Today was spent at Benitez House.
This morning we were able to join the staff for their weekly prayer meeting. It is inspiring spending time with the staff who are so commited to the children and faithful to the calling that God has given to them. It was an honour to be able to pray with our brothers and sisters and for then to pray for us. After another delicious lunch we get time to play with the children. Ball games in the street and bracelet making were the group activities but for some of the children some very special one on one time was a real treat. weekly prayer meeting. It is inspiring spending time with the staff who are so commited to the children and faithful to the calling that God has given to them. It was an honour to be able to pray with our brothers and sisters and for then to pray for us. After another delicious lunch we get time to play with the children. Ball games in the street and bracelet making were the group activities but for some of the children some very special one on one time was a real treat.
Today was ‘Recognition Day’ at Benitez House. Children come to live at Benitez House from the streets or from referrals from social services. They stay for up to a year before moving on to the girls or boys home or being reconciled to their families. Today was the graduation ceremony for the children who are due to move on in May (the beginning of a new school year).
Dressing in their best clothes and wearing white graduation robes the children proudly received graduation certificates and performed songs and dances. As well as prizes for school work, children were also rewarded for values such as kindness, helpfulness, cheerfulness and tidiness.
Some children were proud to be able to invite parents or family members to the celebration but for many of the children, who do not have family contact, it was an honour for team members to stand with they to receive their prizes. Personally watching my Zac stand alongside a child receiving the award for ‘most clean and tidy’ did make me smile but I hope that her tidiness will rub off on Zac.
It was a day of great joy and lots of laughter but for some the thought of moving on is going to be very hard. One little girl bravely performed the dances with tears streaming down her face knowing that she is about to move up to the girls home leaving her two younger sisters at Benitez House. But wherever the children are, they will stay within the love and care of Kanlungan and will be encouraged to reach their full potential.
Tomorrow will be quiet day for the team. We will go to church with the staff at the Cathedral of Praise in the morning and then have some free time in the afternoon.
Thanks for your comments and prayers,
Charlie writing – Before coming on this trip I didn’t really know what to think, I’ve spent the last 5 months travelling the world 2 being spent in South East Asia so I didn’t think I could still be shocked by the conditions that humans live and survive. Today (Day 3) we visited the Bridge Community (literally a number of families living under or beside a bridge)
As much as I was appalled by the smell of the rotting black and grey sewage water the bridge goes over I was equally amazed by the families creativity and resourcefulness in building a multi level homes some that included electricity and washing facilities. Each shanty home housed between 4-7 people from new borns to great grandparents all built using very few suitable materials. Yet the families were still very proud to show us the grand tour of their homes and the children would drag you to show you their bed and things they used for toys.
There are a lot of highs and lows to this trip that all seem to merge into one emotional in the moment thought. Your happy to be playing with the children as many as 5 at a time seeing the smiles on their faces everyday is amazing, but then you think about their old life situations and how lucky they are to be part of Kanalungon and how many other children are out there needing this help and support. The overwhelming feeling is pure delight to be with them watching them being loud and happy and occasionally throwing them in the air because they want to be a spaceship, for me they are my favorite moments
We have only been here for three days but it feels like it’s a lot longer. Early mornings and late nights have kept us busy, The team are great but I’ve learnt playing games with the Taylor family may not always be so light hearted as they can be reacklessly competitive which im sure will give an extra edge to the Kanalungon Childrens Olympics event on Thursday…I can’t wait
Thanks to everyone for their comments, we read them in the coffee shop at breakfast this morning.
Today we have been visiting families who live on the streets and in very poor housing near Kanlungan’s base in the city. It is my first visit here for over two years so there have been quite a few changes and it has been good to meet some of the new staff.
It’s good to be here with Helen & Zac, it’s also good to have Helen’s niece Naomi with us and she is going to share a few thoughts about what she has seen:
“It is my first time visiting the Philippines, I’ve heard so much about it from family and friends who have visited before. It’s such an amazing place and nothing like what I’d imagined it to be, no photo or description could really do it justice. It’s such a busy vibrant city, with every street comes different sights and smells. It’s amazing just to be in a completely different environment and culture.
The staff and volunteers are all incredible people and are so happy, kind, helpful and enthusiastic.
Today we visited two different areas and communities living on the streets of Manila, its so hard to see how people live with so little but amazing how happy and kind everybody is. The children are so lovely and smiley, it’s so much fun to spend time with them and play with them.
Looking forward to spending two more weeks here, getting to know everyone better on the team, staff here and the children”.
Tomorrow we have an early starting helping the open day centre (ODC) staff with their feeding programme.
After nearly a full day of travelling we arrived safely at about 1.30am Manila time. Even in the middle of the night the heat and smells hit us as we walked After nearly a full day of travelling we arrived safely at about 1.30am Manila time. Even in the middle of the night the heat and smells hit us as we walked out to meet our Kanlungan Friends who had patiently waited for our delayed plane. After a fairly short sleep we enjoyed our first morning coffee at KSEM before lunch at Benitez House and time getting to know the children and staff who live there. The children sang to us and introduced themselves, some were very shy to begin with but very quickly the games of rough and tumble began and the children and the team very quickly lost their inhabitions. Ian and Mark then made the icecream run to the local 7/11 returning with 50 cornettos which disappeared very quickly. The sugar rush fortified the tream for more play before returning to the hotel for a well earned shower. Other team members will blog their thoughts as we go so pelase check back each day and please leave comments. We really appreciate the link with home. to meet our Kanlungan Friends who had patiently waited for our delayed plane.
