03 Jan ASEAN Ladies’ Circle (ALC) Philippines Shares Christmas Joy with Underprivileged Children
10 December 2019– Underprivileged children in Malaysia experienced the warmth of Filipino generosity and caring through the ASEAN Ladies’ Circle (ALC) Philippines’ inaugural “Light a Star, Help Someone in Need this Christmas” fund-raising project.
The “Light a Star, Help Someone in Need this Christmas” is an initiative of ALC Philippines under the leadership of Mme. Maria Victoria H. Jose, who serves as Patron of ALC Philippines as the spouse of Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles C. Jose.
As early as August 2019, Mme. Jose led the 72-strong members of ALC Philippines, composed of female personnel of the Embassy of the Philippines and Filipina expatriates, in handcrafting over 200 Filipino Christmas lanterns or parol through a series of workshops conducted at the Embassy premises.
The Christmas lanterns were unveiled during an afternoon tea event held on
4 December 2019 at the Ritz Carlto.
Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. One hundred twenty-four members of the ASEAN Ladies Circle Kuala Lumpur, composed of women from ten Southeast Asian diplomatic missions and their respective expatriate communities, learned about the cultural significance of the parol in the Philippines, as well as the charitable objective of the event.
Mme. Jose, in her welcome remarks, explained, “Christmas is very much about giving. Instead of us exchanging gifts this Christmas, our ladies from ALC Philippines decided to give their time and effort, and even resources, to make “parols”… I am happy to announce that the funds that will be raised from the parol sales will be awarded to the Global Street Mission’s (GSM) Mikhalai School of Destiny, whose activities are directed towards the marginalized and underprivileged children.”
The Mikhalai School of Destiny (MSOD) is an organization under the GSM network of non-government organizations which aims to uplift street children by providing them homes and education. The MSOD currently has 35 children aged six to eighteen years old under its care, most of whom are undocumented and abandoned.
The afternoon tea program featured a mini-concert of English and Filipino Christmas carols from the Philippine Embassy Choir, cultural dance performances from the Filipino community organization Philippine Ladies of Kuala Lumpur (PLKL), and a series of songs from the children under the care of MSOD.
On 9 December 2019, the proceeds from the sales of the parols from the “Light a Star, Help Someone in Need this Christmas” project of ALC Philippines were turned over to Ms. Mikhalai Steve, Principal and Founder of the Mikhalai School of Destiny, as well as Mr. Steve Singam, School Administrator. During the simple handover ceremony, Mme. Jose was joined by Consul Rachel Oronce, Alternate Patron of ALC Philippines, Ms Edna Patauina, Country Representative of ALC Philippines, Ms Amelyn Julio-Obong, Treasurer of ALC, Mme. Pham Thi Hong Lien, ALC President and Patron of ALC Vietnam, and Datin Mariani Bongsu, Patron of ALC Brunei, who are all members of the Executive Committee of ALC. The Mikhalai School’s children witnessed the handover and expressed their gratitude through song and dance performances.