From 2000-2008, we joined with a foundation in Manila and we are very grateful for the excellent cooperation we had with them over the years, until it became possible for us to realize Rise Above Foundation Cebu, Inc., which became an independent foundation in Cebu on July 4th, 2008. Through the pages under Projects you will read about the steady progress in our work and through viewing the photos in the Photo Gallery, you can follow us through the exciting years till today.
Flemming and Elisabet Hansen
We came to Cebu in November 2000, upon an invitation, and we are so thankful we made that decision. It has taken us through years of challenges and growth, and when we were able to start our own Cebu based Rise Above Foundation in 2008, it was a dream come true.Flemming and I, Elisabet, come from Denmark and Norway, and we have 40 years of experience in missionary and humanitarian work. Our desire since we were young was to follow God and bring His love to needy people of this world. It has been an exciting life, working in 7 countries and visiting many more bringing humanitarian help to people of East Europe.To see the mission grow and take form through many different projects has been very fulfilling for us, and we see ourselves living and working here in Cebu for many years still.
Jovita Marie and Ireneo Gabriel Tangalin
Gabriel and Marie play a very important part in our Rise Above Team, and have been on board since 2001. Gabriel is a machinist by profession, but decided to be a missionary already in his 20′s. Through 30 years they have worked as full time missionaries bringing the gospel and helping people here in the Philippines as well as in Thailand.Gabriel is a man of many talents, and apart from bringing hope and encouragement to people through the sharing of God’s Word, he oversees all the building and renovation work, runs the technical aspect of our dental missions and has built all our mobile dental equipment. He is an essential part of our team, as he keeps all the practical aspects of our work running smoothly.Marie has been working with children through all these years, so it is natural for her to oversee the child minding at our Family Care Center. The mothers of these children have partaken in the training in bag-making, so Marie is one of the overseers of this livelihood program. She also oversees the food program, seeing to it that over 500 children are getting a good and nutritious meal every Wednesday.In our sponsorship for education program, she sees to it that 26 children from Guadalupe get all their educational materials and uniforms year after year, and that they get lunch and 2 snacks daily while in school. The children have to reach a certain level to continue to receive the sponsorship, so she keeps an eye on their achievements, and has meetings with their mothers if their grades are not up to par.
Francoise (Abi) Biard from Paris, France
Francoise (Abi) joined the team in August 2008. Previous to that, she worked with a humanitarian team in Senegal, West Africa for 9 years and she has 40 years experience of missionary life and a volunteer in more than 20 different countries! She is very happy to have come and live with such gentle people as the Filipinos and to be able to contribute in all the projects of Rise Above Foundation. Abi is one of those creative people that can “make something out of nothing”. Her artistic and decorative sense is fully used as she is now co-heading the bag-making project together with Marie. She enthusiastically shares her ideas with the women, and together they come up with beautiful designs that are much appreciated among the international and professional community here in Cebu. She shares her ideas freely and is a great promoter of the RecyBags on Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/RecyBagsCebu. Her hope is that the RecyBags project will become a cooperative, where the women has the opportunity of getting steady work and then promote the bags both locally and internationally.Our desire is to help poor families rise above poverty through for example the livelihood program of bag-making, so it brings a lot of happiness and fulfillment for Abi that she through this program is able to achieve her dreams.
Suzy is the daughter of Elisabet and Flemming Hansen, and decided to work alongside them after she completed her Senior High. She is a musician and sings beautifully, a gift she is using in her ministry. She shares motivational and Bible Classes regularly with the many friends she has in Cebu City and in her visits she shares lessons of faith and hope with them. She promotes the “Activated”, a motivational magazine that promotes faith in God and that gives answers to many of life’s questions. She moved to China for 16 months where she taught English, but has now returned to Cebu where she works full time at the Rise Above office with the volunteer/internship program.