1:01 am | Saturday, May 25th, 2013
REDWOOD CITY, California—Art classes attended by children of the employees of The Filipino Channel are producing works that will help raise funds for the rehabilitation of neglected or abused children in the Philippines.
The art program, Kids heART Bantay Bata, is hosted by the ABS CBN Foundation International in partnership with Filipino-American artist Paolo Mejia, whose work and advocacy supports emerging artists and designers to raise awareness and support for the foundation’s flagship program, Bantay Bata (Child Watch Philippines).
The foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of ABS-CBN International and The Filipino Channel (TFC). “Our philanthropy starts at our home, at TFC,” says Jo Ann Kyle, managing director for the foundation.
“The children are deeply engaged and understand that they paint for a purpose. Knowing that kids as young as four years old create art with the less fortunate in mind gives a more layered and solemn beauty to their raw talent,” Kyle adds.
Art for charity
The classes create original art that will be reproduced on cards and made available with minimum donations to the charity. Proceeds will support the multi-awarded initiative that rescues and rehabilitates impoverished, abused, and neglected children in the Philippines.
Notecard reproductions will be available at the Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI) parade in New York on June 2, 2013 and online at www.abscbnoundation.org beginning July 2013.
“Charity is more than monetary–it is a service to help those in need and a way to improve life,” says philanthropic artist Paolo Mejia. “The art class taught at the ABS-CBN International studio is just one way to share and empower the creativity in children, and to make their craft more meaningful.”
Inspired by rescue
The program is inspired by Bantay Bata’s first rescue in 1997, Jessie, a then six-year old boy found under a kitchen sink, pale and severely malnourished that his arms were no thicker than ladles.
The lives of thousands of children like Jessie who suffered from abuse were changed with rescue, immediate medical attention, and recovery at the Children’s Village where love, care, and healing proved a potent formula for rehabilitation.
Now 21, Jessie’s gift of artistry with remarkable perspective and proportion have brought him solo art exhibits and global support for awareness on children’s rights.
Having grown up around ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest broadcasting network, Jessie’s art has consistently focused on towers, OB vans, and the station’s ringed logo, with a focus on the cube: a healing homage to the box from which he was rescued.
Sixteen years after its first rescue, Bantay Bata has helped countless children “lead lives of promise, guided with compassion, safety, and respect for their humanity,” says Kyle. “Through the report of abuse, many victims have been freed from the crutches of fear.”
To learn more about ABS CBN Foundation International and opportunities to support its programs, visit www.abscbnfoundation.org.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer’s Reader’s Advocate. Or write The Readers’ Advocate: