134 Beneficiaries Served in 2014-15

Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. With that in mind, Welcome Home has developed a mission to deliver the highest-quality education, and provide scholarships to those in need. Two programs are currently running to serve the needs of the community:

Educational Resource Center (ERC) -- a preschool for the deaf and their hearing siblings, with three locations.

Literacy Program (LP) -- a post-high school collegiate and vocational preparatory program for the deaf.

Additionally, WHFI supports:

Antonie Day Care Center (ADCC) -- a daycare serving the impoverished, in partnership with Bacolod Patenkinder, eV.


Educational Resource Center

The Educational Resource Center (ERC) family program is fully funded and staffed by Welcome Home.  Individualized instruction to preschool deaf children, their hearing siblings, and others with multiple disabilities is the primary focus.  Parental education includes regular sign language courses and intermittent seminars on building healthy relationships with their children. Scholarship grants are provided to more than half of enrolled families, which cover the costs of tuition, board, clothing, and other expenses.

ERC students playing in the schoolyard

ERC students playing in the schoolyard

Programs

Speech and hearing services are a key component of the services by ERC, available to all pupils.  Specially trained teachers use audiology devices and computer software with the Level I-A, I-B, and II deaf pupils with the intent of increasing vocal strength and precision. Hearing tests and hearing aid fittings are provided on a case-by-case basis, and at no cost to the beneficiary.

ERC instructor delivering speech therapy in the WHFI audiology room.

ERC instructor delivering speech therapy in the WHFI audiology room.

Physical education provides an outlet for the children to exercise and play together, in a safe and supportive environment.  Holistic wellness is the core of WHFI’s educational model, and the foundation is cemented in healthy living.

Technology classes are vital to the pupils, as they learn the fundamentals of typing, and are exposed to written language and multimedia.  By demonstrating that technology is a tool for self-learning and creation, Welcome Home is training children to become computer-literate and strong readers, which allows them to be strong candidates for employment later in life.

82 Deaf ERC Students in 2014-15

EVENTS

In addition to the progressive curriculum employed (ranging from the sciences to the arts), ERC pupils are exposed to the greater world through a series of field trips and speaking engagements.  The staff and students were honored to have a private audience with Cardinal Luis Tagle at the Carmelite Monastery, Bacolod, where he spoke of service to all of mankind, especially those who endure greater hardships in life.

living rosary is held each year to instill the Catholic values that guide WHFI and introduce the youth to a prayerful way of life. Moreover, this is a gathering where families and staff together can celebrate the successes and count the blessings of the previous year.

The students performed an interpretation of the Philippines National Anthem during the 36th annual National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

Advocacy

- Working with Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PRID)- Bacolod Chapter subprograms

- Networking with Visayas Ear Care Center

- Partnering with secondary and tertiary educational institutions in the training of special educators for the deaf


Staff Development

Curriculum for the deaf occurs continuously with evaluations into strengths and weaknesses of the current instruction.   Administrators, teachers, and community workers work together in reforming the curriculum in formal meetings during summer break.  

Staff development also includes informal and formal sign language courses, in keeping with the national transition to Filipino Sign Language and the fluid nature of sign languages.

ERC pupil after finishing a morning snack

ERC pupil after finishing a morning snack

Student signing "I love you" after Mass

Student signing "I love you" after Mass


Literacy Program

The Welcome Home Literacy Program (LP) is the newest offering in the WHFI educational catalogue. LP is a post-high school collegiate and vocational preparatory program for deaf students between 16 and 29 years old.  In addition to regular audiological tests and pro bono hearing aid assistance, the foundation provides the following:

Courses

English: vocabulary, comprehension, and usage

Sign Language: Filipino Sign Language vocabulary and grammar

Mathematics: fundamental arithmetic, logical reasoning, and basic bookkeeping

Agriculture: organic farming, vermiculture, aquaponics, outdoor carpentry, and agri-business

Technical: computer literacy, typing efficiency, information gathering, and design (in partnership with De La Salle University - College of St. Benilde)

Arts: print and digital illustration, craft making, and theatrical performance 

Values Formation: catechism and ethics

Life Skills: healthy relationships, work ethics, financial literacy, and psychosocial skills

Wellness: physical education, nutrition, and healthy living

LP students learning a regional folk dance

LP students learning a regional folk dance

LP student and mother interpreting a song 

LP student and mother interpreting a song 

Summer extension programs include tutoring from College of St. Benilde volunteers in technological and language skills. Additionally, the graduating LP students facilitate an overnight camp where they teach various life skills to incoming LP students, reinforcing the mission of WHFI.

