Last November 2012, the SLU Sunflower Children’s Center and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) conducted an Art Therapy Workshop for social workers, guidance counselors, psychologists, and daycare workers at the DSWD Training Hall. The workshop aimed to equip the participants with skills that they may use in processing experiences of distressed children and families through various media in the arts. We find this very important especially in times of calamities, natural or man-made, as we can work together in providing psychosocial support to affected communities through Art Therapy.


Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development

In cooperation with the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD), ambassadors from Australia were augmented to the Center’s endeavor for children’s welfare. Ambassadors assist in the conceptualization and implementation of a project that will help child-caring institutions in providing better care for abused and/or abandoned children. Specifically, AYAD volunteers and the staff come up with training modules for house parents of several institutions. The projects agreed upon are sustained and revised as needed even after the stint of the AYAD volunteer as we shall include it as part of the Center’s annual activity program.


Bigkis ng Pag-asa Alay sa Bata

In 2006, SLU Sunflower Children’s Center in partnership with the SLU Center for Culture and the Arts (SLU CCA) and the SLU Laboratory Elementary School (SLU LES) conceptualized a Children’s Concert aptly titled “Bigkis ng Pag-asa Alay sa Bata”. With the children of Kanlungan sa ER-MA Ministry as the main performers, the concert highlighted their musical, dancing and acting talents as a testimony of their changed lives. That is, how they were able to go beyond their experience of abuse, neglect, or abandonment and become the children that they were at that time: children with their own dreams and aspirations, children who had talents to share, children who are still capable of play and socialization. Aside from reaching the goal of raising funds to help Kanlungan sa ER-MA Ministry with their programs and services, the concert was an avenue by which children’s rights were advocated. It was an affirmation of Sunflower’s commitment to promote overall children’s wellness.


Psychosocial Interventions for Children Affected by a Disaster (Typhoon Pepeng and Ondoy)

The Center conducted a project on the Psychosocial Interventions for those children and families who were directly and indirectly affected by Typhoon Pepeng here in the Cordillera Region (Ambuklao, Buyagan, Luneta, Itogon, Wangal, Puguis, Tadian, Tublay, and Mankayan). A group of Volunteer Psychologists has convened to respond to the psychosocial needs of the children and teenagers who were directly or indirectly affected by Typhoon Pepeng. The ones directly affected include those who lost family members, their properties, or those who got hurt in the midst of the calamity. Indirect survivors are those who witnessed death or injury of relatives, neighbors, peers, and the complete devastation of their communities. The Center closely coordinated with several agencies, such as the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) at the Baguio General Hospital (BGH), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Heads of Schools to identify areas that are ready for psychosocial processing. In each community where we went to, held group processing/debriefing and also individual play therapy and counseling.



The final phase of the Psychosocial Interventions for Children (PIC) for schools and/or communities was the Resiliency Camp which was in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – Manila. This was situated at the Shimumura Park inside Benguet State University (BSU) with two parachute tents for shelter during the facilitation.



In March 2011, the SLU Sunflower Children’s Center, in partnership with Child and Family Service Philippines, Inc. (CFSPI), conducted a forum with the theme “Boys Are Abused, Too!” at the SLU Center for Culture and the Arts (SLU CCA). The main objective of the project was to create greater awareness in the community about the plight of boys who are abused and exploited. The participants were parents, teachers, helping professionals (e.g., guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers), school administrators, representatives from the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children or BCPC’s, representatives from the police department, and other community stakeholders such as internet shop owners.


Regional CPE Seminar Workshop

Having been accredited by the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) as one of eight Continuing Professional Education (CPE) providers in the country, Sunflower Children’s Center co-sponsored a Regional CPE Seminar-Workshop last May 2012 with the theme “The Psychologist as Catalyst of Child and Family Wellness.” Target participants were psychologists, psychiatrists, guidance counselors, social workers, allied mental health professionals, school administration, teachers, parents, medical specialists (e.g., pediatricians, family physicians, etc.). The topics to be covered during the plenary session and concurrent workshops are very much in line with the kind of cases that we manage in the Center, thus, the event will also serve as one way of advocating our programs and services related to child and family wellness. The workshop centered on the topics: Is your child a human tornado? A Current Perspective of ADHD; Through the Eyes of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Opening Pandora’s Box: Long-term Impact of Child Sexual Abuse (Case Presentation and Analysis); and Depression in Children and Teens: How does it happen? (Case Presentation and Analysis).


