D espite scarcity of resources and amid challenging conditions, ten women strived to engage in laudable projects that improved the lives of other women and girls in their communities. These ordinary women were given recognition for their remarkable achievements during the Unsung Women Heroes Awards 2012 held 19 April 2012.
A yearly event spearheaded by Soroptimist International of the Philippines Region (SIPR), Unsung Women Heroes Awards recognizes women who made it their life’s work to uplift the well-being of other women and girls in the communities without fanfare but with great fervor.
1.Vivian Mausisa Bañados called the “barangay mother” is available 24/7 to everyone in need. Despite having seven children of her own to support, she found time to enhance her capacities by attending seminars and joining the Ladies Brigade. She has evolved into an effective health worker and trusted community organizer.
2 Sulficia Delgado was abandoned by her husband. With strong determination and faith in God, she rose up to the challenge and was able to support her five children. Equipped with the knowledge and skills she learned from the community organizing training that she attended she founded an organization of 80 abandoned women whose mission is to improve their lives and to empower them.
3.Nerissa Aloot Gonzales got out of prostitution and set up the organization that educates women survivors of prostitution and helps them find other sources of livelihood. Determined and unafraid, she became the brave face of women survivors of prostitution that helped push for the passage of the anti-prostitution bill in Congress.
4. Emma Leynes Atendido, a farmer’s wife and sari-sari store owner in Cabanatuan City, assists sick neighbors and helps them get hospitalization and welfare aid.
5.A woman from an indigenous tribe in Bontoc, Mountain Province, Mary Jane Fag-Ayan Lisking exemplifies the best volunteer worker in the Philippines. Her interest is focused on health services; primary eye care, children’s health and childhood diseases, the blind and the deaf-mute and serious citizens suffering from various health problems.
6.Eleanor de Lara Nicolas was born with myopic degeneration or the gradual loss of eyesight. She went completely blind in 2006 but despite her condition, works as massage therapist and is the sole breadwinner of the family. On top of that, she still finds time to teach catechism to children in the nearby school.
7.Others find teaching children with disabilities an impossible task, but Wilhelmina Nuestro took up the challenge. Others may embrace the job for fabulous fee, but Wilhelmina works only as volunteer. She finds satisfaction when the children respond to her teachings.
8. Angelina M. Reyes was voted president of the National Council of Women in Plaridel. She spearheaded a livelihood program that helped many women become financially independent.
9. Juliet Versoza devoted the past twenty-one years of her life helping a community in San Jose, Navotas City. By organizing a group of mothers, Juliet helped them learn reading and writing. Another organization she spearheaded is the Samahan ng Mahihirap ng Bagong Silang that raised funds and helped improve their barangay road and provided the street lights.
10. Blecenda Miranda-Varona chose to leave her lucrative job in US to share her expertise as a nutritionist and dietician to her countrymen. She gives free seminars, lectures and workshops on nutrition and healthy living. She has written books and educational materials on healthy living and continues her work for free so that her countrymen will attain healthy mind, body and soul.
Paying tribute to many selfless volunteers, working at the grassroots level and the disadvantaged sector, SIPR Unsung Women Heroes Awards hope to inspire other women to pursue similar paths of leadership, commitment and creativity to make this world a better place