The Virlanie Foundation celebrates 25 years of commitment to the street children of Manilla!
"Giving back the smile to street children": this is the mission that Dominique Lemay set himself when in 1992 he decided to create the Virlanie Foundation in Manilla, with the support of Pilipino social assistants.
Since then, over 17,000 children have found a home with the Foundation and were supported towards becoming fully independent: the ‘guests’ can arrive very young, and leave at their majority age, taking with them the apprenticeship of a trade, a job and a new place to live: a future to look forward to.
It has been almost 10 years since the AccorHotels teams in Manilla first started working alongside Virlanie, convinced of the need to help the street children in the Pilipino capital. The employees at the Sofitel Plaza Manila, Novotel Manila Araneta Center and Fairmont Makati regularly provide support at the sides of the Foundation, by responding to the needs expressed by Virlanie: collection of donations through charity marathons, participation in activities with the children, sharing of professional experience and competencies, internships in the hotels… allow Solidarity AccorHotels to provide support to the "Independent Living Program", aimed at developing the independence of the older youths.
On 10 August 2017, the Virlanie association asked the Novotel Manilla Araneta for its support to celebrate its 25th anniversary! "We wanted to make this anniversary into a special celebration, in honor of the sponsors, partners and volunteers that have supported us over the years." recalls Dominique.
Bernd Schneider, the general manager of the Novotel, describes the importance of the links established with Virlanie over the years “The successful partnership of the Virlanie Foundation and AccorHotels is anchored in its mission of providing bright and sustainable future for the Children. As AccorHotels grows in the Philippines, we commit to magnify our support to the Foundation, manifested in hosting its 25th anniversary celebration. The passion of our people to serve our Hotel Guests extends to serve these children. This is the spirit of our team.
We believe that if we continue to inspire our community through our cooperation, we will achieve our goal of providing a better world for future generations.”
On the evening's program…
Over the course of the evening, the 200 guests were able to discover the Foundation's "25 Smiles" photography exhibition, as well as some artistic performances from the children (choreography and choir of hope). The projection of an animation video retracing the 25 years of Virlanie closed the event. A very moving moment for all!
Dan, an ex-beneficiary who today works at the Novotel, gave a touching testimonial of his experience, from his childhood in the Virlanie homes to the day he gained his independence through work. An inspiring example of success and a message full of hope for the younger ones.
In remembering these past 25 years, Dominique confides that "he never lost hope in the face of the need to fight for the rights of these children."