She set out to help Young Focus to reach out and provide education to the slums of Smokey Mountain, one of Metro Manila’s most impoverished communities, and through her passion, determination, hardwork, the task is near completion…
Miss World 3rd runner up Catriona Gray has almost come full circle since her winning Miss World Philippines. From the onset, she sought out to help Young Focus in their mission to reach out and provide free and accessible education in Smokey Mountain. Since then they were able to purchase a three story building that they have transformed and renovated into a Childcare and Preschool Center. Check out the work that has been done to change the building into a youth and study center…
The crown represented a journey. One that began in my room as I was praying. This was after my first trip to Tondo, Manila and I was asking God, “God why does there continue to be so much suffering in this world?” And God spoke to me in my own voice saying “That is why I created you (my children).”
This revelation struck me so deep in my core that I knew I had set foot a new path. The crown represented a journey that grew from being an independent endeavor to one that became more than me. A journey that rallied the support and love of my countrymen. A journey that forced me to look into myself and discover what I was made of. A journey that found its heart in the children in one of the poorest slums of my country. Yes, the crown represented a journey…until I realized that the journey could continue and exist without it. – Catriona Gray
This is what true Beauty with a Purpose looks like. Catriona has used her celebrity and beauty queen status to raise funds from corporate sponsorships, benefit concerts and auctions, private fundraisers, etc… Now with her Miss World Philippines reign almost nearing completion, we can proudly say that this beauty has completed her Purpose.
With Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray entering the top 24 of the Beauty with A Purpose project fasttrack, Sashes&Scripts thought it would be a great time to feature her Paraiso: Bright Beginnings project.
Below is a statement of Catriona about her BWAP project:
After realizing that the existing establishments could not compensate the number of students, I in partnership with Young Focus set a goal to raise funds for the procurement and renovation of a 3-story building that would serve as a Preschool for children aged 3-5 yrs. This would allow the number of preschool aged students to grow from 80 to 300. Securing this building will allow the young children to have access to a free learning environment – a chance and opportunity that every child is entitled too. I believe that awakening a child’s love of learning as early as possible will pave the way for an enjoyable education and school experience that will best prepare them for the future.
What can you do to help?
– Spread Awareness. Share the video link below to inform your friends and family and inspire them to take action. Together we can better the lives of the children of Smokey Mountain.
– Donate. Any amount helps and will go towards Paraiso BBProject. Weekly updates will be posted (here) showing the renovation and progress of the Preschool Building. For donations in the Philippines please use this bank information and make it payable to:
Young Focus for Education & Development Bank: BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands)
Branch: Navotas Account no.: 4651-0036-58
BIC/SWIFT code: BOPIPHMM
– Hold your own Fundraiser. Create a bake sale, host a raffle in your workplace – there are so many different ways to raise funds. Get creative!
– Volunteer. Young Focus is always looking for individuals to donate their time to help out with the programs and children. A helping hand is always welcome. Information about volunteering: http://www.youngfocus.org/
Photos courtesy of JR Noses for Sash Factor, cat-elle.com and Dennis Natividad (for his Smokey Mountain pics)
Being a teacher is one of the world’s most noble professions… it is no wonder why the admiration for this Miss World Philippines hopeful is very high.
Vinie Camille Dyquiangco has spent almost 2 years as a volunteer educator in Cagayan de Oro as a missionary. She was assigned in about 5 different rural areas in Mindanao during the duration of her stay. She discovered her advocacy through her missionary work which is on education which focuses on teaching young children in the community to read and write. This endeavor also inspired her to take a post graduate course on Development Communication in the University of the Philippines Open University to further her understanding on education in terms of scope and depth.
Her Beauty with a Purpose project is title “Ang Pagsulat at Pagbasa ay Pag-asa” and was launched at the East Wood Central Plaza last August 24th. Here is what she had to say more about her advocacy:
“Based in Mindanao for 18 months, I had the opportunity to share the Good News with several communities and render service, particularly teaching of basic reading and writing to children. It was during those times that I developed my advocacy for learning and literacy. In our current society where education now appears to be more of a privilege than a right, I believe literacy will open minds of children to seek education. Literacy, I think, is the first spark that would lead to changing children’s lives and eventually become empowered individuals.
When my missionary work ended early this year, I signed up as a volunteer for the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation, one of the largest surgical charity organizations in the Philippines. It provides life-changing medical treatment to the poor suffering from clubfoot, cleft lip/palate, cataracts, crossed eyes, burn contractures, and artificial legs for below the knee amputees.”