Programs and Projects

Spark a Change Program

The Spark a Change Program, in partnership with the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, brings focus on the transformative power of girls’ education and the empowerment of young women to propel development themselves.

1. Girl Rising Documentary Screening and Young Women’s Rights Workshops.
SPARK! Philippines is bringing to the Philippines a global movement to educate girls and change the world. In celebration of Women and Girls Rights and Empowerment, Spark is conducting a series of Girl Rising documentary screenings.
Girl Rising is a groundbreaking feature film that spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. The film captures their dreams, their voices and their remarkable lives. It is also a movement dedicated to empowering girls through equal access to education for girls around the world. SPARK! is the official Girl Rising Ambassador in the Philippines and holds the screening rights to the film which will be available only for a limited time.
This event aims to bring families, friends, co-workers, and communities together to raise global visibility about the importance of educating girls. Spark’s goals is that through this film, communities will not only learn about the issues that plague girls around the world but also discover the power of education and what girls can accomplish for themselves and for their nations when given the opportunities to reach their full potential.
SPARK! believes in the power of education to change not only a girl, but the whole world. By conducting this screening, we, as a nation, can band together to demonstrate our commitment to breaking down the barriers that prevent girls around the world from going to school ­ barriers like child marriage, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination.

Araullo collage 2

2. Microgrants for Grassroot Initiatives
After the screening, attendees are encouraged to submit a proposal to ‘spark a change’in their local communities. The project should address a specific issue that affects women/girls /youth (for example: Addressing an issue on safety by getting in touch with their Purok to put up lights in dark areas .) The chosen groups/individual will be given 2 months to implement the project and will have to submit a report immediately after. Priority will be given to projects that :
• are led by young women (16-35 yrs old)
• addresses a women and girls issue(s)
• are new or about to be started
• are located in the identified areas
• support particularly marginalised young women or women in vulnerable societies (i.e. women with special needs, survivors of Yolanda,etc )
• support innovative and creative initiatives, which are replicable

3. The Emerging Leaders Assembly

In order to advance the equal participation of women in political sense-making processes, it is necessary to develop and carry out programs which take the manifold potentials of young women as a starting point for their later active participation and co-determination.
This project aims to improve and enhance female participation in local politics and community engagement. It attempts to create a network and exchange processes on a local and national level in order to empower young women in their rights and responsibilities as active citizens. This initiative will give young women the experience and training, which they need in order to actively engage in the political and civic processes of their own country.Together we will organize a network of young women who share an interest in learning about leadership and politics – local, national and even international – in the context of gender and principles of diversity, equality and non-discrimination.

First Emerging Leaders Assembly:

Youth Lead PH

Second Emerging Leaders Assembly : Cebu
Attended by leaders from the following: University of San Jose Recoletos, Univerity of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of San Carlos ,Cebu Institute of Technology University, University of the Philippines Visayas, University of the Visayas

4. Community Organizing
The main goal is to organize women at the grassroots level through the creation and/or partnership with institutions that serve as instruments of local participation, development of responsible local leadership and self-help development initiatives.

Partner: J. Amado Araneta Foundation
Areas Covered: (from March 2014 until September 2014) 

Cebu City
Cagayan de Oro City 
Camiguin Island
Dumaguete City
Quezon City
Siquijor Province (All Areas)
Tacloban, Leyte 
Zamboanga del Norte
Reach: 8,000++ (active encoded database)



Connecting Communities through the Creative Arts 
(Trauma Healing and Community Reconciliation Program)

10382538_10152115056665976_4444005545320413333_oConnecting Communities through the Creative Arts uses the creative arts, theater and music as methodologies to provide psychosocial support, social inclusion, conflict transformation and resiliency especially in areas affected by disasters and conflict. Art is a universal language that transcends language barriers and cultural differences. Using the creative arts as a way of communicating allows the work to become a springboard to begin conversations using images; to express feelings and thoughts, ideas and goals. It becomes a non-invasiveand supportive way to work through issues and concerns.

The program hopes to increase the knowledge and skills of educators/local teachers in community reconciliation and psychosocial healing through the creative arts. The competence-building initiative aims to equip educators and support children and youth in recovering from trauma. The program includes a Training of Facilitators and a Creative Arts Session.

