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

2017 Philippine Visit

Tomorrow evening a team of 21 people from across the UK will be travelling to the Philippines on the Streetlight Trust 2017 Mission Trip.

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Leaving Heathrow airport at 10.30 tomorrow night the team are on a direct flight with Philippine airlines arriving at Manila airport at approximately 7.45pm local time on Wednesday evening (11.45am UK time,  I think?)   The Philippines is 8 hours ahead of UK time.

The team is planning to keep you all up to date with their trip with regular blogs while they are away but wi-fi is sometimes unpredictable and their itinerary is busy so please be patient with them.

Please leave comments for the team on the blog.  Links with friends and family at home are really encouraging during these trips.

You can sign up to have blog updates posted directly to your e-mail by following the link on the right hand side of this article.

PLEASE PRAY TODAY:

For safe travelling and quick recovery from jet lag.

That the team bonds quickly and works well together.

That team members are open to all God has for them on this trip.

 

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The Shalom Hotel Cottages where the team will be staying.

 

 

 

 

The lounge of the Shalom Hotel Cottage.  The centre of the teams living space.

Pound Coin Collection


POUND COINS ARE CHANGING

Have you seen a new pound coin yet?

Old style pound coins go out of circulation in the middle of October.

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Why not let us use your last few old style pound coins to make a genuine difference to children’s lives in the Philippines.

You can download a money box template here to help you collect the coins.

Don’t forget to bank your coins before 15th October when they go out of circulation.

Return your money box to a Streetlight Trustee for 30th September or visit our website www.streetlight-trust.org.uk to find out other ways of banking the coins.

 

Click here to download your money box template

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Street Education Programme

This Months Blog highlights the work of the Street Education Programme who take Kanlungan’s love out into some of the poorest communities in Manila.

 

Jep’s Story

Jep used to live with his family under a bridge along Quirino  Ave. Manila. IMG_1257

 

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It’s hard to describe the conditions that families find themselves living in under this bridge where wood and metal have been stapled onto the underside of this busy duel carriageway to make shanty housing for over 200 people.      Families come and go, the bridge is sporadically cleared by the authority, but new families are quick to return and rebuild.    Kanlungan’s Street Education Program (SEP) is a constant presence in the community.

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Like most of the families living under the bridge, Jep’s family would always wonder where their next meal would come from but they still had dreams that their children could attend school and change their future.

For Jep, his first contact with Kanlungan was receiving regular lunches brought to the community by the Street Education Programme staff and volunteers.

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 He then joined in lessons with other children from his community.  Jep was keen to learn and worked hard.   The Kanlungan staff saw Jep’s determination to study, and through an ongoing  educational grant provided by Kanlungan he is now attending the local state school.

 

Jep and his family now live in better housing and the whole famliy have benefited from the ongoing support of the Kanlungan team.

 

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Jep is among the hundred of thousands of children in Metro Manila whose are in desperate need through neglect or poverty. Kanlungan’s Street Education Program brings a team of Street Educator, Health Worker, Social Worker into communities like Jep’s to provide on-site activities such as feeding, first aid, counselling, socialisation and recreation and education.

 

The team also works to raise awareness of issues of children’s rights, child abuse and exploitation prevention and educates the parents on their responsibilities towards their children.   SEP makes sure that its activities are geared towards preventing abuse and neglect of children.     The whole community is taking responsibility for the children.

 

Future plans.  The Sreet Education Programme is now establishing Child Friendly Spaces in several communities in Ermita, Malate, and Paco areas. These spaces will be the hub of services of the program and the venue of partnership between Kanlungan, the children, their parents and the community members.  The team in SEP knows that they have a huge task to fulfil for the all the children to reach their full potential.  However, they believe that one act of kindness will make a difference just like one drop of water can make ripples.  As the the saying goes, “Save one soul and you save mankind.”

How we can support this ongoing work :-

PRAY:   Families, and especially the children, in slum communities are in constant risk from hunger, poor health, especially respiratory conditions caused by pollution.   Fires and other accidents are other threats.  The children are at high risk from predictors, and the families face the prospect of slum clearance operations at any time.

PRAY:   For Safely for the staff and volunteers as they continue to work in these communities.

GIVE:  Just 50p a day provides a nutritious meal for a child in a feeding programme.

Click here to donate:-

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Taking a Huge Step Forward

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The Benitez Street Reception centre offers a safe haven for children rescued from the streets in Manila.    Over the first few months the children are supported by teachers, social workers and house parents who work to assess if reconciliation with family is possible or if a permanent home within the Kanlungan family will be needed.

At the end of each summer a number of children from the Benitez Street Centre move on to live at their permanent homes at the girls and boys homes in the outskirts of Manila.    For vulnerable children who have found safety and security at the reception centre, possibly for the first time in their lives, the move can be very daunting and needs to be very carefully handled by the staff at the boys and girls homes.

This summer 12 children were transferred tot heir new homes.  9 girls 3 boys.Eunice Dipasupil, Kanlungan’s Comunications Officers reports of the children’s progress so far.

“Most of the children needs a sense of normality and continuity  in their lives.  The transfer to either the Girls’ Home and the Boys’ Home changes the children’s environment, the people they mingle with and even the rules and routines that they need to follow.
 
For some of the children this adjustment has been really hard and in turn this causes disorder and disruption in the whole centre during the transition period. 
 
The staff needs to be more patient and understanding and formulate new strategies to reconcile the differences between the newly transferred children and the older ones.
 
