Kaugmaon Center for Children’s Concerns Foundation, Inc. is a child rights organization that commits to facilitate and provide better means and opportunities for marginalized children and young people, and recognizes their role in social transformation. The term “kaugmaon”, which is a Visayan word for “future”, is a text that succinctly conveys the organization’s aim of building a future for these children despite their difficult circumstances by promoting their rights in a platform of empowerment, skills enhancement and policy advocacy.
Founded in 1984 by a group of advocates that included Maryknoll missionaries and social worker and community leaders, Kaugmaon solidly started with an early childhood care and development program that targeted children in worker-communities. For several years, parents saw their young children acquired the capacity to learn literacy and develop socialization skills through creative plays. Through this program, Kaugmaon made its mark as an internationally-supported organization dedicated to inculcate appreciation for learning among poor communities and enabled child care support for daily-wage earners.
Later, Kaugmaon’s ECCD program evolved to accommodate older children engaged in hazardous forms of labor in ports and public markets. The evolution commenced Kaugmaon’s gear-shift, anchoring itself in the child labor issue and learning the ropes on how to effectively respond to the sector’s specific needs. From early education to adolescent reproductive health projects, the organization has since centered its interventions on child rights and the interests of child laborers through building a constituency that will put forward strong policy advocacy in the communities.
For almost three decades now, Kaugmaon has seen challenging times in the name of child rights advancement. With sharp changes in the development arena in terms of aid priorities, confronting these changes dictates constantly re-setting its sails, yet at the same time, remaining steadfast in its commitment to push for children’s rights agenda in its partner communities. Organizational evolution is a painstakingly learning process, and Kaugmaon continues to embrace and define this process with the rights of children at heart.