- In 1992, Icar Castro and Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo were Master’s in Psychology students at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. It was through their coursework that they had their first interactions with pediatric cancer patients.
- The experience proved invaluable to their research. They discovered the positive effects of psychosocial support and play therapy among their patients in coping with their illnesses.
- More importantly, it sparked a personal and professional dedication to chronically ill children and their families.
- They decided to name their organization after Scottish word “kythe”, which means “to manifest itself”. It embodied what they believed: that through acts of sharing and togetherness, they can promote healing and growth among children battling chronic illness.
- Since its inception, Kythe has not only touched the lives of over 8,000 pediatric cancer patients and their families, but also inspired individuals, corporations and student organizations into taking action.
- In 1992, its founders enlisted 20 student volunteers and one partner-hospital to take part in their cause. Twenty years later, Kythe has over 500 individual and corporate volunteers and 11 partner-hospitals.
- Under the leadership of Executive Director Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo, Kythe continues to inspire hope among chronically ill children and their families across the Philippines.
Kythe was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-Stock, non-profit corporation.
Kythe established its psychosocial activities as the Kythe Child Life Program.
The Kythe Child Life Program expanded its services to other departments in East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, Philippines to reach out to all confined pediatric patients.
Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo completed her Child Life internships in University of California San Francisco Hospital while Allan Cabisaga (Kythe’s first Child Life Coordinator) finished his internships in New Children Hospital (Westmead) and Sydney Children’s Hospital in Australia.
Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo passed the exam and became one of the first certified Child Life Specialists in the Philippines.
2005 – Onwards
Kythe moved out of East Avenue Medical Center and expanded its partnership with 11 hospitals providing psycho-social services to more pediatric patients across the Philippines.