Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco, SPARK Executive Director, joins representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world to the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Coming off as an academic scholar of Peace and Conflict Transformation, Dr. Elmaco joins a panel of experts in a discourse on addressing the needs of women and children in emergency situations.
23 November 2016 – The MoU signing of the Likhang Pilipina SPARK! Women’s Marketplace. It was attended by valued stakeholders of the project: Vice Mayor of Quezon City, Hon. Josefina “Joy” G. Belmonte; Department of Trade and Industry, represented by Ms Emma C. Asusano; and The Araneta Center represented by Mr. Emmanuel C. Fabian.
Ms. Victoria Garchitorena, Founder of Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran Inc. (SPARK) and Ms. Zorayda Mel Alonzo, SPARK President and the Lead Trustee of Likhang Pilipina, lead the MoU Signing.
9 October 2016 – Likhang Pilipina SPARK! Women’s Marketplace was launched at the 3rd floor of Ali Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao Quezon City. Partners from the Office of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, the Department of Trade and Industry, and The Araneta Group attended the event. Senator Risa Hontiveros was the guest of honor.
The Likhang Pilipina SPARK! Women’s Marketplace aims expand the knowledge of women entrepreneurs on business strategies and practices while assisting them in identifying potential partners and resources that they need to scale up their small enterprises into successful businesses.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of a Girl Child, a day that focuses on recognising girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This October 11, 2016 SPARK celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child with Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and alongside other partners.
The celebration was attended by the SPARK board of trustees and members, members of the international community, staunch supporters of women’s rights and empowerment from the government, private sector and civil society, and 450 school girls from Quezon City.
[From L – R] Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer: Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): Ronna Reyes Sieh, SPARK Trustee: Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President: Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor of Quezon City: H.E. Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines: Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines: Imelda Nicolas, SPARK Trustee: Maria Isabel Quimson, SPARK Trustee: Phyllis Stimson, Gender Coordinator of the Political Section, U.S. Embassy: Geraldo Regalado, Vice Consul of the Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines.
Vice President Leni Robredo, our keynote speaker, outlined in her speech that women empowerment in the Philippines can be strengthened by empowering girls to be “taught how to value themselves” from a young age. VP Leni stressed the importance of this because “it is not something that you can teach overnight. It’s something that has to grow in each and every one of our girls, who will soon turn into women”.
Keynote speaker, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo
VP Leni also emphasised that advocating for women empowerment “is not a fight against men and women” but “a fight for equal treatment for both genders”.
SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, Ma. Aurora “Boots” Geotina-Garcia; Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President; Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo; SPARK Board of Trustees: Imelda Nicolas and Ma. Isabel Quimson.
Our other speakers for the event comprised of members from the international community, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines; Phyllis Stinson, Gender Equality Program Coordinator from the political section of the U.S Embassy Manila; Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. As a response to the stories shown from the Girl Rising film, they provided their expertise whilst speaking about the importance of girls rights.
Speakers receive certificates of appreciation from SPARK Board of Trustees
[From L – R] H.E. Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines: Ma. Isabel Quimson, SPARK Board of Trustee: Rebecca Dixon, Gender Specialist of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID): Imelda Nicolas, SPARK Board of Trustee: Phyllis Stimson, Gender Coordinator of the Political Section, U.S. Embassy: Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President.
Alongside these speakers were SPARK President, Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, and SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia. Zorayda Amelia Alonzo gave the welcoming remarks, highlighting that the celebration is for the girls in our country and nationwide. Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, gave the closing remarks, thanking everyone for being part of this revolution for girls.
[From L – R] Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, SPARK President, gives her welcoming remarks: Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia, SPARK Secretary-Treasurer, gives her closing remarks.
We would like to thank our event co-organizers; Office of Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Araneta Center, and Cineplex 10; Our event partners; Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG), Chicano Development Corporation, ACM Landholdings, Inc.; and sponsors; PHINMA Energy, PLDT Home, Holly’s Milk, Gee Whiz Girls, Dimaculangan Dimaculangan and Co. CPAs, Emmanuel C. Alcantara & Associates Law Offices, and Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles, for their support in aiding the event to be a success.
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, together with SPARK! will lead the annual celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child (IDG2016) on October 11, 2016 at Gateway Mall Cubao, Quezon City.
IDG 2016 is a one-day activity that will feature talks from advocates of girls’ education and women empowerment, and the official screening of the documentary “Girl Rising”.
This International celebration recognizes girls’ rights and examines as well the unique challenges girls face around the world. In pursuit of our goal to empower women and to achieve gender equality, this year’s celebration will highlight the importance of social, economic, and political investment in the power of adolescent girls as fundamental to breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination towards achieving equitable and sustainable development outcomes.
IDG 2016 is in partnership with Gateway Cineplex 10, J.Amado Araneta Foundation, Araneta Center, and the Office of the Vice Mayor of Quezon City-Joy Belmonte is brought to you by: Pag-IBIG Fund, Chicano Development Corporation. and AMC Landholdings, Inc. Sponsored by: Phinma Energy, PLDT, Dimaculangan and Co. CPAs, Emmanuel C Alcantara & Associates Law Offices, Holly’s Milk, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles, and ABS-CBN.
You can watch us online on our Facebook page. The Celebration of the International Day of the Girl is live on October 11, 2016 – Tuesday – 9:00 AM Manila Time on https://www.facebook.com/SparkPhilippinesInc/?fref=ts. Share your thoughts by using our hashtags: #DayoftheGirl #IDG2016
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Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves, SPARK! Operations Manager, represented SPARK! at the 3-day 2016 Civil Society Organization Summit on Combating Human Trafficking that was held by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. The focus of the discussion at the summit was to collate and reflect upon recommendations to aide the formulation of the National Strategic Action Plan Against Trafficking Against Persons.
(Nor Hazreena Mohamad Hasim, Director of AYWLC, and the rest of the AYWLC team, with Mikaela Luisa Teves, SPARK! Operations Manager)
The SPARK! team were visited in the office by figures from the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) Young Women Leadership Conference (AYWLC). AYWLC reached out to SPARK! to engage in a discussion that was centred around the issues and challenges that young women experience on the grassroots level.
The Philippines is one of the selected ASEAN countries that AYWLC visited to connect with ASEAN young leaders to talk about these critical issues. This will be addressed during The Pink Dialogue 2016, which is a conference that is being held that centralises the critical economic, social, and political issues that young women are faced with.
“Advancing young women to the fore”