Our Affiliated Site: The Santo Nino Center at Bliss in Tacloban City, Philippines


facts about the santo nino center:

  • Ages Served: 3-18
  • Facility Description: The center is a one-story building that also serves as an evacuation center. The children attend local public schools and visit the center to receive food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items.
  • Academic Year: In the Philippines, the school year typically begins in early June and ends in late March, with a short break in December.
  • Family Support: VFV staff conducts home and school visits throughout the year to monitor the overall well-being of the children. Counseling for children and their parents is also available on an as-needed basis.
  • Nutrition: Children receive meals four days a week at the center. They also receive food to take home during monthly distributions, thanks to the support from their sponsors.

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to healthcare and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic activity. The large port city of Tacloban is no exception to these maladies. Families from this community earn meager incomes, and often only one parent is working in the informal sector. Most inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo and castoff boards. Children living in these impoverished conditions tend to suffer from neglect, abuse, or displacement. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Santo Nino Center serves as a beacon of hope.

Operated by the organization Volunteer for the Visayans, or VFV, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare and promoting education. Especially in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 — one of the worst storms to hit the area in a hundred years — Children Incorporated plays a vital role in this mission. Together, we help provide children with the opportunity to rise above difficult socioeconomic circumstances.