Congrats “I CAN” on its 2nd year of making a difference PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 09:28

Congratulations to multi-awardee Zamboanga City based and a non-profit civic group, “I Can Make A Difference,” on its second year anniversary of making a difference in the lives of people and communities. In a short span, I Can has received national and local recognition for helping children, women, indigenous people and other marginalized members of a community, especially in the field of health, education, and environment. To address these social problems, I Can gets support from people, social institutions, and social entities that share its passions.

I Can started in Poblacion Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur when a group of local students from WMSU and ADZU donated improvised solar water heater container made from recycled aluminum soda cans to disinfect water. It was a simple, non-costly, sustainable means of disinfecting water recommended by WHO (World health Organization) that really worked in this impoverished barrio. It inspired the group that they want to do more, hence, they formed the “I Can Make A Difference”.

With support from their parents, families, friends, local government officials, good hearted-individuals and organizations, they were able to register I Can as a non-government organization and moved on. From there, they raised funds and built a lying-in center made of PET bottles as walls and named it I Can Halfway House.

In partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, I Can built 44 bankas (small boats) to help ferry children cross a big lake, Lakewood, to go to school. They were also able to donate a Floating Ambulance too, a pumpboat to bring patients across the lake to the Rural Health Unit (RHU) .

Now, I Can is involved in developing the Passion Wearthy Project that will convert non-recyclable plastic bags into a durable material that can be converted into school bags and for other uses. I Can is supporting pediatric cancer patients of Zamboanga  Medical Center thru UpLift with the help of BY-GEMS Party Kingdom.

I Can is now developing an educational program tailored for indigenous and marginalized children. It plans to rehabilitate a day care center and convert it into a multimedia learning center for this purpose, at the same time, train local facilitators who will over-look the program and who will serve as the teachers of the children.

I Can is spearheaded by Dr. John Michael F. Dellariarte as Executive Director with Meryl Grace Agudelo as the Operations Manager. The Board Members are Ronal Cszar Fabian Villano, Grachelle Andrea Bello Guevara, Don Johnson Santos. Zah Ditti, Ma. Lucsan Dellariarte, and Mark Anthony Lagnason. I Can received a national award from TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organization) from the National Youth Commission and a local recognition from Zamboanga City Government.

The 39th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program recently conducted various training programs for Lakewood and a Yellow Boat Dragon Race Festival with boats it donated in coordination with I Can.