Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

It has been a great year for the Isa Mundo Foundation.  We forged new partnerships this year both with businesses and other not for profit organizations.  Most notably, we collaborated with Big Mountain Youth Society to bring school supplies to Indonesia and partnered with St. George's Academy to bring laptops and educational tools to Peru to establish our first Isa Mundo Education Centre in the country. 

We are looking forward to 2014 and potential projects that we will be developing. We will return to Mexico in February to visit the Volcanes Primary School and see the new Pasitos de Luz facility being constructed in Puerto Vallarta.  We also have a potential site visit in Guatemala to see first hand the Project Somos Children's Village.  We hope to complete this trip by summer 2014.

We all need to take time to reflect on a successful 2013. All the hard work resulted in projects that continue to improve the lives of children, students, families and communities we work with.  We could not have completed all our projects this year without the continued support of our funders and volunteers. Our work will only progress when we all work together. 

We are wishing everyone a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year and we look forward to a successful 2014!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Generosity of Canadians

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Typhoon Haiyan Relief Campaign. Our fundraising ended on December 8, 2013 and we raised over $1500 between November 18 to December 7.  We have chosen to give our funds to the Red Cross and continue the solid partnership we have established. This amount will be matched by the Government of Canada dollar for dollar as part of Canada's commitment to the relief efforts in the Philippines.

In addition, Isa Mundo provided another option other than a monetary donation.  We collected boxes of non-perishable food items, blankets and medicine to be sent to the Philippines in partnership with a local shipping company.  We also suggested for other supporters to donate directly to the Red Cross  under the Typhoon Haiyan Fund, if this is their preferred approach.

Given the Foundation's on-going focus on education, children and youth and environmental health projects, it is not typical for our organization to fund raise for disaster relief efforts.  But we do respond when our supporters, funders and friends choose to donate only through the Isa Mundo Foundation and request that we start a campaign. It really shows the trust that people has bestowed on our organization and the immense generosity and care displayed by Canadians.

As someone who was born and raised in the Philippines, I followed this event very closely as I have family and friends affected directly or indirectly by this disaster.  I have to say, that the outpouring of sympathy and support globally reminded me of what we can accomplish together. From governments, not for profits, businesses, communities, families and individuals -it shows we can put our differences aside and work for the common good. I will never forget the horrifying images of the disaster but I will also remember the remarkable story of the spirit of humanity.

I recently read an article published in the Philippines that summarized it best:

".... there are few events in the world that make humanity come together so selflessly. Typhoon Haiyan was one of them. We, Filipinos, will never forget this"

Salamat po

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Campaign

In response to the devastating typhoon that occurred on November 8, 2013 in the Philippines, Isa Mundo Foundation has launched its Typhoon Haiyan Relief Campaign.

We have chosen to partner with the Canadian Red Cross due to the organization's global reach and its ability to mobilize effectively to provide humanitarian relief in places affected by natural disasters.

In addition, the Canadian Government is matching all funds donated dollar-for-dollar until December 8, 2013 for the relief effort.  We are encouraging all our members, supporters and funders to consider giving to this cause.

To donate through Isa Mundo Foundation, visit our website at and click on the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Campaign banner for more information.

Thank you, Salamat po.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, struck the Philippines on the morning of November 8, 2013.  The typhoon carried wind with gusts of up to 200mph (320km/h).

Eight days after the typhoon made landfall, more than 3,600 people have been confirmed dead with the number expected to rise each day.

According to UNICEF, assessments show an estimated 11.5 million people in need of support in 36 provinces. Some 544,600 people continue to be displaced, with about 70 per cent in 1,215 evacuation centres and the rest in host communities or makeshift shelters such as schools.

Although a huge international aid effort is under way, widespread infrastructure damage is hampering efforts to distribute it to some areas.  Health experts have warned that the worst-affected areas are entering a peak danger period for the spread of infectious diseases.

The Isa Mundo Foundation will be launching the Tyhoon Haiyan Relief Campaign to send funds and much needed aid to the Philippines. We will look to partner with an international aid agency in the coming days and begin our fundraising effort.

We hope all our Isa Mundo members and friends will support the rebuilding of communities most affected by this natural disaster.

*** Photo courtesy of Red Cross ***

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Project Somos

Isa Mundo Foundation was able to meet with Denis Knox, one of the Board of Directors for Project Somos.  Isa Mundo's Director and Founder, Paul Lorilla, learned about the work of Project Somos through the St. George's Academy group who also sent volunteers to Guatemala to support construction of various infrastructure and facilities.

Project Somos is currently working to establish a village for abandoned and orphaned children in Guatemala near the town of Tecpan.  The Village will have seven family homes with Guatemalan Foster Mothers raising a household of children.  The goal is to create an eco-sustainable environment that will use alternative power, have organic agriculture and orchards. They also hope to establish Social Enterprises to provide long-term financial sustainability to support the village.

Paul learned that Project Somos' vision to improve access to education aligns well with Isa Mundo Foundation's support of providing basic primary education for all. Denis invited Paul and the Isa Mundo team to visit Project Somos in the future to see first hand the work being completed in Guatemala. We hope to travel and complete a project site visit with Project Somos in 2014.

