Forth & Tay Wine Auction Help Raise Funds for Virlanie's Toddler Home
The abandonment of babies in hospitals, streets and even in trash heaps is a common occurrence in the Philippines. Experts say that over 900 babies were abandoned in the country in 2010 alone, and that extreme poverty is the most common reason why parents abandon infants.
Virlanie Foundation initially intervened on behalf of abandoned infants through its Mother and Child home, opened in 1996 as a temporary shelter for young unwed mothers aged 14 - 24 years old on their first pregnancies or with their first babies. However, circumstances dictated that a specialized home be opened exclusively for toddlers. Filled to capacity, the Mother and Child Home was unable to provide adequate care for the mothers and infants. In addition, it was realized that mixing mothers and babies with toddlers who did not have mothers is detrimental to the self-esteem and proper development of the toddlers.
On March 23 this year, Virlanie opened its special facility for toddlers. The Toddler Home is located close to Virlanie's main office in Makati City and is its thirteenth dwelling for abandoned children. It currently caters to 12 toddlers, six of whom require special care. Toddler Home cares for these children with the end aim of reunifying them with relatives or having them adopted or moved to foster care.
The annual operating budget of the Toddler Home project is Php 3.13 million. Virlanie Foundation is working hard to find funds to continue its operations, vital to infants in dire need," said its founder, Dominique Lemay. "We welcome this cheque from Forth & Tay as it will go a long way."
"It is a privilege to donate part of the proceeds of the first wines and spirits auction to the Virlanie Foundation, an institution which over the past 18 years has worked to prevent future physical and psychological abuse of children living in the streets," said James DuVivier, President of Forth & Tay. "As a representative of a beverage alcohol company, we take social welfare issues at heart, and go beyond profit, getting moreinvolved in the local community and focusing on wider responsibilities."
Forth & Tay is the leading direct merchant of fine wines and spirits in the Philippines, with a portfolio of over 300 brands from 9 countries in 5 continents, and more than 20 grape varieties to suit the most discerning palate. The country's first wines and spirits auction was conducted on March 24 and was a rousing success with an 84% clearance rate sold to a packed audience of oenophiles and budding enthusiasts.