Physical and sexual abuse on the streets are growing causes of trauma among young girls in Metro Manila. For the young victims, it is difficult to cope with the harsh experiences of their past. They feel a loss of innocence and dignity and they carry forward a heavy burden of shame. The trauma can have a devastating impact on their lives.
Tahanan Sta. Luisa empowers street girls with experiences of abuse by giving them a safe place to heal and grow. We offer them a home where they feel loved and cared for. Here, the girls begin to learn to trust, to believe in themselves, and to dream. Our watchful care sees to their physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. By opening opportunities, we help the girls overcome their painful past and rebuild their lives toward a more hopeful future.
Tahanan started out as the Rosa Virginia Social Reintegration Center which was co-founded on April 6, 1997 by religious sisters from the Religious of Good Shepherd (RGS) and the Daughters of Charity (DC). This was a drop-in shelter in Caloocan City for street girls who had been physically and sexually abused and exploited while living in the districts of the archdiocese of Manila. The center was later renamed Tahanan Sta. Luisa in honor of the patron saint of social workers, St. Louise de Marillac.
In September 1999, the management of the center was assumed by Teresita L. Silva —a founding member and a leading social worker in the Philippines. Teresita Silva is also the founder of Childhope Asia Philippines, a non-profit organization which also takes care of street children through the street education program. Childhope has been coordinating with Tahanan to refer street girls in need of special care.
Our place is a newly-built home in the hills of Antipolo amid quiet natural surroundings. Here the girls enjoy spacious grounds and opportunities for gardening and outdoor activities.
Over the past 20 years, Tahanan has assisted more than 600 street girls through services and opportunities for self-growth, learning, and empowerment.
MISSION & VISION
Tahanan Sta. Luisa’s mission is to respond to specific needs of street girls who have been physically or sexually abused. We empower girls through education, psychosocial therapy, and life-skills training so they can live normally and productively in the future.
Our vision is to help create and maintain an environment where Filipino street children who have been physically and sexually abused will be restored to health in body, mind, and spirit. We aim to enhance their feelings of self-worth and dignity as children of God and enable them to reintegrate into normal community life.