To learn more about Project Somos and its team, visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CASA Connor

We wanted to update everyone about a new facility being constructed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in partnership with Pasitos de Luz.

Pasitos de Luz (PDL) is a non-profit organization providing services to children with disabilities and their low income families. Isa Mundo Foundation visited PDL back in 2009 and we partnered with Meryln Power to install solar panels in 2010 to help reduce the cost of electricity and allow children to benefit from a heated pool and therapeutic bath.

PDL currently serves about 140 children but can only support a small number on any given day due to the size of their current building.  CASA Connor is partnering with PDL to build a new facility that will serve the increasing demand in the area.  The new site will be 15,000 square foot and began construction in 2011.

www.casaconnor.orgCASA Connor was established by the Caring Abroad Society of Alberta, and by family and friends of Connor Vanderveen. Connor is a young man who passed away in October 2011 from Hunters Syndrome—a genetic degenerative disease with a terminal diagnosis.  To honor the life of Connor, his family and friends decided to assist PDL to construct a larger facility and provide much needed services to children with disabilities in the Puerto Vallarta area.

To learn more about CASA Connor visit their website at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

International Year of Water

The year 2013 has been designated as the International Year of Water Cooperation.  The initiative is being coordinated by UNESCO and recognizes that cooperation is essential to strike and to use water as an instrument of peace. Water is a shared resource and its management needs to take into account a wide variety of conflicting interests. This provides opportunities for cooperation among users."Promoting water cooperation implies an interdisciplinary approach bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions."

One of things we often take for granted in Canada and in those in other developed countries, is our continuous access to clean and safe water sources. According to Environment Canada, our country is home to roughly 7% of the globe's renewable freshwater, making it the third-largest water supply in the world.

Globally, 783 million people, or 11 per cent of the global population, remain without access to an improved source of drinking water.  United Nations report that "these sources include household connections, public standpipes, boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs and rainwater collections."

Isa Mundo Foundation is supportive of the approach of the Water Project as we also believe that:
  • Lack of clean water has serious effects on student's academic performance and attendance rates.
  • The sickness caused by dirty water saps people's energy to do much of anything and poor health leads to poor producetivity
  • Access to water leads to food security.
  • Without clean water, the possibility of breaking out of the cycle of poverty is incredibly slim.
To learn more about the importance of access to clean water, visit the Water Project at

Monday, August 5, 2013

World Indigenous Peoples Week

Cultural Survival and First Peoples Worldwide are dedicating this week to FPIC – Free, Prior and Informed Consent.  This initiative is a lead up to International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, celebrated annually on August 9th.

FPIC dictates that corporations, governments, and NGOS must include Indigenous Peoples in the planning and implementation of all development projects on traditional land, and obtain their consent before beginning a project, including respecting their right to say no to such projects.

Isa Mundo Foundation support open discussions and creating a forum where Indigenous peoples will have opportunities for their voices to be heard and contribute to drafting policies that impact their day to day lives both in the present and future.

For the past 40 years, Cultural Survival has worked with Indigenous Peoples globally to protect their languages, cultures and traditional territories.  To learn more about the organization's work, visit the the Cultural Survival website.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bon Voyage to Big Mountain Youth Society

The Big Mountain Youth Society (BMYS) is one of Isa Mundo Foundation's newest partners in 2013. A group of students and teachers will be travelling to Ara, Indonesia, a small village on the island of Sulawesi to help a local community develop a media and technology centre for school children.  BMYS's students have been fundraising for computers and other materials to help make the project a reality.

The BMYS is a not for profit youth organization founded by the Directors of Little Mountain Learning Academy. Their purpose is to give back to the global community through social action.  The BMYS describes their goal as having: 

"students learn about social justice, the anti-oppression framework, and how to become globally and critically aware leaders of their generation. The program aims to give students the chance to learn beyond the confines of classroom curriculum and walls"

Isa Mundo Foundation donated various school supplies to this project to lend our support and to establish a partnership that we hope would carry over to future projects led by BMYS.

To follow the BMYS group, click on their Big Mountain Youth Society Blog. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

St. George's School Peru Project

Isa Mundo Foundation has partnered with St. George's School in Vancouver, BC in order to complete the IMEC project in Peru.  A group of Grade 10 and 11 students from St. George’s School are participating in an international service trip to Peru to build greenhouses in the village of Miski Uno.  The group is working in partnership with Peru's Challenge, the same organization we are partnering with to build the first IMEC in Peru.  The School has also built similar greenhouses in Pumamarca where the IMEC is being constructed.

