For almost 2 decades, Villar Foundation has been known for their works and initiative that promote, protect and provide assistance especially to distressed migrant workers. The foundation has evolved from just simply providing free tickets to OFWs who would like to come back home after suffering from their abusive employers or providing medical help and assistance to OFWs in need. For the foundation these palliative measures are not enough since they are temporary and will not solve the problem for which most Filipinos seek work abroad.
In celebration of its 20th year the Villar Foundation highlights its achievement as a proactive partner of OFWs in providing alternative solutions to their desire to have a source of livelihood. To date, the foundation is engaged in different entrepreneurial activities that generate jobs. And laudable of their effort also is their emphasis of protecting the environment as well. The foundation is now engaged in maximizing abundant water lilies, transforming them to beautiful woven household crafts and decors and putting into use coco nets to prevent soil erosion. These are just some of the works of the foundation that benefits both former OFWs and the Filipino citizens in general.
Last July 11, 2012, at Max’s Restaurant at Star Mall Shaw Blvd., Cynthia Villar, Managing Director of the Villar Foundation met with seven OFW beneficiaries to commemorate its 20 years of serving OFWs through its Sagip-OFW program. The foundation extended livelihood grants or grocery packages from Puregold for the beneficiaries to start their sari-sari store business.
The lady director cited, “ We are aware that it is not enough to repatriate distressed OFWs, we need to help them get reintegrated as productive members of the society.” Also, in an open forum, when asked about her position with the PHILHEALTH issue being raised by PEBA and Global OFW Voices, she was quoted saying “OFW should be an exception to PHILHEALTH because of their work abroad. It will be difficult for them to claim and avail their benefits. Also, most of them are already covered by their company’s health insurance. I will definitely help pursue and make laws that will benefit OFWs.”
The Sagip OFW program of the foundation extends various forms of support and assistance to OFWs: repatriation, medical, livelihood, skills-up training, scholarships among others. In November, it will again stage the OFW & Family Summit, which provides livelihood and business opportunities to OFWs and their families. Over 5000 attended the summit in 2011. The event is held in partnership with GoNegosyo.
©2012 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards