SISBA Program

SISBA - Sanggar Integrasi Seni dan Budaya Asia
(Center for Integrated Asian Arts and Culture)

In 2005, after 21 years of being away from my country of birth, the Philippines, my cousin, Maiet Biliran (the Executive Director of SISBA) and I were elated at the idea of teaching our children to give back to the community. Just the idea of making a difference and making a commitment was a true discovery!

SISBA was founded on the basic principle of privileged kids setting aside some of their allowance for kids who have NOTHING at all.

The idea is to provide children the gift of caring by putting aside 25-30 cents a day of their allowance or income in order to help a child from the poor communities in the Philippines. One child sponsors an underprivileged child – a commitment from Pre-K to college.

$100 a year seems not a big deal to most privileged kids, but to children who live with NOTHING at all, $100 is like winning the lottery. The SISBA kids go to public school. The scholarship money will help in the cost of transportation and school supplies. Most of the children from these communities don’t even bother going to a public school (even though it’s free) because they don’t have money for the bus or “tricycle”. Most of the parents from these communities would rather have the children work than go to school.

At least twice a year, the sponsors have to communicate or motivate the child and his/her mother to stay in school. Every year, the scholar has to submit his or her report card. We initially had a cut-off grade of 80 percent grade point average, but after seeing how these children live and struggle to stay in school, a passing grade is worth like getting an A+ !

In 2005, we started with 5 scholars. This year (2010), we would like to expand to another circle of 5 children.

As of today, August 2010, I have 2 additional sponsors. If you’re interested, please email me at .

Click on the link to read about my blog posts about our SISBA scholars.

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