facts about the Visayans Center at Bliss:
- Ages Served: 5-18 years
- Facility Description: The three-story building comprises a meeting room, storage area, kitchen, offices, computer lab, and classrooms.
- Academic Year: In the Philippines, the school year typically begins in early June and ends in late March, with a short break in December.
- Extracurricular Activities: Children receive tutoring in English and math. Older children can borrow laptops for online classwork. A basketball court outside the building serves as a playground for the children and their families.
- Nutrition: The center facilitates weekly feeding programs and monthly distribution of food.
- Family Support: The center offers counseling in mental wellness for students and their parents. Home and school visits are also conducted by staff members to offer additional support as needed.
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.
In the Bliss community — established by the Filipino government for impoverished families — most residents inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo and castoff boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope. Founded by the local group, Volunteer for the Visayans, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare and promoting education. Especially in the wake of the devastation inflicted by 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 the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.
Facts about the Philippines:
- Population: 109 million (2023)
- Languages Spoken: Filipino (official, based on Tagalog) and English (official) and 8 other dialects
- Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (2023)
- Poverty Rate: 16.7% (2023)