Evangeline Talampas-Aquino was born to be a philanthropist. Even as a young girl, Evangeline–or Eva, as she is better known–had a big giving heart. She recalls early memories of always stopping to give food to the homeless, and feeling empathy for those in need. She even had plans to enter the convent and follow the footsteps of one of her biggest influences, Mother Teresa! Eventually, her inherent compassion and kindness led to a career in nursing. Eva got her start as a School Nurse in Quezon City, Philippines. It was at this time in her life, that she first heard about Kapatidkita Mahalkita (KM) Foundation and was immediately interested in getting involved with the cause. In 1996, she took a position working in the Treasury Department for KM Foundation. Just three years later, she was promoted to Program Director.
As Program Director of KM Foundation, Eva wears many hats and describes herself as a true workaholic. She oversees the bookkeeping, correspondence, planning, organizing, budgeting, banking, and record-keeping among countless other duties. She understands she carries a big responsibility, thus she is committed to making sure everything is done right.
Eva enjoys the sense of pride and fulfillment that stems from her work. Just knowing she is helping underprivileged families by providing support programs and lessening financial hardships makes it all worthwhile–and brings her great joy. Eva loves and cares for each of the students as if they were her own children. She enjoys getting to watch them grow, both physically and intellectually. Seeing a student successfully graduate the program and go on to sponsor a child of their own is extremely gratifying, and the reason Eva continues to do this work. “Through our work, we can inspire others to make a difference and be an agent for change,” she says. “Helping a child fulfill their dreams is very rewarding.”
Eva’s top priority for the KM Foundation is to increase the number of sponsored students each year. She hopes there will be more sponsors who are willing to support the education of students with grades that may not be up to par. These students endure many hardships in their lives that can negatively impact their grades, including poor nutrition and meager living conditions. “We should give them a chance,” Eva says. “If they are given a chance, they will have a brighter future.”
The work doesn’t stop when Eva goes home at the end of the day. She and her husband, Melchor, are raising three sons–one of whom is a special needs child with autism. It can sometimes be challenging as she tries to fulfill her responsibilities at work and at home. Eva’s dreams in life are simple: good health and long life for her friends and family.
More than 20 years later, Eva continues to work toward the mission of helping indigent families get the support they need to get an education and escape poverty. Erni Armstrong, Chairman of the Board of Philippines Humanitarian confirms “Eva is the key to the success of Philippines Humanitarian. Without her, this organization would not be able to offer the support and assistance these poverty-stricken families need in order to live better lives.”