News Release

Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Gives Recognition to LDS Charities

President Benigno S. Aquino, III delivered the keynote address at the celebration of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan’s (TWH) fortieth anniversary celebration. Benson Misalucha, Area Welfare Services Manager, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, accepted a Certificate of Appreciation for LDS Charities (LDSC). LDSC has partnered with TWH and other NGOs in helping to provide wheelchairs for many in need all over the Philippines.

Tahanang Walang Hagdanan means 'house with no stairs'. TWH is a non-profit and non-government organization that aims to uplift the lives of orthopedically handicapped persons. It was founded by Sister Valeriana Baerts, a Belgian nun who was assigned as a volunteer nurse in the Philippines. The 40th anniversary program was held at their training center in Cainta Rizal.

The theme for this celebration was “Sparkling 40 Years of our Commitment in Enabling Persons with Disability”.  Rondalla On Wheels, a group that has been performing with string instruments for thirty years, entertained the waiting assembly. Children from Brgy. San Juan Elementary School SPED Center, who are part of the Special Education Program, performed the National Anthem and Invocation through music and sign language.  Their sweet young faces set the tone for the celebration.

A slide show was presented to give tribute to Sr. Valeriana. Another tribute was given in memory of Engr. Felix M. Gonzalez who served as president of TWH for 20 years. Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman then presented the certificates to several partners and donors, including LDS Charities. Elder Misalucha of LDSC responded, “Generally where people help themselves, where they have to work, they use their gifts of agency and promptings. Then miracles happen.” Jocelyn C. Garcia, COO and Manuel V. Agcaoilli, President and CEO of TWH, also participated in the awards. During the morning program, the E (Electric)-Wheelchair was launched, the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Pres. Aquino arrived in the afternoon during the second half of the program. He was first treated to a tour of the TWH facility and then entered the training center hall as the attendees greeted him enthusiastically with applause.  He witnessed the presentation of plaques of recognition given to several Persons With Disability (PWD) Achievers. He then spoke warmly of the achievements of TWH and also to those who had received awards.

Even as the rained poured down during this great event, everyone felt the warmth and light of service glowing from Tahanang Walang Hagdanan as they and their partners celebrated forty years of Christian caring and giving.

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