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This week the children and staff of Kanlungan’s Residential Care and Training Center Level 1 (Benitez House) had an Earthquake and Fire Drill facilitated by the 1304th Manila Community Defense Center NCRRCDG ARESCOM.

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Although we are praying that the Philippines is spared from “the Big One”, it is still important to be ready.  

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Outbreaks of fire are common and deadly in the poorer areas of the city and this is an important life skill that the children will take into their adult lives.

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Thank you to the members of the 1304th Manila Community Defense Centre for taking the time to make this visit.

Safe landing

The team returned home safely, if a little delayed, last night.  Some of them not reaching their beds until 3am.

Once they have had time to sleep and process all that they have seen and done in the last two weeks I’m sure they will be keen to tell us all about it.   Watch this space.

If you are new to following Streetlight Trust and would like to know more please contact the trustees at info@streetlight-trust.org.uk

Thanks for following.

Helen

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Homeward Bound

Well our two weeks has come to an end, last night we said goodbye to the children at Benitez house which is always hard, our time here seems to have gone so quickly
We took the staff out last night for a meal and it was a good opportunity to get to know them better and understand their challenges . This helps us to pray for them going forward with their work. We have had an amazing two weeks with so much to thank God for. It’s such a privilege to come and visit Kanlungan .
We had a debriefing of the team last night and we all agreed that Sol and the whole Kanlungan family bless and encourage us far more than we do them.
So we are now sat in the airport and taking home our special memories but leaving a bit of our hearts in Manila
Maryxx

What a Day

So the day of the Music Academy concert dawned surprisingly hot and sticky!!! We have been blessed with the use of an air conditioned classroom though. It was decided last night that we should start late (the 10.00am published start of each day has been a myth all week as the children have been raring to go by around 9.00am!). Today was no different except that WE didn’t arrive until 10.00. 

What a sound greeted us – the children practising themselves with a backing track. We briefly wondered whether to return to the Shalom and just bowl up for the concert with everyone else – they sounded fantastic.

But Ate Shelley had work for everyone as we checked any wrong notes, worked on dynamics and practised standing and sitting together. Then, of course, we needed  to be synchronised in bowing together after every item.

Cuya Simon took us through the percussion piece and then we had a run through. There was a fair bit of excited chatter but how these children and young people have worked.

Snacks, lunch (no rest hour over a leisurely lunch at Benitez for us today…work to be done still!)

The room was swept, chairs moved, flower arrangements appeared as if by magic.  After all we were expecting celebrities – Miss Philippines 2015, beauty pageant winners and the Chair of the Trustees of Kanlungan.  Plus the children from Benitez and the ODC and the rest of the Streetlight team. Behind the wooden curtain (dividing doors) some of the children looked anxious, most were excited and a couple appeared to be sleeping! At last we were ready to start. There were introductions, prayers and words of encouragement from Sol  and then the first notes of ‘Adiemus’ sounded.

I have sung in choirs since I was a small child and the songs sung today were complex and in a variety of languages – they were NOT easy kids’ pieces.  The opening bars were electric! The children sang their hearts out. The percussion band were pretty much rhythm-perfect and the body percussion still leaves me utterly baffled…but the kids got it bang on! The recorders (who tries teaching recorder pieces in 3 days to 40 children? Answer: Ate Shelley) were at times a bit squeaky but they made up for any duff notes in their enthusiasm!

Two young girls from Tunasan sang an enchanting song about being yesterday’s dream. The singing was just totally amazing and the words reminded me that they were singing the truth. These children are the outworking of a dream that Sol had 30 years ago of rescuing children who needed help and giving them back their childhood, an education and, most importantly, faith in Jesus Christ and hope for the future.

If I may be allowed a little boast. There was a little group of little children, who turned up late for days 1 and 2. They are from the streets have no English (apart from being able to count to 10) and struggled with what was going on. So I took them into the corridor (no air con!) and started teaching them some English nursery rhymes. At first they were scared and pretty uncooperative until I started singing “The Wheels on the bus”. They LOVED it! They had a go with Simon’s drums when there was just us to watch and I got told off by the school administrator for making to much noise when we marched to the drum! BUT today (and yesterday) they turned up first thing and performed The. Wheels on the Bus and 1,2,3, Jesus loves me. My heart nearly burst with pride as 5 of them stood and performed in front of probably 100+ people.

It all went so fast and everyone got a certificate – including all of the team, there were more motivational speeches, a near miss with the stand of flowers that almost decapitated Ian…and then lots of cake!!

The talents of these children seem to know no bounds and Kanlungan is rightly proud of them. Shelley had done so much work in preparation, stayed calm and professional all the time and the kids rose to the challenge. I can only hope they have more chances like this. What a day!

 

Fi Shouler ( May 4th 2017)

Music and Craft day

Tuesday May 2nd

Today the team split into two groups. One group took craft activities to the street community in the morning. Around 45 children from the age of 4 yrs upwards got involved and the crafters though working in sweltering heat on the floor in a street dwelling had a successful morning.Their afternoon was spent in the Kanlungan Reception Centre in Benitez street with the children. By the look of Pin at the end of the day they had had a good time using glitter!