Partner: Foundation
Areas of Operation: Tacloban, Leyte (June 2014)
 Palo, Leyte (July 2014)
 Mayorga, Leyte (July 2014)
Reach: Trainers – 114 composed of Educators and Barangay Health Workers 
 Beneficiaries: 600 school aged -children


The Young Women Entrepreneurship Boot Camp 2013 (YWEB), a joint project of SPARK! Philippines (Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaularan) and the United States Embassy in Manila, is a national competition and active knowledge hub that identifies a select group of high-potential young women entrepreneurs whose businesses demonstrate creativity and innovation. The program also chooses entrepreneurial pursuits that support the creation of resilient communities. YWEB is a leadership and mentoring initiative which provide young women entrepreneurs with business and product development while assisting them in identifying potential partners, experts, advisors and resources that they need to scale up their small enterprises.
Dalareich Polot of Bohol, a daughter of a tricycle driver and street sweeper, emerged as the grand prize winner. “ I want to give back to my community by encouraging young people to go in business to generate jobs for the community” said Polot. Other winners Katrina Aniag who creates gift boxes while providing employment to struggling families, Fatima Elijah Basar who built the first business owned by a Muslim woman in Cotabato and Bernadette Manuel who built her business of dried squid and fish starting with only 300 pesos as capital.
Partner: US Embassy Manila
Reach: 30 young women entrepreneurs


The activity aims to encourage and equip young people to start their own business which are socially responsible and sustainable. The one-day activity will enable them to learn more about the steps involved and discover the many resources that are available to support them. The Clinics will also allow participants to explore the demands of being an entrepreneur. Moreover, workshop presenters will share their knowledge in marketing, promoting and improving the business. Most importantly, the event will showcase the winners of the Bootcamp as the models of youth empowerment, promulgating business innovation which we hope will inspire young people to take strategic roles in propelling development themselves. The University Business Clinics will also encourage convergence models to emerge through partnerships between the academe, the local government and the private sector together with the youth of the community.

Partner: US Embassy Manila
Areas Reached: Luzon (Bulacan)
 Visayas (Negros Oriental)
 Mindanao (Zamboanga del Norte)

Reach: 500 potential entrepreneurs

Knowledge and Competencies Project
(Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA

Gender and Health
 Why does Gender Matter?
Discussion points: The MDGs (Maternal Mortality, Gender Equality), the Magna Carta of Women and related Laws

Synopsis: This module operates on the premise that gender equity and health objectives are mutually reinforcing. Gender inequity is a major obstacle to reaching better family planning, maternal and reproductive health outcomes, and to preventing HiV/AiDs. When women or men are unable to make critical decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, there are high social and economic costs for them as individuals, and for their families, communities, and countries. To contextualize the discussion, specific policies such as the Magna Carta of Women, the MDGs and other related laws will be used as guiding documents.

Gender and Health collage
Men too!: Gender and Men’s Concerns
Synopsis: One of the biggest gaps in gender and development is understanding men’s concerns in the context of this agenda. More often than not, the focus of interventions is on women, in the process neglecting men and their own issues. The approach used in this module is to include men’s concerns in equal manner as women’s concerns. In this approach , the goal is to address men’s norms and behaviors by constructively engaging men in advancing gender equity, preventing violence, and promoting sexual and reproductive health for themselves and their partners, and how to effectively work within the MIMAROPA communities to promote responsible male behavior in the context of creating a healthy region.

Gender Analysis in Health

(GAD Budget for Health 101)

Gender analysis is the process of asking or investigating key questions at the beginning of a planning process that will help one: (1)identify gaps or differences between women and men, girls and boys (2)Understand why these gaps exist and persist; (3)Choose what actions to take to reduce the gap or address the issue; (4) Process of considering how women and men, girls and boys, and their social relations are affected by the way an organization operates, or a development program is being implemented. This module focuses on two analytical tools: the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework and the Harmonized Gender and Development guideliness in order to lay the groundwork to create effective and sustainable interventions in creating Gender Responsive health programs. Creating competencies in creating the GAD Plan and Budget will also be conducted.

Gender and Development Training (GAD) Core Competency Training and Results- Based Management (RBM) Training
for PAG-IBIG Employees (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao)

pagibig collage

  The Spark! Philippines in collaboration with the PAG-IBIG (HDMF) Management conducted Training on Gender and Development with GAD Summits in Metro Manila, Cebu, Pampanga, Davao and Tagaytay. In attendance were the key employees and heads of the GAD committees in the main branches.
  The GAD summit is designed to initiate discussion and provide a context for the Fund’s personnel to develop future planning that is gender-responsive. The GAD summit aims to introduce basic gender analysis and GAD planning to staff and to increase awareness. The tools that will be used will equip participants with the introductory knowledge to be able to mainstream gender and create gender- responsive programs, projects and activities.
  The training likewise aims to create and build competencies in gender as well as providing a gender perspective in governance especially in the conduct of services of the Fund such as housing loans, provident fund and savings among its members.
  The activity covers the following workshops:
1. Executive Session on Gender and Development Concepts 2. Gender Analysis Workshop
3. GAD Planning and Budgeting
4. Results-Based Management Training

PAG-IBIG Gender and Development 5-Year Plan. Various consultation meetings in Cebu and Manila-main offices with top management of the Home Development Mutual Fund to help them develop their GAD 5-Year Plan and Manual as a follow- through activity of the GAD Summit conducted last year and in preparation to the regional summits to be conducted on February and March 2014 respectively.

