Virlanie celebrates 25 years
Since 1992, Virlanie Foundation, Inc. has been reaching out to street children in the Philippines, rescuing them from difficult situations, and helping them build better future as strong and independent adults.
Virlanie’s success, of course, would not have been possible without the passion and hard work of its founder and President Dominique Lemay and his staff and partners.
“I had come to the Philippines some 30 years ago to help establish this foundation. Then until now—even if the journey has been difficult—I have never regretted or felt tired fighting for the rights of these children. They are all wonderful, talented individuals who have been dealt unique challenges, but each and everyone of them has been able to bravely rise up from their circumstances,” says Lemay.
While they had kept their 5th, 10th and even 20th anniversaries low-key, Virlanie has decided to celebrate their 25th with a bang. “We are proud and grateful to have been given such support these past 25 years,” he says. “And so we wanted to give back and show our gratitude to our sponsors, volunteers and corporate partners who have supported us throughout the decades.”
In a fitting tribute event held at Novotel Manila, its exclusive hotel partner, Virlanie treated its partners to a night of revelry. The event brought on the stage former beneficiaries who shared their touching testimonies, partners who told their own stories of charity, as well as the foundation’s own talented youth groups. The guests also feasted on 25 Smiles photo exhibit showcasing the faces of the 25 years of Virlanie, and the milestone video displaying the history of Virlanie.
The Rising Youth, Virlanie’s youth organization, performed their original speech choir piece, “Kamalayan.” And later that evening, in a special set, The Virlanie Voices—comprised of children from different Virlanie homes and outreach communities—serenaded the audiences with wonderful renditions of OPM favorites. The Virlanie Voices have been recognized in the Philippines and even in Europe. In the past years, they have travelled to France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland to perform and advocate for children.
Laurent Goirand, vice president, ended the program with a challenge—encouraging everyone to take a more active role in empowering and protecting children for a brighter future.