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PEACE CORPS PORTFOLIO Larry J Galante Casa Miani-Arvedi, Home for Boys Dumaguete City, Philippines 2012-2014

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Larry J Galante Casa Miani-Arvedi, Home for Boys

Dumaguete City, Philippines 2012-2014

PCV Larry J Galante - Batch 271, CYF

Background of Site Placement

Larry J. Galante was assigned to Casa Miani-Arvedi (CMA), Home for Boys,

as a Youth Development Facilitator. Casa Miani is a residential facility that

provides assistance to orphans, street children, and boys that have been

abandoned/neglected, or come from extremely poor families. Casa Miani-

Arvedi, located in Barangay Talay, Dumaguete City, is a faith-based, non-

governmental organization run by the Somascan Fathers. It is one of five

Somascan orphanages in the Philippines, and just one of many worldwide.

There are currently 22 boys living at Casa Miani, ranging from ages 6 to 16.

Casa Miani provides educational assistance, a caring-family environment,

character formation, skills development, and support for employability.

Larry’s primary responsibilities at Casa Miani were to organize activities to

empower youth by developing the boys’ skills, enhancing self-esteem, and

building confidence. He initiated programs for theater arts and life skills,

taught English and piano during summers, utilized networking skills to

coordinate special workshops with NGOs, and assisted with organizational

development projects to enhance the center’s overall operations.

The boys and staff of Casa Miani-Arvedi

PCV’s Activities & Accomplishments

Provided daily academic tutorials to assist the boys in school

assignments, focusing on subjects of English, Mathematics, & Science.

Co-facilitated life skills activities tailored to different age groups.

Co-facilitated a Life Skills Training of Trainers (TOT) to 13 high school

boys to initiate the Peer Facilitated Life Skills program.

Adapted a Career Guidance Manual and game to assist graduating high

school students of Negros Oriental in planning their future.

Taught English and Piano during the 2013 & 2014 Summer Programs.

Initiated the annual Casa Olympics sports tournament.

Co-facilitated two résumé writing workshops for the college and

graduating high school boys.

Coordinated special workshops with partner NGOs, including

Sustainable Masculinity, First Aid & CPR, and Theater Arts.

Initiated and carried out the project, “Theater Arts for Youth

Empowerment” resulting in the production of an original musical play.

Activities at Casa Miani-Arvedi

Left: PCV Larry Galante gives piano lessons during the 2014 CMA Summer Program

Right: Men Against Violence-Amlan (MAVA) facilitates a workshop on “Sustainable

Masculinity” for the Casa Miani boys

PCV Larry Galante co-facilitates a life skills activity with his counterpart, focusing

on teamwork, communication, and problem solving.

Activities at Casa Miani-Arvedi


28 youth participated in 24 Life Skills activities enhancing social,

cognitive, and emotional skills.

11 youth leaders conducted 12 Peer Facilitated Life Skills activities

focusing on self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, conflict

resolution, and assertiveness.

4 youth participated in Career Guidance sessions, 2 enrolled in college

courses of their choosing and 2 enrolled in TESDA vocational courses.

2 youth applied for the Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine

Development (PCAFPD) Scholarship and both were awarded full

scholarships for college tuition and fees.

7 youth participated in résumé writing workshops, and 3 applied for and

gained summer employment through the Philippine Employment Service

Organization (PESO).

28 youth participated in the Theater Arts for Youth Empowerment

project, creating an original musical play that gathered an audience of

over 300 community members for the final performance.

A Casa Miani boy demonstrating the output of a Peer Facilitated Life Skills

session on self-awareness.

All twenty-eight boys, ages 6 to 21, were involved in the Theater Arts for Youth

Empowerment Project held at Casa Miani-Arvedi.

Organizational Development PCV Larry Galante worked side-by-side with his counterpart, the CMA social

worker, to enhance the delivery of social services and improve operations

of the center, including:

Comprehensive revision and updating of Casa Miani-Arvedi’s Manual of

Operations and Child Protection Policy.

Revision of Casa Miani-Arvedi’s VMG (Vision, Mission, Goal) and

creation of the staff organizational chart.

Content updates for the CMA website.

