Kaisahang Buhay Foundation Inc. (KBF) came into being in 1975 as a branch of Holt International Children’s Services, Inc.
Holt International was founded in 1955 by Harry and Bertha Holt in Eugene, Oregon, USA as a child welfare organization whose mission is Christian-inspired service – reaching out to different countries where children need help. Harry Holt institutionalized Holt’s vision: “Every child deserves a permanent loving family of his/her own.”
In 1976, Holt International Children’s Services Philippines was renamed Family and Child Services of the Philippines.
KBF’s identity – In 1977, the name Kaisahang Buhay Foundation was adopted to give the organization a Filipino identity. KBF became operational as an associate agency of Holt in the Philippines on December 10, 1977.
In 1979, the Foundation was licensed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as a social welfare agency.
Founders – The members of the original Board of Trustees were Ms. Juana S. Silverio (Chairperson), Judge Leonor-Ines Luciano, Prof. Josefina D. Pineda, Ms. Teresita L. Silva and Mr. Emmet K. Turner. Mr. Turner also served as the first Executive Director.
Executive Directors – In 1977, Mr. Emmet Turner returned to Holt’s General Headquarters in Oregon, and Ms. Ester Gajo took over the Executive Director position. In 1988, Mrs. Gloria Gonzalez Lim assumed the position of Executive Director which she held until May 1999, when she was succeeded by the current Executive Director, Mrs. Rosario B. dela Rosa who served as Executive Director from 1999 to 2016.
Program Directors – Mrs. Minnie Dacanay served as KBF’s Program Director from 1976 to 1986, when she was recruited by Holt USA to serve as Program Director for the Philippines and later for Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
Mrs. Gloria Gonzalez Lim served concurrently as KBF’s Program Director during her term as Executive Director from 1988 to 1999.
KBF Offices – Originally located in a rented office in the Cardinal Bldg., Pedro Gil St., Malate, Manila, KBF transferred to its present headquarters on 10th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City on February 11, 1984. This building is fully owned by the Foundation, and underwent a major renovation in July to October 2015.
History of KBF’s Services
[For full details of each service, please visit Our Services section]
In 1979, the Foundation was licensed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as a social welfare agency. On December 12, 1983, it was accredited as a Child Placing Agency—making KBF the first non-government organization in the Philippines to be licensed to implement Domestic Adoption. In 1990, KBF spearheaded the formation of the Adoptive Parents Support Group (APSG) among families who had adopted children through the Foundation. Later called the Adoptive Families Foundation (AFF). The group became increasingly active in conducting talks on adoption-related issues, hosting social events for adoptive families, and even participating in the formulation of the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.
In 1984, third to DSWD and CRIBS, KBF started its Foster Care Service. This was inspired by KBF’s belief that foster care—with its individualized care in a family environment—is far more beneficial for a child than institutional care.
Also beginning in 1984 to the present, KBF has served as the conduit for Holt International Children’s Services, Inc. Sponsorship Program in the Philippines. The Foundation coordinates with government and non-government child caring agencies which are beneficiaries of monthly grants from Holt to help improve the quality of service to children in their care.
KBF’s Service for Single Mothers began in 1987 with the opening of “Bahay ni Maria,” a home for single mothers, which was housed in a rented residence on Montreal St., Cubao, Quezon City. In 1991, the home transferred to its permanent address owned by the Foundation in Project 4, Quezon City, and was renamed Nazareth Home. A Birthing Program at Nazareth Home was set up in 2006 by Jo Ann de Larrazabal (volunteer childbirth educator) and Bernadette Nolasco (mid-wife) to provide the pregnant mothers with an option to birth their babies in a caring, safe and nurturing home environment. In the seven years (2006-2013) it was operational, 130 babies were safely delivered in the Home. Using the Upright and Active method, the home birth experience empowered mothers and gave babies the best start in life.
KBF’s Day Care Service also began in 1987 with a center housed in its Cubao office. In 1995, KBF transferred its Day Care Center to Barangay Escopa 3, Project 4, Quezon City with funding assistance from Les Amis des Enfants du Monde (AEM) of France and Wereldkinderen of the Netherlands. Since then, KBF has opened additional Day Care Centers in Barangay Escopa 2 (1998) under the sponsorship of Holt International Children’s Services; in Barangay Milagrosa (1999) under Wereldkinderen, eventually taken over by the barangay council; a second center in Barangay Escopa 3 (2000), in Barangay Escopa 1 (2002) with initial funding from Rotary Club Murphy, later taken on by AEM; in Barangay Duyan-Duyan in Project 3, Quezon City (2006), sponsored by Wereldkinderen; and in Barangay Industrial Valley Complex, Marikina City (2007).
From 1988 to 1996, KBF operated two cottages in the Boys Town Complex in Marikina City, giving support to 40 boys for their board and lodging and sending them to school.
This experience led to the establishment of KBF’s Independent Living and Educational Assistance (ILEA) service in 2000. The ILEA seeks to address the special situation of youths in institutions who have no prospects of being adopted, and therefore need to be prepared for independent living as adults.
In 1999, KBF initiated the Family and Community Outreach Service in five barangays in Quezon City, namely, Escopa 1, 2, 3, 4 and Milagrosa. This service organizes seminars on effective parenting and values education, skills training, and income generating projects for parents of KBF’s day care children and other disadvantaged parents in these areas.