Submitted on Fri, December 5, 2014
2014 brings in four new Ashoka Fellows for the Philippines. Working in a variety of fields, our four new Ashoka Fellows are exceptional additions to the growing fellowship of Ashoka Philippines. Joining Girlie Garcia-Lorenzo of Kythe, Inc., our very first Ashoka Fellow in the Philippines, are:
Ines Fernandez, Arugaan
Promoting child and maternal nutrition
Ines Fernandez is the Founder and Director of Arugaan, an organization that is empowering mothers to understand the benefits of breastfeeding and nutritious baby food preparation with locally sourced and indigenous ingredients. Ines has helped create several mother-to-mother support groups and has also worked with health professionals and day care providers to support and adopt natural nurturing and healthy feeding practices, helping reduce the cases of child malnourishment and mortality. Through Arugaan (a Filipino word that means “to nurture fully with lifetime commitment”), Ines is building a mother-led movement to improve infant and young child feeding and maternal nutrition in the Philippines.
Kevin Lee, A Single Drop for Safe Water
Building systems for water governance
Kevin Lee is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of A Single Drop for Safe Water (ASDSW), a nonprofit that addresses the problem of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) in vulnerable communities through a governance approach. ASDSW empowers communities to identify their WaSH needs and to create demand; at the same time, ASDSW also enables local government units by building their capacity to deliver WaSH services to their constituents. ASDSW’s model creates a leadership team of community members as well as a committed government task force. Kevin is also a Making More Health Fellow.
Cristina Liamzon, Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program
Empowering OFWs through education
Cristina “Tina” Liamzon helped to design and initiate the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) Program, which provides financial literacy training, leadership skills training, personal counseling, and social entrepreneurship classes to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The LSE Program aims for a holistic transformation and empowerment of Filipino migrants, enabling them to address their personal and financial challenges with entrepreneurial creativity. It is currently active in Italy, Hong Kong, Dubai, Paris, Brussels, The Hague and Macau. Over the course of the program, OFW-students also explore how they can address social problems in their host countries and in the Philippines; many alumni choose to continue their social initiatives after graduating from the program.
John Paul Maunes, GVSP Philippines
Bridging the Deaf and the Hearing
John Paul “JP" Maunes is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of GVSP Philippines, a nonprofit that trains individuals from various sectors to work towards a more inclusive society for the Deaf. JP is bringing to light the issue of sexual abuse among the Deaf community in the Philippines and using it to mobilize stakeholders across the law enforcement and social welfare spheres to institute new inclusive measures for the broader inclusion of the Deaf. Through GVSP, JP also piloted Filipino Sign Language (FSL) interpreting for a news program at a local major network in the Visayas; he is already working on replicating this initiative nationwide.