The St. George's School group offered to take our netbooks, projector, banner and other school supplies to Peru and deliver them to Peru's Challenge.  This will save us shipping costs and ensure that all supplies arrive safely at the school.  We hope to work with the group in the future and find ways to support their initiatives. We value the approach of the School's vision and also feel that their " initiative to support this community is a rare opportunity for St. George’s students to expand their global perspective while providing an entire village with the means to lead more sustainable lives"

To learn more about their project in Peru, visit the St. George's School Peru Service Tour Blog

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Mother's Determination

"There's nothing more wonderful that seeing your child get better"

We spend hours each week reading articles and publications in journals, magazines, blogs and newspapers. We also watch videos, posts, lectures and documentaries relating to development, poverty, education, health and environment.  These are the tools we need to arm ourselves with knowledge and to be aware of current activities and news worldwide. It also allows us to learn of new initiatives, potential partnerships and to be inspired by organizations completing great projects.

Today, we read a story in the UNICEF website about a family in the village of Banda that reminded us of our own vision and work.  The short article highlighted the importance of having strong local community members being supported by an outside organization such as UNICEF.

As the story concluded "These brave mothers needed our help and thanks to the support of donors like you, we were able to provide it. Together, our support has meant that children like Adoun can walk again, smile back at their mothers, and – when they are older – help build the resilience of their country".

To read this short story, visit 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Peru IMEC Update

As an update, we recently purchased Asus Netbooks, HP projector, education software and other school supplies this week to complete the stage of bringing all technology tools needed to complete the IMEC in Peru.

The supplies and netbooks will be transported to Peru in June by a group of students from Vancouver who will be spending time with the Peru's Challenge organization and their staff - who are our local partner in Peru.

I would like to thank all past and present volunteers who provided their time on this project since 2011. A big thank you also to our funders and supporters as we could not have done this without you. And a big 'Thanks' to Staples UBC Store for their continued support and committment to our projects.

We will keep you updated when the IMEC is officially open for students to attend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Isa Mundo and Big Mountain Youth Society

Isa Mundo Foundation has committed to support the Big Mountain Youth Society by donating school supplies for their trip to Ara, Indonesia. The Society is part of Little Mountain Learning Academy and will be travelling to Indonesia with their students to complete education and development projects in August 2013.

We look forward to hearing about their trip and experience and we hope to continue this partnership in the future. 

To learn more about Little Mountain Learning Academy, visit their website at:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Filipino-Canadian in Focus: Paul Lorilla

We would like to share the article printed in the Philippine Canadian Inquirer highlighting Isa Mundo Foundation Founder and Director, Paul Lorilla.

The Philippine Canadian Inquirer (PCI) is the first nationwide weekly Filipino newspaper in Canada and remains the largest and only Filipino-Canadian newspaper distributed nationally. PCI caters to the growing communication needs of the growing Filipino community in Canada.

Paul's article is part of the continuing Filipino-Canadian in Focus series which highlights Filipino-Canadians who have contributed to make a difference in their communities both local and international. The article tells of Paul's story of immigrating to Canada, his academic and career accomplishments and the launch of the Isa Mundo Foundation. It is a profile outlining his vision and goals personally and profesionally and what Isa Mundo aims to accomplish in the future.

To read the article, click on the PCI Filipino-Canadian in Focus link.

Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

According to the United Nations Women (UNW), the 2013 theme for International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March, is: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”

The UNW website states that:"The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. IWD is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities."
Today, a worldwide celebration of events will occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the achievements of women. Many groups around the world choose different themes each year relevant to global and local gender issues.

 Isa Mundo Foundation celebrates International Women’s Day annually and we continue to support projects that allow women to take a leadership role in community projects and initiatives. We acknowledge the contributions of women as leaders, educators and   innovators to improve the lives of those less fortunate in their communities.

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Project Site Visit of 2013

Isa Mundo Foundation will make its first project site visit in February 2013.  We will be visiting the Volcanes Primary School near Puerto Vallarta to assess the Isa Mundo Education Centre and see other potential projects we can support in the school and community.

In addition, the Chair of our Children and Youth Projects, will be meeting with local teachers in the area and staff of the Volcanes School to discuss our proposed Life Skills Program that we hope can be implemented in all our schools and child centred facilities in the future.

We look forward to seeing the school and  our partners in the region and we hope to have the first site visit of 2013 a productive one.  We will keep you all updated.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Investing in Children's Health

It has been written and documented by various international bodies and organizations that investing in children is one of the most produtive and relevant investments we can make.   According to UNICEF:

"Investing financial resources to help children survive and develop to their full potential is, first and foremost, a moral imperative. But investing in children is also important on practical grounds. It yields positive benefits to economies and societies. Since the foundation of an individual’s health and well-being is laid in early childhood, the most opportune time to break the cycle of poverty, or prevent it from beginning, is during that time. Programmes that invest in early childhood development could generate considerable cost savings for government. Investments in children are increasingly seen as one of best and most valuable long-term investments we can make".

Isa Mundo Foundation supports the research and work of UNICEF in their efforts to provide better health to the world's most vulnerable children.  We will continue to develop and maintain our projects that invest in children living in less fortunate communities. When provided a safe and learning environment and resources to reach their full potential, we believe that children will grow up to contribute to their community's social and economic health.  As Marian Wright Edelmen said "if we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much".

To learn more about UNICEF's focus on Investing in Children's Health, visit