After a fairly short sleep we enjoyed our first morning coffee at KSEM before lunch at Benitez House and time getting to know the children and staff who live there. The children sang to us and introduced themselves, some were very shy to begin with but very quickly the games of rough and tumble began and the children and the team very quickly lost their inhabitions.
Ian and Mark then made the icecream run to the local 7/11 returning with 50 cornettos which disappeared very quickly. The sugar rush fortified the tream for more play before returning to the hotel for a well earned shower.
Other team members will blog their thoughts as we go so pelase check back each day and please leave comments. We really appreciate the link with home.
On Monday this years team sets off for Manila – Here a few thoughts from some more of the team.
Meet the Taylor Family:
Jim, Gill, Megan and Lucy. Jim is a trustee of Streetlight Trust and has been part of a number of mission trips. For the rest of the family it will be their first visit.
My name is Megan, I am 16 and this will be my first visit to Kanlungan. I’ve wanted to
see the project since I was 8 and my dad visited for the first time. I’m hoping to gain a different perspective of the world, appreciate all I have more and see firsthand the incredible work that my dad is so passionate about.
.My name is Lucy, I’m 14 and this is my first trip visiting Kanlungan. I’ve grown up hearing about the Philippines because my dad is a trustee at Streetlight. I’m excited to meet the kids and spend time with them building relationships and understanding what life is like from their point of view. I feel it’s important to contribute what I can to the work at Kanlungan- and I guess I’m best at working with kids. I’m also looking forward to meeting the wonderful staff who are so dedicated to the project.
Please continue to pray for the team as they make last minute preparations for the trip and for the projects as their prepare to receive us. We are grateful for everyone who given money for us to take out with us and look forward finding out what blessing that money will be able to provide.
Please keep checking the blog while we are away to keep up to date with our news and pass on the blog address to anyone who is interested.
My name is Sarah, I like listening to a lot of music and reading a lot of books, I have no expectation for the trip because I want it to be an adventure not a planned trip. I have grown up with my dad going on trips to the Philippines so I wanted to go and now I am.
My name is Richard and I am 23, currently working as a Sports Therapist at Burnley Football club.
From the trip I am hoping to experience new culture, as I haven’t travelled further than Europe before, but I also just want to have fun with the kids to make sure they have a great few days in our company. I have spoken to Burnley Football club and they have given me 20 Burnley football kits to give to the charity and I can’t wait to see a few of the boys wearing them whilst we play.
My name is Celia, I’m 22 and a nurse at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. I volunteered at an orphanage in Sri Lanka last year, where I taught English, and enjoyed spending time with the young girls doing general girlie things. From the trip to the Philippines I would like to help in the same way by simply giving the children things to look forward to, even if it is things that we take for granted back at home.
My name is Alexandra and I have just returned home from a 5-month trip around the world. Beforehand I was working as a food photographer, but now I am working towards getting a job in the travel industry which will allow me to continue travelling.
I have no expectations for our trip, although visiting similar poverty-ridden areas in Cambodia and South Africa has taught me that the time we have with the children is so precious to them. I would like to help spread the awareness of the charity so that more people ma be able to help.
My name is Charlie and I work at events such as music and food festivals. I have also just returned from a 5 month trip which took me to 11 different countries. I am hoping the trip will teach me about the locals and ways in which we can help them more in the future.
In 11 days time a team of 16 people will be travelling to Manila to spend nearly three weeks working with Kanlungan projects. The team is a mix of adults and teenagers, some returning to Manila and others visiting for the first time.
We’ll introduce some of the team this week and then update the blog regularly during the trip.
Zac is 15 and this will be his second visit to Manila.
‘My parents are Streetlight Trustees so I have grown up feeling part of the Kanlungan family.
I visited Kanlungan with my family when I was 8 years old. I remember play with children on the streets who were the same age as me but had to look after themselves.
Visiting Kanlungan with my family in 2010
On this visit I think I will see things differently because I am much older.
My school has helped me raise some money and I will be able to go back to school to tell them how their money has been spent.’
‘Mark & I have visit Kanlungan a number of times as trustees of Streetlight Trust.
Things always change between visits and it is always exciting to see new project developments.
For me visiting Kanlungan is about seeing individual lives being change. I hope to be able to bring home many personal stories which I will share with supporters through this blog in months to come.’
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KSEM KAFE
KSEM Kafe is celebrating its 5th Year Anniversary this week.
Customers are being offered a special birthday menu of home cooked treats such as pasta bake, freshly made sandwiches, cakes, muffins and brownies. All served with their own coffee or delicious fruit smoothies.
The cafe continues to offer job opportunities and skills training to young people who have grown up through the Kanlungan family.
THIS MONTH STREETLIGHT TRUST CELEBRATES ITS 10th BIRTHDAY
We want to give thanks for everything that has happened at Streetlight as we celebrate our 10th birthday this year.
When we first met in the living room at Andrew’s house in Great Brickhill, we were trying to work out how to raise the £6,000 a year that our friends at Kanlungan needed to replace the funding they were about to lose from Bethany Children’s Trust. Last week, with our latest regular gift to Kanlungan, we passed the £400,000 of giving milestone.
On behalf of all the Trustees, we want to thank all of you for being with us every step of the way. Your support in so many different ways has been amazing. Thank you.
And now a date for the diary :
21 May 2016 when we will be hosting a Partners Day at
St Mary’s Church Bletchley, Milton Keynes
from 1- 5pm followed by a cream tea.
All our Supporters are warmly invited to come together to celebrate, learn more and pray for the future of Streetlight Trust.