Monday, April 20, 2009

Free concert for the benefit of street children

A free concert for the benefit of street children will be held on April 26, 7:00 PM at the University of the Philippines Diliman Film Center. This musical celebration is organized by the non-stock, non-profit, Christian organization Onesimo Foundation.

Swiss Filipino artist Ernie Opiasa will be joined by Armina Riethm├╝ller, the Windsong Band, and the children of Onesimo Foundation in the concert “Reaching Out.”

Onesimo operates ten shelters (therapeutic communities) and drop-in centers in Metro Manila slum areas: at Quezon City’s Payatas, Frisco, Philcoa (2), Mendez, and F.Carlos; Malabon’s Letre and Manila’s Tondo and Quiapo (2). Onesimo has been registered since 1996 as a non-profit organization. It benefits from tax exemption and is licensed as a social institute by the Department of Social Welfare (DSWD).

Onesimo was founded by the couple Christian and Christine Schneider who came as missionaries from Servants Switzerland. The Schneiders speak Filipino as fluently as any native speaker. They lived in the slums for nine years and encountered street children who are suffering from poverty, physical abuse, and substance abuse. According to the couple, the children “have practically no chance to live with dignity, purpose and social respect. But … they have a claim on such a life. In order for them to experience the Christian faith, Onesimo seeks to encourage their self-confidence and initiative without alienating them from their surroundings.” It is for this reason that Onesimo remains in slum communities.

Why the name Onesimo? According to the Schneiders, Onesimus is the name of a young slave who became a friend of Paul. Onesimo Foundation wants children to be delivered from the kind of slavery that exists in slum areas. The couple have since returned to Switzerland with their own children and turned over the management of Onesimo in Manila to Filipinos. From Basel, the couple coordinates volunteer work in Europe with the leadership team in Manila, and they oversee the communication between investors and contacts in Manila, such as the managing committee, the supervisor, and sponsored children.

Onesimo Foundation
#33 T.Sora Ave.,Brgy. Tandang Sora,
Quezon City. Philippine 1104
Phone/Fax: 927 67 19 or 453 77 27
S.E.C.Reg. No. A1996-01786
DSWDLicense No. 2002-NCR-CW-001