P42M residential center for orphaned kids opens in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 Apr) – The Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. (CJFI) opened on Thursday its P42-million residential care center, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country, for abandoned, orphaned, and neglected children.

CJFI Philippines executive director Rosemarie Dimagnaong, in an interview, said that the three-storey facility at Purok 8, San Miguel Drive in Brgy. Indangan, Buhangin here can accommodate 120 children aged 6 to 17 for a maximum of three years.

Boasting of world-class facilities, she said that the center has three rooms, mini-library, playroom, computer laboratory, social activity area, isolation room for sick clients, room for person with disability, counseling room, and observation room for client with emotional and psychological concerns.

Dimagnaong added that the CJFI has seven operational residential facilities in the country – Quezon City, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Davao City, Cebu, and General Santos – but the one in Davao is the first to have such modern facilities.

“By next year, we start developing the one in Quezon City into something like this,” he said.

She added that 20 kids have already been housed at the facility while 10 kids from Tacloban, eight from Mati, and five from Digos City will arrive next month.

Dimagnaong said that five social workers have been stationed at the facility to look after the kids 24/7.

“We have social services, case management, planning for the child, spiritual program, mental and dental, and education for the children,” she said.

The computer laboratory was developed in partnership with Dell International Services, Inc., that granted CJFI with $157,979 in September 2015. The facility “aims to give opportunities to destitute children from all grade levels including out-of-school-youth across the country by providing another state-of-the-art computer laboratory.”

CJFI founding president Pastor Apollo Quiboloy said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 11 will assist the center as to the kids that will be admitted.

Quiboloy, who was raised by poor parents, said he “turned emotional because I remember my childhood, which was mostly pain, suffering and poverty.”

The international evangelist, who claims to have millions of followers worldwide, said he plans to build such facilities in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

A CJFI briefer said that chapters in Canada and Japan funded the construction of the center.

Liwayway Caligdong, assistant head of the City Social Services and Welfare Development Office (CSSDO), said they lauded the opening of the center.

She added they need additional center as the government facilities alone will not suffice to take all the kids in.