MANILA, Philippines – Since 1992, Virlanie Foundation, Inc. has been reaching out to street children in the Philippines, rescuing them from difficult situations, and helping them build better futures as strong and independent adults.
Together with their dedicated staff and volunteers, Virlanie has continuously worked, uplifting the lives of underprivileged children. In the course of its 25 years, Virlanie has personally touched each and every life of the 17,000 children who have found a home at Virlanie. In addition, the foundation has helped the children see the silver linings in their struggles and is bringing back smiles.
Virlanie’s success, of course, would not have been possible without the passion and hard work of Founder Dominique Lemay and his staff and partners.
“I had come to the Philippines some 30 years ago to help establish this foundation. Then until now- even if the journey has been difficult – I have never regretted or felt tired fighting for the rights of these children. They are all wonderful, talented individuals who have been dealt unique challenges, but each and everyone of them has been able to bravely rise up from their circumstances,” shares Dominique Lemay, Founder & President of Virlanie.
While they had kept their 5th, 10th and even 20th anniversaries low-key, Virlanie has decided to celebrate their 25th with a bang! “We are proud and grateful to have been given such support these past 25 years,” shares Lemay. “And so we wanted to give back and show our gratitude to our sponsors, volunteers and corporate partners who have supported us throughout the decades.”
In a fitting tribute event held at Novotel Manila, its exclusive hotel partner, Virlanie treated its partners as well as media to a night of revelry. Hosted by RJ Ledesma, the event brought on the stage former beneficiaries who shared their touching testimonies, partners who told their own stories of charity, as well the foundation’s own talented youth groups. The guests also feasted on 25 Smiles photo exhibit showcasing the faces of the 25 years of Virlanie, and the milestone video displaying the history of Virlanie.
The Rising Youth, Virlanie’s youth organization, performed their original speech choir piece, “Kamalayan.” And later that evening, in a special set, The Virlanie Voices–comprised of children from different Virlanie homes and outreach communities–serenaded the audiences with wonderful renditions of OPM favorites. The Virlanie Voices have been recognized in the Philippines and even in Europe. In the past years, they have travelled to France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland to perform and advocate for children.
Laurent Goirand, Vice President of Virlanie, ended the program with a challenge—encouraging everyone to take a more active role in empowering and protecting children for a brighter future.
For more information about Virlanie and how to support their cause, visit www.virlanie.org or contact Ashley Venerable, Communications Lead at [email protected]