COLLEGE PREPARATION

At Welcome Home, college is not just for the hearing population.  Many students express an interest in higher education, to study a variety of subjects ranging from special education to office administration, culinary arts to religious studies.

Preparation for national entrance exams includes structured learning of Tagalog, English and arithmetic. Analytical reasoning and spatial thinking is developed through timed practice exams and close monitoring of individual results. WHFI also provides interpretative services during examinations, and also during college courses for the deaf that pursue higher education. 

Employment

Employability is the main goal for the deaf students of LP, and the vocational training is continuously developed in that regard.  Customized on-the-job training (internships) are provided for our students, to be completed in no less than 320 hours.

An on-the-job trainee (intern) at Natural Garden Cafe, a non-profit training center

An on-the-job trainee (intern) at Natural Garden Cafe, a non-profit training center

LP pupils prepare to host priests and delegates from CICM

LP pupils prepare to host priests and delegates from CICM

Students are partnered with various organizations in the Bacolod metropolitan area, including restaurants, hotels, schools, factories and farms. Furthermore, all LP students completed a massage therapy training offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in 2015. (Electrical work was the certificate course offered by TESDA in 2014.) Finally, WHFI trains all students in a variety of income-generating projects, including handicrafts. Exposing their creativity and ability fosters self-confidence and self-reliance in a way that compliments traditional education models for the deaf.

Employment Partnerships

  • Saravia Blue Crab, Inc. (whose workforce is now ~ 90% deaf)
  • OISCA Silk Factory
  • O Hotel
  • Natural Garden Cafe
  • TESDA
  • Nature’s Village
  • Local, individual partners
LP students enjoy dessert from the Natural Garden Cafe

LP students enjoy dessert from the Natural Garden Cafe


ANTONIE DAY CARE CENTER

The Antonie Day Care Center (ADCC) is a model school under the guidance of Bacolod Paterkinder (Bacpat), and staffed by the educators and health workers of Welcome Home. Together, we provide a safe, healthy and educational day care center to the underprivileged children of Bacolod. 

Wellness Program

Physical examinations and regular health monitoring are provided to determine any problems for further referral, and provide an opportunity to teach families basic preventative medicine.  Healthy, complete meals (including milk and multivitamins) are served everyday to help maintain physical health and body weight.  In addition to nutrition, the staff teaches the children how to properly clean and care for themselves.

Parent Engagement

Parent workshops are provided free-of-charge. Monthly meetings update parents on the physical, educational, and moral progress made by their children. Staff and parents work together to prepare personalized learning plans, and community-based educational activities.  To supplement the children's learning, parents are taught the basics of proper hygiene, good nutrition, clean food processing techniques and bountiful vegetable gardening techniques.  Moreover, catechesis and values education are offered to provide moral guidance and uplift the collective spirit.

32 ADCC Families Served in 2014-15

ADCC health worker demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques

ADCC health worker demonstrating proper hand-washing techniques

Events

Nutrition Day - Families spend the day learning about healthy living through proper dietary nutrition.  Parents are assigned to research and report on nutritious food, while children engage in costumed parades of their favorite nutritious foods.

Araw ng Wika - This special day celebrates the unique culture and diversity of the Philippines, through song, dance and presentations.  Families wore costumes representing varied ethnic backgrounds, and many parents participated in our Bahay Kubo contest.

Field Trips - WHFI encourages parents and children to spend quality time together. In various educational field trips, staff and families explored new places, made new friends, tried new activities, and learned new concepts.

Community Christmas Party - Welcome Home celebrates Christmas early by inviting stakeholders in various partner communities to participate in an annual Christmas fiesta.  After an inspiring Mass, the little angels of ADCC, ERC and other local programs provided entertainment in the form of song, dance, mime, and theater; furthermore, a Christmas meal was shared by everyone.