SPARK! celebrates Women Entrepreneurship Day with Chocolate Princess, Recognizes Local Women’s Group

In support of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), 19 November 2014, and in promotion of the the Women’s Empowerment Principles, SPARK! Philippines (one of the local partners of the Global Entrepreneurship Week held from November 17-23), SPARK! visited YWEB Fellow and Chocolate Princess, Dalareich Polot in Bohol to witness the growth of her delicious empire and to discuss future collaborations in her ‘chocolate with a purpose’ plans. (See a separate article written by Shamah Bulangis in the SPARK! Stories).

SPARK! Program Officer Hans Kevin Madanguit and SPARK! Fellow Shamah Bulangis visit Chocolate Princess Dalareich Polot in her choco shop and cafe, Chocoreich, in Bohol
SPARK! Program Officer Hans Kevin Madanguit and SPARK! Fellow Shamah Bulangis visit Chocolate Princess Dalareich Polot in her choco shop and cafe, Chocoreich, in Bohol

Moreover, the Amicitas Business Group, an association of business and professional women in Negros Oriental who are successful entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, artists and Mothers, was awarded for being a shining example of work-life balance and balancing the perfect formula for passion and purpose. The ABG is active in social engagement in the region especially focusing their efforts in women, children and the environment. One of their latest pursuits, with SPARK!’s support, is the furnishing of the Women and Child Protection Units.


ABG received the Certificate through its President, Atty. Pristine Raymond.

SPARK! and ABG are planning to do several projects in the coming months for the benefit of the local communities in the province.

SPARK! joins 16 day Campaign against Gender Based Violence

16_days_logo_filipinoSPARK joins the world in its 16 day campaign against Gender-Based Violence. Beginning on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25) and concluding on International Human Rights Day (December 10), the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign emphasizes that gender-based violence is a human rights violation. The theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” underlines diverse challenges and contributors to gender-based violence and the effects of militarism, economic and social rights violations, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, health, and political rights on our intersectional identities and experiences.

We also support the Philippine Commission on Women’s parallel 18 day campaign against Violence Against Women expanding the celebration by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 1172 to include up to December 12, which marks the adoption of the United Nation Convention Against Transnational Crime, thus making it an 18-Day Campaign.

What is Gender-Based Violence?

Gender-based violence is violence related to social expectations and positions based on gender and can be committed by and aimed at both men and women. Globally, most gender-based violence is committed by men and is directed against women and girls, and is linked to discrimination. Gender-based violence is defined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in General Recommendation 19 as being “directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately.”

“Gender” is the socially constructed roles as ascribed to women and men, as opposed to biological and physical characteristics. Gender roles vary according to socioeconomic, political, and cultural contexts, and are affected by other factors, including age, race, class, and ethnicity. Gender roles are learned and are changeable.

The United Nations and General Assembly use the term GBV. For example, the 2008 General Assembly resolution (A/RES/62/134) operative para 1(a) urges States “to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, in particular rape and other forms of sexual violence.”

What is violence against women?
The preamble language of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, General Assembly resolution 48/104 (1993), states that “violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into subordinate position compared to men.” Article 1 states that: “The term ‘violence against women’ means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

What is violence against children?
The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child in article 1 as “[e]very human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier”. The World Report on Violence and Health (2002) defines “violence against children” as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a child, by an individual or group, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development, or dignity.

SPARK’s activities for this duration include:

November 25:  Gender Equality and Human Rights cum Girl Rising Screening at the Bohol Island University

November 26: Gender Equality and Human Rights cum Girl Rising Screening in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur

November 29: #LetHerBecome and Launch of Women Voter’s Express at the Gateway Cinema of the Gateway Mall Araneta Center.

SPARK also will participate in the #RainbowConnection Demystifying the LGBT Event at Best Western Plus Antel Hotel, Makati Avenue, Makati City on November 28 from 2 PM to 7 PM. Event site here:

Should you wish to organize your own activities in support of this case and need inspiration, you may check the Center for Women’s Global Leadership of Rutgers University to download the Take Action Kit: or check the Philippine Commission on Women website:

Do share to us your events and your stories.


SPARK! supports disaster preparedness through Waka Waka Solar Lights

SPARK! believes that emergency preparedness planning should incorporate solar power into integrated emergency, environment awareness and resilience strategies for effective implementation with local initiatives taking the lead to ensure sustainability. Moreover, particular groups such as women and children should be given attention due to their specific vulnerabilities. It is in this rationale that SPARK!’s core program also centers on the creation of an empowered community prepared, alert and equipped in disasters. Earlier this year, SPARK! conducted a series of trauma healing and community reconciliation projects to support relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Haiyan-affected communities.

SPARK! recognizes however that there are other areas that have not been in the news but have suffered greatly due to past disasters and also are struggling because of other weaknesses and emergencies. After consultations with key officials, SPARK! distributed the Waka Waka lights to the Municipality of Ayungon and the cities of Bais and Dumaguete. In partnership with local government units, the Waka Waka solar lights are made available to far-flung barangay outposts, to particularly vulnerable areas to disasters and power outages or even in areas without electricity in order to meet critical power needs especially during emergency operations. SPARK supports decentralized disaster risk reduction and management planning where local government units in cooperation with NGOs and the private sector. Solar power, like the Waka Waka lights can offer a source of clean, flexible, reliable, pollution-free power.


Representative George Arnaiz and Mayor Chiquiting Sagarbarria receives the Waka waka solar lights from Spark Philippines with support from Foundation to be used for the barangay halls and communities without electricity due to past damage brought about by typhoons. There will be a conscious effort to strategically place the solar-powered lights where it can serve especially women and children.

Spark Philippines with support from Foundation turns over Waka Waka Solar Lights to Mayor Mercy T. Goñi to be used for the health centers of Bais. (photo from Mayor Mercy T. Goñi’s public FB account. Photo shared to SPARK).


SPARK! turns over Waka Waka portable solar lights/chargers to the Municipality of Ayungon. The disaster management support was sponsored by the Foundation.