The music academy took place in a school near Taft Avenue. In the morning around 30 children took part in the choir,played musical games and started to learn how to read music and play the recorder. In the afternoon we were joined by another 20 children and had great fun putting together a piece of body percussion doing drumming and learning ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen in Tagalog. In the music workshop we were impressed at how quickly the children learnt everything that we did and it was great to see their enthusiasm. Ate Sol has arranged our ‘Recital’ for Friday afternoon so lots of practising over the next few days!!

Shelley

Monday 1st May

My; how time flies when you’re having fun!

Today was relatively quiet as we prepare for 4 days of what promises to be busy days with a variety of children in several separate places. This morning we were at the Benitez house where some of us joined the staff in their devotions, with Fiona sharing her thoughts, while others entertained the children in 40 degrees! Well done you! Fiona spoke of being criticised for her church being too joyful. Her critics should come here and see how much fun there is to be had when God’s in the house!!

A couple of interesting issues occurred today which illustrate just how resourceful “Street light” need to be. How do you find enough cans for Shelley to make drums for a music workshop? Answer: find out what the children would enjoy eating, buy 45 kilos of tinned fruit cocktail, decant the contents into containers, wash the cans and hey presto…….. or abracadabra, as Simon might say, and there you have it. What do you do if the hotel find that the banks don’t like the state of some of our Sterling notes used to pay our bill? Simple: change them for ones they do like! Oh, and Simon keeps on drumming.

Chris & Kim

Visit to girls home

Yesterday we had another busy day, in the afternoon we went to Luguna to visit the girls in the girls home. There are 18 girls there at the moment. What struck me most was how happy and well these children looked , a lot of them much younger than the girls that were there on my last visit. The staff there are so caring and loving to the children, like all the centres at Kanlungan you get an overwhelming sense of family.

On arrival we were welcomed by very excited children and one of the girls ran up to me and said thank you for her blanket which I bought for her in 2013!!!
Today is bank holiday so a bit of free time this afternoon:-) this morning we are going to pray with the staff which is always a good way to start the day.
Tomorrow we are organising a music academy for the children we will keep you posted as to how things go
Thank you for your prayers and support it means a lot
Mary xxx

Saturday 4th Day!

We woke up to another warm hot sunny day.
After a cracking breakfast at Ksem Kafe we headed off to Quirino Community Graduation Ceremony. It was a great privilege to watch the children sing to us and they were so excited to see us.
 The youngest was 4 years old ranging up into the teenage years. They spend their days listening to stories from the bible and learning together about Jesus.  The blessing for us was to not only hear some of the young ones repeat memory verses from the bible  but also to hear a young boy say  that he had learned  to become more compassionate through the support of Kanlungan. God is making world changers here as well as at home.
The children were taught by older teenagers. It brought back fond memories of my initi8 days. To see passionate teenagers teaching younger children because they love God. It was a real sense of family and looking out for each other and caring for each other.
Tunasan was our next stop. Another community that supports and provides care for children as day care centre. They play games, read books and are fed. It was lovely to see so many children at the centre again such a blessing to be welcomed with so many smiley faces.
Highlights – ultimate part was the graduation ceremony !!!
Love to all,
Ollie & Crystal Xxx

Latest updates in Manila…

Hello! Anna here to update you on the second and third days of the latest Streetlight trip.

We spent yesterday at Benitez street, one of Kanlungan homes. The day involved a huge welcome, a LOT of heat, and some incredible hip hop dance moves from the Kanlungan children. (I was definitely out-danced by a six year old) There was a wonderful sense of joy that was totally contagious.

We’re currently having a drink stop after a lot of travelling around Manila. We started off having a super impressive breakfast in KSEM cafe. (And the best coffee in Manila of course) We then moved on to the Quirino community, where street families live near the rail track. Ate Sol was explaining to me that the families are currently being evicted. It was amazing to see so much energy from the children and some fantastic local teachers doing work with them.

Next stop: recover from the heat at Benitez and move on to the Open Day Centre. Wilma explained some of the situations the children are going through from the streets and we sang with the children. We then got a jeepney ride to Smoky Mountain- literally formed from a rubbish dump. Meeting the community felt like a real mix of emotions. In some ways it was quite beautiful; trees and wildlife are living on the top of the dump. And once you’re at the top, there’s an amazing view of the sea. But on the other hand it was heartbreaking to see extreme poverty in front of you. Ian was saying that these families could easily feel like giving up, but they’ve made a life and community for themselves. It would be so easy to feel like you’re suffering – but these families are fighters.

One of the most shocking things for me is seeing the children sleeping on the streets. I walk around Bethnal Green every day and am used to seeing homeless people all the time, but seeing a child in that environment would be truly shocking. This is why the work Streetlight are doing is so so important. They’re breaking the system and anything we can do to help is so valued here.

Anna x