(English version, French version at the bottom)
From a silent whisper to a distinct call from Somewhere, I responded without hesitation and worked with enthusiasm and eagerness.
In 2000, I started the groundwork. The International Friends Educational Foundation (IFEF) was born on a fertile soil of the Philippines. Fertile? Because the pleas for help (for education) of the poor children who are living below poverty level was and still is immense
IFEF is a project conceived the aim of which is two-fold: to help indigent children in their desire to go to school and finish their studies; and, to offer an opportunity or venue for those generous people who want to give back but just do not know how due to time constraints and other reasons.
Francois HEMERY, an earnest co-founder and the great supporter of the International Friends Educational Foundation (IFEF), a man of generous spirit passed away last December 28, 2011.
Even with that cruel cancer of the brain (multiform glioblastoma) that he had, it could not dampen the strong and courageous spirit of him. For eleven months, he fought with admirable bravery and faith to have a dignified life amidst the devastating challenges.
In 26 November 2011, Francois celebrated his last birthday at the age of 60 in the hospital surrounded by his wife, three children, and newly born grand-daughter; brother and sister; in-laws and other extended family. Continue reading
Founder/President Sylvia Hemery, who is also a pioneer sponsor, attended the high school graduation of the nine IFEF students from Macario Assistio High School in Caloocan City in March 2005. Two outstanding students from this group, Robelyn Abano graduated as Valedictorian and Judea Marie Policarpio as First Honorable Mention. Other graduates are: L to R –Marlon Marco, Marvin Acedera, Mark Arevalo; Mary Grace Moreno, Carmelita Vasaya, Merry Angel Busa, Judea Policarpio, Robelyn Abano, and Jenny Balisi. Eight out of these nine students were accepted to University Sponsorship Program by the IFEF the following school year. This is the second batch to graduate in high school under the IFEF High School Sponsorship Program.
Judea Marie Policarpio had topped the Philippines Medical Technologly Board Examination in 2009 together with another examinee out of 799 who took this State Examination. During her visit in November 2009, Founder/President Sylvia Hemery congratulated Judea at the Annual Get-Together with University Students. She is quoted saying: “This just proves that IFEF scholars are no ordinary scholars but the best scholars!” Banners and billboards displaying Judea’s achievements were seen in the schools were she studied in high school and university, in the news, and news websites.
After the formal and official interviews, meetings and house visits conducted by the Founder/President each year before the schools close, as now an IFEF tradition, Sylvia Hemery invites all university students and their parents to a social gathering at Luneta Park in Manila. The day is spent doing activities, bonding, and sharing personal experiences in schools and in life in general. This event aims to enhance the students’ motivation to pursue their goals and dreams and to encourage parents to remain steadfast in guiding their children.