Edgardo “Hadji” Kalaw is remembered as the brains behind the Makati Rotary Club Foundation Inc., the entity that has placed the Club on a solid financial footing and enabled it to think up and carry out projects that run for years and benefit large numbers rather than those with a one-year shelf life that leave no footprint of good.
During his term, the Club concentrated on building on the good projects initiated by his predecessors.
He expanded the Jomalig Project in a very significant way by organizing the islanders into a cooperative credit union with a small-loans facility that offered credit to fishermen for the purchase of motorized fishing boats. The use of motor-run boats eased the fishermen’s fishing trade, enabling them to focus on catching fish instead of on rowing the boats, and a bigger catch did mean higher income. With the credit union came lessons in management and accounting for the officers, and for the borrowers, the responsibility of paying a loan as it falls due. The year also saw the expansion of the project to include expanded health services, an anti-TB drive, supplemental feeding for the children, and livelihood programs for parents.
The MRDC continued its evolution into a special school under Pres. Hadji, who took steps to add muscle to it. Motivated by a desire to upgrade the quality of instruction in the school, he set in motion the Teacher of the Handicapped Project to provide a stage for training teachers interested in bettering their teaching skills in special education or teachers of other subjects with an eye on a shift to a career in special education.
The Center also served as a platform for internship for some 100 nursing students from San Juan de Dios Hospital who did community service at the Center for seven months and for Physical Therapy interns from UST to conduct a lecture-demo on pediatric care in the school. It was also under the Center that some 200 children were immunized against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases like diphtheria, mumps, pertussis, measles and rubella, while their parents attended lectures on family planning, nutrition, food management and child care.
In a push for vocational service the Club provided funding assistance to the Tahanang Walang Hagdan (House without Steps) Foundation, a nonprofit NGO committed to uplifting the lives of orthopedically handicapped persons through training and rehabilitation programs that prepare them to become productive and self reliant. The donation was for the wheelchair-manufacturing facility of the Foundation.
To increase the chances of house help at landing higher-paying jobs, the Club started a training program for maids in cooperation with the Punlaan Training Center in San Juan. The Club also responded to calls for assistance for the victims of fires in Candelaria, Quezon and Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Makati.