The children have been excited to start school.   we are thankful that they are settling well in school, meet new classmates and making friends. Even if they need to wake up early to get to school and have homework to do when they return home after school.”
 

The "Mini Library" at the Girls Home

The “Mini Library” at the Girls Home

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A typical classroom at the state school the girls attend.

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A place for everyone’s shoes.

 

  • Please pray for children and staff at each of the residential homes as they settle into new routines.

 Lyn-Lyn’s New Beginning

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When you visit the Girls’ Home, you quickly notice Lyn-Lyn, the youngest girl at the home. She’ll be turning 6 years old this month.   

In 2014,  Lyn-Lyn’s mother left their family. Left with her father Lyn-Lyn and her two older sisters were neglected and abused as Their father became dependent on alcohol.

Lyn-Lyn and her sisters were referred to Kanlungan sa Er-Ma’s RCTC1 last year where they have stayed for 10 months before moving up to the Girls’ Home. 

As the youngest child Lyn-Lyn seemed shy and timid at first.  But as time has gone by she has grown in confidence and is now seen mingling and playing with the other children with no trace of shyness. 

Just like the other children, Lyn-Lyn was excited to be transferred to the Girls’ Home.  At her young age, she knows that transferring to the Girls’ Home means being able to study in school.  Her uneasiness about leaving the people and staff she was used to see everyday didn’t overshadow her excitement about what she had to look forward to at the Girls’ Home.

She loves the idea that in the Girls’ Home, she is with her two “Ate” (sisters) and that the other girls will become her new ‘sisters’.   She also feels safe being in Kanlungan and she does not need to worry where her needs will be coming from.

Lyn-Lyn is still in Preschool.  Even though she has a long way to go with her education, she knows how to value it by actively attending her classes and doing her school works. She has never missed a class since June.

Among all her activities in school, she loves art the most.  Her teachers say so concentrated well when drawing and coloring.

Lyn-Lyn  says she wants to become a teacher someday.  When  asked why she said she wanted the children to learn how to write, read, and draw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Return

The Streetlight Trust team have safely returned to the UK after a 24 hour stop off in China to visit the Great Wall.

We are all thankful for your financial support and prayers that made this trip possible.

Once we have recovered from our Jet lag I’m sure we will all have reflections on the trip that we will share on the blog.

In the meantime. Don’t forget the Streetlight Trust Partners Day on 21st May at St Mary’s Church, Bletchley, Milton Keynes. You are all very welcome.

The Mini-Olympics …

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We had an amazing day yesterday at the third Streetlight / Kanlungan ‘Mini-Olympics’. Each of the Kanlungan Centre’s competed against each other to be crowned ‘Mini-Olympic Champion’. Members of our team were distributed amongst the different centres with Kuya Ian as a judge alongside Ate Sol.

 

Games included ‘Chase the Dragon’s Tail’, ‘Water Balloon Toss’ and ‘Three Legged Race’. One of the strangest games was the Caterpillar Race where two teams of five were. It was all great fun and the Boy’s Home ended by being victorious (with Simon and I proud to be part of the winning team!!!)

There was some fantastic food and a wonderful time of praise and worship at the end. Best of all was seeing the joy on the Children’s faces as they enjoyed such an amazing day, though it was hard to think of the chuildren from the Open Day Centre and the Street Education Programme going back to such difficult circumstances, though we thank God that so many were also able to go back to the safety of the Kanlungan Residential Centres.

We want to say thank you to all of our supporters for making it possible for the children to share such a joyful day and we thank God that together we are able to be part of this amazing family. 

Mark

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Just like ordinary girls, perhaps.

Yesterday the full team spent the day at the Laguna Girls Home.    There are about 20 girls living as part of the family here at the moment and more will move up from mbenitez house next month to start the new school year.

Their home is a 4 storey house in a quiet residential street where they are cared for my house mothers and a social worker.   They are beautiful teenage girls. A little shy when we arrived but very soon joining in games, telling us about their lives and asking questions about life  in England.    We were treated to another beautiful presentation of dancing which every girl join in and again the streetlight team performed their theme song ‘my lighthouse’.

Naomi and I had the honour of staying over with the girls.    It was a everning of giggling, painting nails and watching dance routines on YouTube.   They are such happy girls and a real testament to the love and care of the kanlungan family who have patiently lead each child through so much to begin to heal and grow into beautiful young ladies.

Now it is 5am.   The girls are all up and happily doing chores.   Every chockerel in Laguna province is doing its thing.    It is the kanlungan sports day today so we are all off to the farm at 6am to join teams from every centre in what I am sure will be a very competitive day of sports, dance competitions and lots and lots of giggling and cheering.    It’s going to be so hot but I can’t wait.

We may be too tired to blog tonight but we will write again tomorrow.

X Helen

Too much, too hot and too tired

Today has been our busiest day yet.   Out of the hotel at 9am and I’m just crawling into my bed now at 11.30 and the temperature has been up in the high 30′s.

 

We spent this morning visiting the Smokey mountain dump site community, this afternoon we spent time at the Tunasan Day Centre and visiting some of the children’s homes along the railway line.  Tonight we spent time with an amazing group of boys and young men who meet in the park most evenings to practice street dance.

 

Tomorrow we will try to explain the full mixture of emotions we’ve felt today but for now we are all well and happy to be in our beds.  Looking forward to visiting the girls home tomorrow.

 

X Helen