Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Invitation To Join the 2007 Friends of Bantay Bata Los Angeles Host Committee

By J Robbie Fabian
Consultant/ABS CBN Foundation

Ten years ago ABS CBN Foundation established Bantay Bata to rescue abused Filipino children. What started as an effort to respond to the needs of a few children in need has now become one of the most effective programs in the forefront of the effort to protect the interests of children in the Philippines.

Bantay Bata is also the most widely supported cause in the Philippines for Filipinos in the United States and around the world. This is a testimony to our deep-rooted concern for the well-being and future of all Filipino children. However, as donations increase to support programs to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned and abused children, so do the number of cases.

Since Batay Bata’s inception in 1997, the number of children rescued every year has dramatically increased. We now receive about 28,000 calls and tips for help a year through the 24-hour hotline—approximately 75 contacts per day. In December 2006, we rescued our 186,000th child.

In the worst cases Bantay Bata assists the Philippine Department of Social Welfare to extract children away from their abusive environments. These children are brought to the Children’s Village where they are provided extensive nutritional, educational and psychological intervention in a live-in, home-like environment before reuniting them back into society.

The Children’s Village is a six-cottage property situated in acres of donated land in the province of Bulacan. It has the capacity to provide transitional housing to 200 children at any given time.

To commemorate our 10th anniversary, we invite you to join the Friends of Bantay Bata this year in support of the efforts of the Children’s Village. We are creating a Los Angeles Host Committee for the 10th anniversary. This core group of 50 select Los Angeles supporters will each pledge at least $1,000 to commemorate this anniversary year. Pledges can be fulfilled before December 2007. Names of the Host Committee members will appear in special on-air announcements at The Filipino Channel. (TFC) Also, the 50 names will be included in a permanent acknowledgement on the wall of the Children’s Village’s main building. The next time you visit the Philippines, we hope you would visit the Village to see your name on this wall.

We would be honored to count you as one of the 50 members of the Los Angeles Host Committee. We also invite you to a special reception for members of the Committee to meet with Gina Lopez on Saturday, April 21, 5 pm, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles—333 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90071.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Los Angeles Host Committee and to the Bantay Bata family. Please call Robbie Fabian at (310) 657-5911 to confirm your attendance.