The whole world is battling an unseen foe. And for many during this global crisis, music has become not just a hobby — it has become nothing short of a necessity. In the Philippines, a group of passionate musicians are using their very visible musical talents to spread joy and entertainment in a time where people need it most — and at the same time, help their fellowmen who are fighting enemies both invisible and otherwise.
For the love of music and charity
The Sessionista’s Charity is a local non-profit organization that aims to give aid to street children and street dwellers. The group is spearheaded by Glogery Aviguetero Tamesa, a musician and philanthropist.
As a child, Tamesa had experienced what it’s like to have a park’s playground serve as her family’s shelter when they were kicked out from the house that they were renting — an experience that Tamesa kept with her as she grew older. This fueled her desire in using her musical talents to help those who are living through the same ordeal.
When she was in college, Tamesa would set aside around PhP50 to PhP100 from her weekly allowance to buy biscuits and bottled water for street children. And when she landed a job at a BPO company, she was able to procure more food items to hand out. But she wanted to do more.
When she started having gigs, she would spend some of her earnings to buy sacks of rice. She would repack them with other essentials and distribute them for free. Twenty to fifty families who lived under the Rosario Underpass in Pasig City benefited from her initial charity projects.
But Tamesa knew that she could help more people if the total number of helping hands were not just her own. “Why not form a group of musicians who would also want to help?” Tamesa asked herself. After speaking with her other musician friends — other sessionistas — to perform at least two or three hours either at live music venues or any social media platform to extend help, The Sessionista’s Charity was born.
The group’s first project was the “Share Your Talent To Help Program,” where musicians volunteered to perform through busking, livestreaming, and even “harana” or serenading services. From their gig earnings, they gave an amount of their choosing to help fund the charity’s projects.
Since its inception in 2018, The Sessionista’s Charity has been able to fund three projects a month through the commitment and hard work of everyone involved. They also sell merchandise like shirts, bags, and baseball caps to help finance their projects. Aside from distributing packed goods to those who need them most, the Sessionista’s Charity also helps the parents and guardians of street children by offering them free livelihood seminars. This allows them to learn skills that would help them make a living.
Helping hands of today and tomorrow
Although communication and transportation lines are having their fair share of challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group remains dedicated in helping others especially during these trying times. The sessionistas have turned to performing online to help fund the group’s upcoming projects.
For the first half of this year, the group gave away free personal protective equipment (PPE) and essential goods as part of their Covid-19 relief effort. They also handed out free phones for the online learning needs of several deserving students. The group also wishes to be able to help more people in different parts of the country. In January 2020, they were able to extend help to the Aeta community in Capas, Tarlac, and the indigenous community in the Maligcong Bontoc Mountain Province.
The Sessionista’s Charity’s future projects include setting up the group’s own headquarters where they could brainstorm, plan, and execute their future charity projects. They are also looking into offering a scholarship program for underprivileged yet deserving learners as well as conducting regular livelihood seminars that teach hairdressing, janitorial services, and other vocational skills.
Learn more about The Sessionista’s Charity by visiting their Facebook page and their official website.