In December 2015, Holt’s long-time partner in the Philippines, KBF, celebrated 40 years of service to orphaned and vulnerable children!
Holt actually helped to establish KBF – the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, or Working Together Foundation, in Manila — in 1975. With Holt providing funding and technical assistance, a local team of professionals developed and staffed KBF. Though not a child care center, KBF became a resource for the many orphanages around the country. The staff worked to improve care conditions while also encouraging institutions to move children into permanent families.
In the 1980s, KBF broadened its outreach, establishing a medical sponsorship program, a day care center and a program to house street children. Through a family rehabilitation and outreach program, KBF also helped numerous other agencies increase their services to children. In 1984, KBF introduced a model foster care program to provide attentive, loving care for children awaiting adoption. After a temporary stay in foster care, many children reunited with their birth families or joined local or international adoptive families.
Through the years, KBF has grown to become a recognized leader in child welfare services, targeting homeless and at-risk children from birth to 18 years of age, as well as an independent organization whose partnerships now include several European adoption providers. Holt continues to be KBF’s only U.S.-based partner.
KBF continually strives to keep families together. Support services for families include parent effectiveness training, day care, supplemental feeding for malnourished children, as well as financial and employment assistance, micro-financing and follow-up services to ensure their ongoing stability. KBF also continues to provide support to childcare agencies as well as independent living and educational assistance for children who age out of these care centers. To prevent child abandonment, every year KBF counsels dozens of families and pregnant single women, who also receive housing, prenatal care and post-delivery services. Microloans to start businesses further reinforce single mothers’ capacity to support themselves and their children.
One of KBF’s most significant achievements is promoting the rights of children deprived of a family environment through lobbying and advocacy efforts, which contributed to the enactment of the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines subsequently recognized KBF with the Best NGO Award in 2002.
We feel proud of the lasting impact KBF has had in the lives of so many vulnerable children and families in the Philippines, and feel honored to continue working together toward a world where every child has a secure and loving home. Congratulations to our dear and esteemed partner, KBF!