Social Entrepreneurship: Make Everyone A Change-Maker

Monday, August 25, 2008

By Harvey S. Keh

Renato Mercado had worked as an assistant architect for 15 years in Saudi Arabia. Last year, he got a one-month leave and was finally able to visit his family in Laguna province after four years.

Upon arrival, he was shocked to know his family was in disarray. His wife was not able to save a single centavo from the remittances he had been making; his eldest son was a drug addict.

For Renato, all the sacrifices and years of hard work was for nothing.

This story is a familiar refrain for many families of overseas Filipinos workers. The social consequence of this continuing migration of Filipinos has been broken families and problematic children who grow up without the proper guidance of parents.

Mai A?onuevo, together with other overseas Filipino worker (OFW) returnees, decided to form Atikha, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families. Atikha is currently active in supporting families of OFWs in the provinces of Batangas and Laguna.

Among its most successful program is the Batang Atikha Savers Club, in which children of OFWs are taught the value of saving money while providing an outlet for these children to express their talent through arts and crafts workshops.

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Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer (link opens in a new window)