Preparation of documents, organization of files, and updating of case

studies for compliance with the Philippines’ Department of Social

Welfare, Standards Bureau for Accreditation.

Co-facilitation of Life Skills activities, Career Guidance sessions, and

Employability workshops.

For these organizational development projects, the entire staff often

worked together to collaborate & create cohesive materials for the center.

Project Proposals

Larry was successful in writing and submitting several project proposals for

grant funding, as well as soliciting private donations:

United States Embassy Club: 27,500 php

Silliman University - American Studies Resource Center: 5,000 php

Private donors: 15,000 php

In-kind donations: Sports equipment, shoes, clothes, school supplies

In-kind donations solicited by PCV Larry Galante: school supplies and shoes to

support the educational needs of the boys of Casa Miani.

Project Spotlight: Theater Arts Larry partnered with Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA) to organize

several theater arts workshops at Casa Miani. These workshops resulted in the

production of an original musical play, entitled BANGON. The production was

intended to enhance the boys’ creative skills, express emotions in a therapeutic

manner, and improve self-esteem. Most importantly, it was the boys’ renewed

belief in themselves that proved to be the most valuable benefit of the project.

As a whole, the community at Casa Miani-Arvedi benefitted from this project

through a sense of unity and improved cooperation among the boys. During the

intensive process of creating the play, the boys learned the importance of


communication and teamwork. In order to

produce a successful performance, the

boys needed to listen to each other and

their artistic mentors. No amount of life

skills activities could have produced the

same invaluable lessons of respect that

the boys learned through their

participation in theater arts.

The cast of BANGON dancing and singing one of three original songs composed

for the theater production.

Project Spotlight: Theater Arts

Cover designs by PCV Larry Galante for the official DVD of the final

performance of BANGON.

Project Spotlight: Theater Arts

Project Spotlight: Career Guidance In order to provide Casa Miani’s graduating high school students with the

necessary information to plan their futures, Larry created several resources

for Career Guidance. The first item was adapted from the work of Matthew

P. Schmidgall (PCV Batch 270) who had created a “Career Action Guide” to

help Filipino students choose a course and plan their future. With

Matthew’s permission, Larry adapted the guide to help students residing in

Negros Oriental, Central Visayas. The guide includes college tips, a

directory listing all post-secondary institutions in the province, available

scholarships, and detailed information on 65 different courses.

To go along with the Career Action Guide, Larry also re-created the “Course

Finder Game.” This was an interactive way for students to self-assess their

skills and interests in order to determine potential college courses to study.

Individualized career guidance sessions were co-facilitated by Larry and his

counterpart to help the 4 graduating high school students determine

potential courses to pursue in a four-year college or short course with

TESDA. Ultimately, the boys were able to learn more about their careers of

choice and make informed decisions for their future.

The interactive Course Finder Game, with its bounded companion, the Career Action Guide,

adapted by PCV Larry Galante to help students better plan their future course and career.

Project Spotlight: Career Guidance

Secondary Project In coordination with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), Larry organized a

volunteer trip to build homes with Habitat Philippines in Metro Manila. He

recruited 12 volunteers from the United States to volunteer in the Philippines for

one week. They were required to fundraise a certain amount, but many went

above and beyond, ultimately leading the team to raise one million pesos (more

than $23,000 USD) for Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

Coordinating with his counterpart at Habitat Philippines, Larry arranged all the

trip logistics for the volunteers (i.e. transportation, hotel, meals, educational &

cultural activities, etc.). The build site was located in Payatas, Quezon City in a

community called Bistekville 1. The families that were being assisted by Habitat

Philippines were survivors of floods in Manila and had recently lost their homes.

Five days were dedicated to volunteering on the build site, assisting in the

construction of affordable housing units. Larry’s team worked hand-in-hand with

Filipino volunteers, partner families, and skilled workers to construct three units

of housing. Larry’s team accomplished the following: the hauling of +2,000

hollow blocks, 5 cubic meters of sand, and the complete brick-laying and

plastering of three homes. The project reinforced a sense of volunteerism, and

allowed Americans to witness poverty and development first hand.

Top: Larry together with his Habitat volunteer team and local children

Bottom: Before & after shots of the site, showing the 3 units built by the team


Larry can be contacted at [email protected]