500 wheelchairs awarded to beneficiaries from Laguna for the celebration of International Day of PWDs 2022

Five-hundred (500) wheelchairs rolled out in Laguna in line with International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022. The qualified beneficiaries from Sta. Rosa City, Laguna were also given pangkabuhayan packages during the event.

MOA signing with Alagang SOL founder, Sol Aragones, AKAY Ambassadors, COng. Dan Fernandez and Representatives from Sta. Rosa City LGU

In the program held at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex, PWD-founded non-profit Alagang AKAY in partnership with the Sol Aragones Foundation, awarded a total of 500 wheelchairs and a certificate of pangkabuhayan package to the PWD residents of the city. The event was in line with the global commemoration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which was set by the United Nations General Assembly 30 years ago in 1992 to be held on the 3rd of December of each year.

The initiative was launched in partnership with Sol Aragones Foundation chaired by former news reporter and media personality Sol Aragones who also became Laguna 3rd District Representative for three terms ( 9 years).

According to Aragones: "Napakahalaga ng araw na ito para sa mga PWD at kanilang mga pamilya na bahagi ng Alagang AKAY community. Nais namin ng AKAY Foundation na tuparin ang pangarap ng mga PWD na magkaroon ng wheelchair at saklay sa abot ng aming makakaya."

"Gusto din namn sila bigyan ng inspirasyon na piliin na maging masaya kaysa malungkot. May pag-asang naghihintay sa PWD - aakayin namin sila," she added.

Alagang AKAY Ambassadors : Quality of Life, Dignity, Passion for Service

Seated in front of the stage were the 500 PWD beneficiaries of all ages and gender with their families

The celebration was led by AKAY Ambassadors Dwight Bayona a leg amputee and multi-sport athlete who wears a mechanical leg and "Chef with No Hands" Maricel Apatan.

"Alagang AKAY is PWD-led and founded on a mission to uplift the quality of life and uphold the dignity of PWDs through a holistic approach that includes, direct care, education, livelihood, employment as well as opportunities for community service," said Bayona whose leg was crushed in an accident when he was 24 years old. The accident happened when he himself stopped to aid an earlier crash victim.

Chef with No Hands Maricel Apatan meanwhile demonstrated cooking skills via an AVP shown at the program. According to Apatan, "Nagtapos po ako ng HRM at nagpatuloy sa Culinary Arts. Sinundan ko lang po ang aking puso."

"Ang letrang A po sa AKAY ay para sa Aral o Education. Kung susundan po natin ang ating puso o passion sa anumang bagay, kailangan pong aralin natin ang larangang iyon. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagkakataon na makapag-aral at sundan ang puso ko."

Alagang SOL founder, Sol Aragones was welcomed by her kababayan from Sta. Rosa City with a warm hug

During the entire program, Sol Aragones was very emotional for being able to serve again her fellow Lagunense even if she is no longer in the "position." The beneficiaries and their families were also thankful and teary-eyed for the early Christmas gift they received from the "people with golden hearts."

There were also pangkabuhayan package prizes that were raffled off to participants. Each of the almost 5000 participants in the event went home with a grocery bag, too which contains rice and other basic goods.

Also present in the event was Congressman Dan Fernandez, the first representative of the newly established lone district of Santa Rosa and a good friend of Sol.

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