Nourishing Young Minds Voices Autism Support Group

SLU Sunflower Children’s Center in CSAooperation with the SLU College of Education SpEd Club made an agreement with volunteer tutors of the SLU College of Education SpEd Club. This advocacy for Children with Autism was in line with the SLU SpEd Club’s Educators Nourishing Young Minds project. The service given to the children of parents who are members of Sunflower’s Voices (A Support Group for Parents of Children with Autism), provided help to parents who have children presenting several social deficiencies, specifically language problems. The group’s main aim is be in contact with other parents who are in the same situation and to have a chance to discuss on some ways to help children with autism and their family deal with these issues.


Parents’ Congress 2010

In coordination with the Center Child and Family Service Philippines (CFSPI) and A Child’s Dream Foundation with the theme “Keeping First What Matters Most: Parenting Your Infant & Toddler with TLC – Touch, Love and Communication”, the project aimed to raise greater awareness on how significant the roles of parents are in the first six years of a child’s development. Together with parents, the forum was also open to guardians/caregivers and professionals working with children. Further, we invited senior students from the Schools of Nursing and Teacher Education and from the Departments of Psychology and Social Work to observe the forum proceedings and hopefully gain significant insights about child care and development. This was in close coordination with the respective Deans and Department Heads.


Parents’ Congress 2011

In September 2011, the Child and Family Service Philippines and the SLU Sunflower Children’s Center conducted another Parents’ Congress with the theme: “Keeping First What Matters Most”. That year’s congress was CPE accredited by the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), and covered topics on Raising Big Hearted Little Kids, Let’s Talk P-L-A-Y!, and Parenting is Nation Building as the keynote address that will be delivered by the ever-popular clinical psychologist, Dr. Ma. Lourdes A. Carandang. The afternoon offered concurrent workshops for the participants: Art Therapy - Helping Children Cope with Daily Stresses, Bonding With Fathers, and De-stress Techniques for Parents.


Parents’ Congress 2012

The Child and Family Service Philippines, Inc. (CFSPI) and SLU Sunflower Children’s Center conducted another Parents’ Congress last October 2012 at the Prince Bernhard Hall, SLU Burgos Gym. This was the third time that we organized such event, especially at the time when children and parents are faced with challenges that rock the very foundation of a fundamental unit of society – the family. Still bannering the theme “Keeping First What Matters Most”, the plenary sessions during the Congress included such topics as Raising Creative and Big Hearted Little Kids, discussed by Ms. Bambi Manosa; My Family: the Roots of My Being by Ms. Athena Garcia; Take time to Talk About Bullying by Dr. Ryan C. Guinaran, MD; and Pros and Cons of the Cyber Age, and Tips for Parents vs Cyber Bullying by Mr. Sonnie Santos.


Play Program

Since 2004, the Center has been collaborating with the Residential and Study Center for Children (RSCC) through our volunteer program in coordination with the Psychology Department of Saint Louis University. Fourth year Psychology students under the supervision of the Center rendered voluntary services to RSCC on a weekly two-hour schedule where they interact with the babies in the infants’ room and with the toddlers in the activity room.



Beginning 2008, the Center established a more structured manner of interaction with the babies by coming up with a Play Program patterned after activities conducted in other child-caring institutions. The program entailed establishing a base-line data regarding the children’s developmental progress and then doing a re-evaluation after the program has been implemented. The implementation itself is coordinated with the senior Psychology student volunteers and supervised by our Center. Upon final evaluation and the program is deemed to have a positive impact on the development of the babies in RSCC, the same program is introduced to our volunteers in the annually so that the project will be sustained and properly monitored. Through this program, the staff of RSCC is given feedback regarding the children’s developmental progress so that the appropriate intervention can be provided.



Spinning off from the Developmental Camps and inspired by its outcome, Summer Art Camp came to be. The Art Camp kept the spirit of fun and at the same time allowed the children to be creative and resourceful. It was also a welcome respite from the pressures of schooling and the stressful life in a shelter where time is usually very structured. Furthermore, it was a chance for the children to explore their potentials, discover and enhance their talents using Art as the medium of expression of their ideas, thoughts and skills. The project took place in the scenic Bukal-ng-Tipan, Taytay, Rizal. While the children enjoyed the freedom of space, they also learned to be vigilant as they had to co-exist with the natural environment.