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”
SPARK joins the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau – Essential Non-Communicable Disease Division in their Harmonization of Capacity Building Activities on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPPS) at Tagaytay International Convention Center. SPARK is the only NGO invited in the activity. Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves, SPARK Operations Manager, represented the organization.
(From Left to Right: Victoria Garchitorena–Founder of Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Repormat at Kaunlaran, Inc. (SPARK), Hon. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo–Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco–Executive Director and Managing Trustee of SPARK)
VP Leni was sworn in as Vice President of the Philippines on June 30, 2016. She was appointed as the 11th Chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). She is initially known to the public as the widow of the late Jesse Robredo – the beloved Mayor of Naga City and former Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. She served as a Public Attorney and is a member of the alternative lawyers group SALIGAN. She devoted her entire professional life in the service of the most vulnerable sectors especially to women. .
(From Left to Right: Anwedda Navarra–SPARK Project Officer, Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves–SPARK Operations Manager, Victoria Garchitorena–SPARK Founder, Leni Robredo–Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco–SPARK Executive Director/Managing Trustee, Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr.–Project Officer, Lyrra Kaye Castillo–SPARK Admin and Finance Officer)
On August 16, 2016, the Quezon City Reception House, the Office of the Vice President, opened its doors for SPARK. This marks future multi-sectoral initiatives rallying equal chances for women and girls.
A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. The public, private, and social sectors will need to act to close gender gaps in work and society.
(From Left to Right: Sonomi Tanaka–Technical Advisor on Gender Equity at ADB, Jonathan Woetzel–Director of McKinsey Global Institute, Joseph Ernest Zveglich–Director of Macroeconomics Research Division at ADB)
According to the report, Gender Inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. If women—who account for half the world’s working-age population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.
SPARK team with the speaker, Dr. Jonathan Woetzel (From Left to Right: Mikaela Luisa Carmen Teves–SPARK Operations Manager, Anwedda Navarra–SPARK Project Officer, Lyrra Kaye Castillo–SPARK Admin Officer Jonathan Woetzel–Director of McKinsey Global Institute.)
The SPARK team learned immensely from the talk of Dr. Jonathan Woetzel and believes in the Power of Parity. SPARK supports the advancing of women’s equality for economic global growth.
Spark Philippines Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran together with J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF), team up for a livelihood project for women that maximize different strategy in developing skills and social relationship. The making of Nutritious Squash noodles, the said project, is a healthy and one of a kind approach to creating a living.
It was attended by women from different places namely from Calamba City, Laguna, Bayawan Negros Occidental and Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. They were housed in the White House, Calamba City which is sponsored by Mayor Roman Lazaro. The event in Laguna was held in Technical School in cooperation with the local government and lastly the Dumaguete City project was held in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in cooperation with Women’s Sectoral Officer.
The 4-day event starting from February 7, 2015 was a huge success for the organizations themselves and for the women who took part in making the Nutritious Squash Noodles. The noodles were made from pure scratch and were deliciously converted to a healthy delicacy.
A hands-on workshop was led by Ms. Kristy Sumague, Executive Director of YMCA San Pablo together with Mr. Eric C. Mercado, Admin Officer of Spark Philippines, who both served as the trainer for the pilot organic squash making. They led the women into the actual creation of the squash noodle.
A women’s livelihood workshop wouldn’t be complete without the cooking session. Ms. Kate Alyzon Ramil, Senior Program Officer of Spark Philippines conducted the “Cooking Pasta with the Women” activity where they made delicious and nutritious delicacies.
In addition to the hands-on workshop, the event was graced with a talk from Ms. Jenny Lind Elmaco, Executive Director of SPARK Philippines wherein she talked about the women vote express. Ms. Shammah Bulangis, also gave her remarks on the Women’s Political Empowerment, she is the Coordinator of SPARK Philippines for the Women’s Vote Expresss.
These talks from two influential personalities serves to encourage women to take part in the political process themselves and be the voice in their community in developing harmonious governance. This is as well to motivate women in taking full responsibility and choosing leaders that are ensured of a positive change and betterment of their communities.
With this livelihood project, another set of women have been imparted with knowledge and enhancement of skills that they could use forth in their development as individuals. Thus, it is important to educate women for learning doesn’t end and women should be built with limitless possibilities.