About Us

Action speaks louder than words

Since November 2000, we have been working as volunteers in Cebu City, Philippines. Our team is striving to help improve the quality of life for the underprivileged by means of providing educational opportunities, livelihood training, and health and hygiene programs.

We connect and cooperate with volunteers from all over the world and help facilitate their work and accommodations in Cebu. We establish contact with schools and institutions for students in our internship program, and give free treatment to those in need through Dental Missions. Dentists and dental hygienists from several western countries participate in our projects to provide treatment as well as oral education for underpriviledged children and adolescents.

Our vision is to give people a chance to lead better lives through education and training. You can help make that dream a reality through financial contributions or through working as a volunteer.

Our Mission

An improved quality of life for those struggling with poverty in Cebu

Our Vision

Enabling the next generation of Cebuanos to rise above the challenges of the future through access to education, livelihood and healthcare

Our Goal

To improve the poor condition of the people in Cebu Province through provision of programs and services on education and training, health & hygiene, and creative livelihood opportunities in a community-based setting

Core Values

Our Team in Cebu

Flemming and Elisabet Hansen

Flemming and Elisabet came to Cebu in 2000 and have since established the Rise Above Foundation Cebu. Flemming is the president and Elisabet a project manager. They have come to love the Filipino people and see that there is a good possibility of families pulling out of poverty. Many have not the education nor the means to change their present situation, but with education, training and livelihood programs, they believe that the children and youth can make the change both for themselves and their families

Ireneo and Jovita Tangalin

Ireneo (Gabe) and Jovita (Marie) joined up with Flemming and Elisabet in 2001 and have since worked together in the Foundation. Jovita is heading the Family Care Center and the Educational Sponsorship Program while Ireneo is the Construction and Maintenance Manager. They are both on the board of directors and are making a lasting change in the lives of the people they touch.

Abigail Biard

Abi joined the team in 2008 as a volunteer and has been a great help in making the livelihood program, Rise Up Craft Creations, what it is today. She has inspired women to rise up out of poverty by teaching and training them in weaving bags, mats, purses etc. These women today are teaching other women to do the same. The trendy items are popular, and it has given the women a sense of fulfillment, prospering and making a difference for their families and others.

Esther Amor Tangalin

Esther is our “in house” dentist. Being the daughter of Gabe and Marie, she got to experience being part of the dental missions, so in an early age, she already knew she also wanted to become a dentist. She now has her own clinic and is the local dentist who always joins the different dental missions. She is also a member of the board of Rise Above Foundation.

Aisel Faith Mayonila

Aisel is our Social Worker. As our goal as a Foundation is to improve the quality of life for struggling families, Aisel’s work is a big challenge, as she deals with problems that our beneficiaries face, be it in education, family life and poverty. She is the youngest member of our team, but the energy and motivation she shows, wanting to make a difference and being a help to the needy people she faces, has given us deep respect for her and we are thankful to have her on our team.

Abigail Carranza

Abigail is our Internship Coordinator who arranges the placements of the interns that come mostly from Denmark, in institutions, schools and hospitals. Each internship period varies from 3 weeks to 6 months, all depending on the field of study. She communicates with the international coordinators of the universities we partner with, receives the students applications and CVs, and does everything to make the interns feel secure in their internship, including counselling them, holding evaluation meetings with the different teams and overseeing that they all have a good and profitable time in Cebu. She is diligent and shows great concern for the wellbeing of the foreign students, for which they are very grateful.

Ludmila Adie Macasil

Adie is the center leader of the Rise Above Community Center. Children ages 3 – 17 come to the center to learn, play and study. She arranges activities for them, teaches them good morals and behavior, helps them with their homework, etc. She oversees the kids that are part of the Sponsorship for Education Program in her part of the city, checking on them that they indeed go to school and arranges for the mothers to cook the children’s snacks and lunch that they come and pick up on their way to school. She receives the volunteers to our Center and sees to it that their time with us is fun and fruitful and helps coordinate the volunteer’s duties and work while with us. She is a multi-tasker, and it doesn’t seem to be anything she is not able to handle. She has made the Center what it is today.

Romeo and Carmelita Septimo

Romeo and Carmelita are the caretakers of the Family Care Center. Carmelita sees to it that the center is clean and presentable. She cooks the lunch and snacks for over 60 students of our Sponsorship for Education Program every morning, and also cooks for the children who come to the Center Monday-Friday. Romeo is our handyman and helps Gabe in all the construction, renovation and maintenance of our Centers.

Bienvenida Pacaldo

Nida works at the Family Care Center as the teacher for the little kids (3-6 years old) in our Child-Minding Program. When interns work at the FCC, she is their overseer.  She has a lot of love for the kids who come from very poor families and helps them learn and grow, giving them a different perspective of life. She prepares them for entering elementary school and inspires them to be good and to enjoy learning.
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