Improving the lives of women and girls in local communities and througout the world.
NEWS & EVENTS
SIA Women's Opportunity Award
Mispah Evangelio - First Filipina Winner
The Women's Opportunity Awards program is the
major program of SIA which receives a strong support from SIPR.
Through this program, Soroptimist clubs in the Philippines assist
women who provide the primary source of financial support for their
families by giving them the resources they need to improve their
education, skills, and employment prospects. Recipients, many of
whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic
violence, and drug and alcohol abuse, may use the awards to offset
any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education,
such as books, childcare and transportation.
The first candidate from the Philippines to have received one of the
three finalist Women’s Opportunity Awards is Mispah Evangelio, a nominee
of SI KALIBO. A standing ovation was accorded to her as she received
the Certificate and cash award of US$10,000 during the SIA Convention
held at the Taiwan International Convention Center on July 17, 2008.
Mispah belongs to the poor Ati Tribe from the mountainous region
of Kalibo, Aklan. Her tribe’s tradition disallowed girls from going
to school but she defied this tradition when she found a teacher
who supported her financially from elementary to high school. Mispah
suffered discrimination but withstood the pains inflicted on her
by classmates who sometimes called her “monkey” because of her dark
skin and kinky hair. No one wanted to sit beside her in class or
even in jeepneys. Supported by a nun, Mispah enrolled in B.A. Elementary
Education not only to uplift the lives of her family but also that
of the children in her community.
After a semester, due to her parent's illness, Mispah was forced to
stop her schooling. She fell in love with a man who bore her a son
who eventually left her. She thought she had lost the opportunity
to go back to school when she heard about the Soroptimist Women’s
Opportunity Awards. She applied to and was chosen by SI Kalibo and
soon became the Western Visayas District’s first place winner. She
became an overnight celebrity in her tribal community when she appeared
in the trimedia in the whole province. She also bagged the Region
first place award and then, one of the three SIA finalist awards.
Mispah started teaching children in her Ati community with SI
Kalibo providing the children's learning needs. Congratulations
to Mispah and SI Kalibo! Mispah LIVED HER DREAM - and HER DREAM
BECAME A REALITY