DILG – Cotabato City pioneers GAD Trainers Training, highlights JMC 2013 – 01

The Department of Interior and Local Government of Cotabato City in partnership with SPARK! Philippines conducted a Gender and Development (GAD) Trainer’s Training for Civil Society Organization leaders on January 29-31, 2014 held at the St. Joseph Retreat House, Cotabato City.

“The advocacy on mainstreaming GAD cannot be done alone by the government. We need leaders like the strong CSO network to help us carry out this initiative, after all, this is our own city” said Director Abdillah of DILG Cotabato City.

Twenty community development leaders from different areas from South Central Mindanao responded to the call and attended the training. The Gender and Development (GAD) approach aims to provide Philippine government agencies, partners and donors with a common set of analytical concepts and tools for integrating gender concerns into development programs and projects. The training includes Gender Sensitivity, Gender Analysis, and Gender Mainstreaming, Tools for Gender Mainstreaming andGAD Plan and Budget components. It aims to capacitate LGUs through its development partners in the community in creating their GAD Plan (Gender and Development Plan) to address gender issues and concerns in their respective sectors and constituents as mandated by RA 9710. The highlight of the said activity was the introduction of the recently-signed Joint Memorandum Circular 2013 – 01 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department and Budget and Management (DBM) and the Philippine Commission on Women on the Localization of the Magna Carta of Women.
As a result of the 3-day training, the 20 GAD trainers together with the city government commits to federate the civil society organizations and non-profit organizations to formally create an alliance that will significantly contribute to policy making and city planning particularly on mainstreaming GAD.
The participating NGO’s and CSO’s include: Noorus Salaam, LIPAD, Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI), SoLD Pax, Advocacy for Advancement and Development Mindanao, Advance Progress, Magbasa Kita Foundation Inc., Kapagawida Development Services Association, Inc. (KDSAI), and MTB- Mindanao Tulong Bakwet among others.

Goals for Peace Project
in partnership with Goals for Peace, International (Colombia)

Using the power of football, Goals for Peace is a sports and development project aimed at empowering young people to initiate change, promote pro-active reform and develop a culture of peace in their communities. It is also an information drive with the objective of creating awareness in pressing issues affecting the world today. Its motto “Pro-action, innovation and cooperation in creating cultures of peace”, suggests the importance of ground –breaking approaches to address critical issues in today’s globalized while emphasizing cooperation and engagement to bring about the change we want to see in our communities.
The Goals for Peace Project is a grassroots initiative in the areas of conflict transformation, community development and peace building, civil society engagement and South-South cooperation. This project, to the best of our knowledge and as expressed by both concerned Colombian and Philippine authorities, is the first cooperation between the two nations at the grassroots level.
The basic components of the program are two: (1) football training and (2) both capability building seminars and activity-based modules in the areas of leadership, teamwork, conflict transformation /peace building and a local issue. For each of the topics, activities that include theater, games, painting and other participatory activities are performed. At the end the end of every session feedback is conducted in order to guarantee an in-depth reflection and understanding by the participants on the daily life application of lesson learned during the activities.
The program initiates partnerships with community organizations and local leaders. Members of the community with proven experience in human rights issues, community development and advocacy are invited to conduct talks and to moderate some of the seminars. In addition, the project makes use of local talent and knowledge and encourages community members to become involved in the activities so that similar initiatives may consequently be replicated.
Partner: J. Amado Amado Araneta Foundation
Area Covered: Negros Oriental
Reach: 100 athletes


Women’s Political Empowerment

When Women Vote Forum: 77th anniversary of the Filipina vote

To celebrate this very important occasion, Spark Philippines sponsored an intimate forum, ‘When Women Vote: Politics, Governance and Development’ at Club 1851 in Makati. Victoria Garchitorena, former Ayala Foundation President, challenged those present to spark reforms in their barangays and to get involved in the political process themselves.Amina Rasul, President of the Philippine Center on Islam and Democracy, talked about the significance of creating a real women’s vote especially in the new Bangsamoro.

Spark trustee Maribel Ongpin encouraged everyone to become watchdogs of their communities, to proactivelypresent opinions using traditional and social media so as to foster good governance.

The very essence of democracy is the responsibility of electing the right people – matino at mahusay – to govern and lead our country. The kind of government that we will have is a consequence of this choice. Therefore, we should get involved.
We have 740 days left before the 2016 National and Local Elections. The COMELEC is set to implement a ‘no biometrics, no vote’process. 9 million out of the existing 52 million do not have biometrics. And there are 3 Million first time voters to be registered. We have 12 million voters to reach in less than 700 days. Half of the existing voting population are women but we have yet to see women voting for an issue affecting women and women coming together because of a common goal to participate fully in the affairs of the Philippines. The time is ripe for women to lean in and take a seat to fully invest in the future of this country.
Other Past Projects: Trainers Training on Psychosocial Trauma Healing and Community Reconciliation Program


Gender-responsive Results Based Management Training
for the Commission on Filipinos Overseas

The Magic Stick.
The Magic Stick.

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