History

NORFIL Foundation’s history dates back in the early 1970s to a Norwegian family (Ebbe and Berit Gronvold and their four children) who devoted their free time as volunteers in a child caring institution in Pampanga.  Upon the family’s return to Norway in 1976, funds from friends and schoolmates of their children were solicited to continue helping children through Angela Maria (Beth) Pangan, a retired social worker from the Department of Social Welfare (DSW).

This started the goal of helping children through community organizing and development work. In 1981, the funds were used by the first group of mothers who were organized by Ms. Pangan with the help of social workers of DSW Bulacan Branch to engage in sewing, hog raising, and handicraft projects in two depressed villages of Baliuag. Inspired by their success, other barangays in Malolos and Angat followed.

The enthusiastic response of the communities and the success of the projects motivated Berit Gronvold to seek financial support from the Norwegian government.   In 1983, Beth Pangan organized NORFIL Foundation, Inc. and in 1984 with the receipt of funds from NORAD, the Integrated Family and Community Development (IFCD) was launched in Bulacan. Aimed at empowering and sustaining families and communities through people, village management committees were organized to act as partners to facilitate the implementation of the different IFCD projects on health, family watch, youth program, infrastructure, livelihood credit assistance and the setting up of day care centers. IFCD Cebu was also started as a relief and rehabilitation program to alleviate the suffering of typhoon- stricken residents in two villages, Babag and Calawisan in 1985. This demonstrated the use of disaster funds for social development. Hence it became a regular IFCD program after the emergency phase.

In October 1985, the Integrated Family and Child Welfare (IFCW) for disadvantaged single mothers and abandoned and neglected children was implemented in the National Capital Region (NCR) as a response to the increasing incidence of abortion, unwanted pregnancy and neglected and abandoned children who would have been placed in institutions. Foster Care was developed as the needed alternative parental care. A few years later, foster care and an additional home for pregnant women in crisis were put up in Cebu to respond to the growing number of unwed pregnancies and neglected and abandoned children.

The Community- Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Program for children and youth with disabilities was established in 1986 in Bulacan and was aimed at reaching out to families of children with disabilities to better equip them with knowledge and techniques and, eventually involve them in the rehabilitation of their children. A parents association, “AKAPIN” was organized several years later. This group has emerged as a vital partner of NORFIL in advocacy and outreach.  In 1992, a similar CBR program was implemented in Lapu- Lapu City and nearby municipalities and expanded its operation in Nueva Ecija (2002); in Batangas (2003); in mainland Cebu (2005); and in Mindoro Oriental (2010).

Through years of direct service work and experience in its flagship programs, the NORFIL Training and Research Center (NTRC) was established as a way to share  the organization’s experiences and learning to other social workers and development field workers.   

In 2003, after having revisited its Vision- Mission- Goal, NORFIL redirected its goals and focused on the following programs: Foster Care, Community- Based Rehabilitation (CBR) for Children and Youth with Disability, Community- Based Counseling and Group Home for Single Mothers cum Nursery, Domestic Adoption Program, and the NORFIL Training and Research Center.