred to its new location at Maitum, Upper Puerto.
It is open to street children aged 7 to 17 years old who have been living and/or working in the streets.
The center welcomes children who are no longer with their families, and even those who are still in contact with their families but prefer to roam the streets. Children taken into custody by the police, LGUs, and concerned individuals and organizations are also referred to the MTFI.
MFTI provides five basic services for its wards: social services, residential and custodial care, group living services, health care, spiritual enrichment, and proper education.
MTFI extends its services to the children in the surrounding communities. The organization solicits the cooperation of parents for treatment and rehabilitation of children who are most in need of them. MTFI is also willing to provide intervention for parents and children in need of the organization’s assistance.
One of MFTI’s most shining success stories was shared by Rusty Quintana, is now on his last year of college taking up Bachelor of Science in Development Communication (DevCom) at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan) as a full scholar of the Henry Howard Scholarship Program.
Rusty has guested in national television on Sharon Cuneta’s Kasama Mo Kapatid, One Moment at a Time where he shared his life story, and has a growing reputation as an artist and leader in his own merits, representing Mindanao in the H National Youth Parliament Congress; team member of the British Council 2008 Awardee “I Am A Change Maker” Pioneer; member of the 7 Tribes Band, a group of indigenous musicians which won the Talentadong Pinoy 2010 competition, a painter who has his artworks bought by national and international patrons, and represented the organization which won TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organization) and received the award at Malacañang Palace Hall of Heroes from no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III himself.
“My dream now is to share the success I earned to my family, my friends, and other street children, to give light to those people who have lost hope in life, and to be a leading example, a good model to everyone,” he shares. “I want to inspire everyone that there is always hope in life, make a difference in my generation. Mother Theresa played a major role in the successes I have had.”
Earlier this year, the center was the beneficiary of a city council ordinance appropriating a PhP 21.4 million financial assistance to various public and private organizations from the General Appropriation Ordinance of 2015. The center was appropriated PhP 200,000.00.
with photos by Vincent Tom Udasco