Art against extreme poverty

Published December 4, 2021, 11:06 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Leon Gallery’s Kingly Treasures, featuring the works of the likes of Betsy Westerndorp, Gus Albor, Jose Joya, Norberto Carating, and Juvenal Sansó, to benefit the ultra-poor 

Trusted auction house Leon Gallery is inviting interested parties to participate in an important segment of its The Kingly Treasures Auction today, Dec. 4, 2021, at 2 p.m., for a generous cause. Fifteen lots are up for bids to raise funds for the International Care Ministries’ humanitarian work for the “poorest of the poor” in the Visayas and Mindanao. 

“December is always a special month, not least of all because it is a time for sharing,” says Leon Gallery director Jaime L. Ponce de Leon. “We urge you to join in the bidding.”

To support the charitable endeavors of International Care Ministries (ICM) for the impoverished, Leon Gallery will be donating the entirety of the proceeds from the 15 artworks lined up for auction. The selection includes works by Betsy Westendorp, Kenneth Montegrande, Augusto Albor, Carlo Magno, Jose Joya, Norberto Carating, Phyllis Zaballero, Manuel Baldemor, Remy Boquiren, Carmen Brias, Denise Weldon, and Juvenal Sansó. 

ICM is a non-profit organization operating in the provinces of Visayas and Mindanao, catering to 12 regional bases with nearly 20 million people. Of these, 2.2 million live in ultra-poverty, or those living on less than $0.50 per day. It is to these people that the ICM dedicates its philanthropic efforts.

The average income of the ultra-poor families in the Philippines is just $0.28, or a miserly 14 pesos per person per day. Of these families, 29 percent have no access to electricity, 43 percent are afflicted with poor health, and 15 percent of mothers have had one of their children die of hunger and sickness. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened their situation. Of Filipinos the ICM serves, 72 percent say that they are earning less now than before the pandemic struck. 

“Even before the virus hit, their lives were unimaginable,” says David Sutherland, chairman of the ICM. 

Beyond data and statistics, the ICM has always been concerned with transforming the lives of its beneficiaries. For the past three decades since its establishment, the ICM has extended its welfare-oriented care to over a million people in the ultra-poor communities it administers. 

The average income of the ultra-poor families in the Philippines is just $0.28, or a miserly 14 pesos per person per day. Of these families, 29 percent have no access to electricity, 43 percent are afflicted with poor health, and 15 percent of mothers have had one of their children die of hunger and sickness.

Through its holistic four-month weekly program called “Transform,” the ICM aims to equip the ultra-poor with the training and skills to help them alleviate their lives from poverty. The program comprises four essential areas: Values, Livelihood and Savings, Health and Medical Interventions, and Education.

According to the ICM, “Transform” has already increased its participants’ incomes by 107 percent after only four months of training. It has also reduced illnesses by 36 percent and has seen a 25 percent decrease in depression and other life improvements.

To see the works for auction, visit eon-gallery.com/auctions/The-Kingly-Treasures-Auction-2021. caremin.com

 
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