Anna Rose “Anna” Budich (Founder, Chairperson)
The word community is very close to my heart as I spent a lot of my childhood in my community. Being an only child and with both parents working, my neighbors and friends served as my brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. Everyday after school, I would play with my friends on the streets until sundown. Sometimes we would close the streets so that we can put a long table and share a meal together. At 15, I became the community’s youth leader. Some of our projects included transforming vacant lots into neighborhood vegetable gardens; installation of information board at the gate of the community for information dissemination; and cleaning of canals and water drainages during summer.
After high school, I joined the Rotaract Club of Makati West and then became the District Rotaract Representative for RI District 3830 in 2000. During my time as a Rotaractor, I initiated and participated in various community outreach programs within and outside Metro Manila. Even when I started working, I continued to be part of Rotaract as an advisor and honorary member of the Rotaract Club of Sampiro which is based in Makati City Hall.
Although I am currently based in Japan with my husband, my passion to help the communities in the Philippines remains. With KIDS Club, I would like to help build safer and happier communities for the Filipino children. I strongly believe that although resources might be limited, it would go a long way if we combine them together.
Evalyn “Bang” Evangelista (Co-Founder, President)
In 2003 I moved to Manila from Tarlac to pursue greener pasture. Living alone in the big city, my colleagues became my second family. On weekends if I am not exploring the metro or its nearby places, I spend most of my time helping the community through the Rotaract Club of Sampiro. When I became the club president in 2006, I started the outreach project in Barangay Ankileng, Sagada in the Mountain Province which is being continued until now. Every June Rotaractors from Sampiro go to Sagada to give school supplies, sweet goodies, and learning tools like computers to the children. And every December, we visit them again together with friends, former Rotaractors, and family members to share the Christmas spirit with toys, games, and sweets.
Like Anna, I also graduated as a Rotactor but this did not stop me from doing community outreach projects even in my own small way. I believe that money is not the only thing that enables a person to help others. One can also share time, talent, and passion.
As the co-founder of KIDS Club, I plan to help the children be inspired to learn and finish school despite the difficulties they face. As an educator myself, I value the importance of education (be it in a formal school or open world) as a key factor in achieving one’s goals. Through the club, I hope to reach out to more children in the Philippines especially those who live in very secluded areas.
Shiela A. Yee
I was bored and too far from my family. This is why I got myself into volunteering and doing things for others. I grew up not having everything on a whim but I am never in need of something, for my parents has always provided for my basic needs. When I see children not having much, I have this itch to give but I am very cautious too when it comes to giving. I don’t just give, I also assess and balance the giving part for I am a practical person.
When I was a child, I used my free time to work at my grandfather’s store so I could earn money for myself. I don’t just sit around and wait for my parents to give me money. I don’t have a soft heart but I know when someone really needs help. I joined the Rotaract Club 12 years ago because know there are many communities in this country forgotten by the government and left to fend for themselves especially the children who really needs a little help and cheering up I like the feeling of belongingness. The club activities are perfect for someone like me who likes to go places and explore other possibilities in life. Sharing knowledge, goods and smiles. It has been years since I graduated from that group but I am still doing the sharing in my own little ways by teaching my child about giving. Every Christmas time, I save a portion of my money to buy things to give out for children in my home town. My son would also help by picking up toys that he does not play with and give it out too. Now my son is doing what I was doing and will continue to do so until there is something and somehow to give.
I first joined the “KSJ” (Katholische Studierende Jugend – Young Catholic Students) as a member then later on became the leader of a group for 1st and 2nd graders (6-8 years). This gave me good experiences in helping our community.
Later on when I moved to Herne, I joined the St.Pius Church’s youth choir “Belcanto” (more or less voluntarily) mainly as the technician for the sound system, but also as a singer, if needed. With some members of the choir; friends; and the person in charge of the local youth center, we formed a group of volunteers who offered free leisure activities for the children, mostly less fortunate, in the neighbourhood. In the beginning the activities were based in the youth or community centers and were financed by the members of the parish and the diocese. But we were able to establish it as a city government co-financed project for the kids. From this fund we were able to organise trips to various places such as the zoo, open air museum, and indoor playground or climbing facility.
Coming from a German middle class family with both parents working, it was first shocking for me to see 10-12-year old kids who have never visited a zoo or a museum because they are from low income families or even social welfare recipients. But there is nothing more delighting than to see the shining children’s eyes when they experience things for the first time or even the surprised look when the know it is for them and it is for free!
And this is what I like to see in the future: Shining eyes and excited kids. I hope to fulfil this target by giving kids, independent of origin, the opportunity to learn and experience new things and inspire them to create a better world for them and their families.
Even though I am based in Japan, KIDS Club gives me the chance to continue my community works and use my resources for more reasonable purposes. And to say the truth, as husband of co-founder Anna, do I have an escape route of not joining? 😉
Mark Franklin Sanchez
Volunteerism and community service are things that constitutes most of my free time. I have always engaged myself to different community services since high school until college. I tried joining an organisation in college that is aligned towards children’s rights. However, I didn’t pursue because I thought that we can still volunteer without being part of an organization that would require tambay hours (Staying in the club or meeting room everyday for at least an hour).
I have always thought that through community service, everyone can find the leader within them. Like most of the members of the KIDS club, I also started as a member of Rotaract Club of Sampiro. My first official outreach with Rotaract Club was in 2012 in Sagada, Mountain Province. This showed the other side of me, a very child-oriented person I must say.
As part of KIDS Club, I intend to be involved in activities that can develop the knowledge improvement of kids. Also, I do want activities that encourage volunteerism such as tree-planting activities, talents advancement and civic services among others.
Even at a young age, helping the less fortunate has inspired me to actively participate in various outreach projects such as helping my brother on his medical missions and joining various community activities organized by the Rotaract Club of Sampiro. Although I changed my job, I maintain my close communication with fellow Rotaract alumni.
This year, I celebrated my birthday with the kids of Barangay Ankileng. Together with some friends, I was able to provide basic school supplies to high school students that were supported by Rotaract Sampiro since their elementary days. As a jolly and kid-at-heart person, I enjoy sharing happiness to others especially to the kids.
Now that I am mom, my inspiration is to create a happy and safe community for my little princess. I also want to focus on helping the less fortunate children through projects related to education.