Sunday, 3 May 2015

Philippines trip #4

Well he's back and he had the most amazing time. He had so many photos and memories to share  that I almost feel as if I've been there myself!! Here are just some snippets from week 2.

After the highlight of spending the day with Mara and her Mum, he and the rest of the group were privileged to enough to attend the graduation of 17 Compassion International Leadership Development Program participants. These are sponsored children who have overcome the insurmountable odds children living in extreme poverty face when trying to achieve their educational dreams. It was especially moving when the world-weary parents of these children were publicly honoured by these graduates for their love, support, and perseverance.
Don't they look fabulous, all dressed in their finery!! Not like UK graduates, all in black cloaks...

The group were able to visit the local Compassion office and a call centre that deals with the bulk of the calls from the US.

This photo shows letters from child sponsors being translated, ready to send out to the children.
The group were shown where everything is held ready to go out - all immaculately filed - and Andrew found his last letter waiting to be translated (dated March 5th) and added an extra 10 lines saying how much he enjoyed meeting Mara.
Depending where in the world the child lives, it can take 3 months for a letter to travel in either direction.

Andrew also became aware of the extreme poverty of some of the people near the hotel in Manila. Not just adults but very young children. Such a thing would never happen in this country - we would demand that the council house us. Then complain it wasn't good enough...
Whole families slept on card board in alleyways and even on a busy roundabout. In the morning, they folded everything up and tidied it away - they even had a makeshift broom to keep the area clean. You'd never know they had been there.
He spent the next couple of nights going out with food parcels and clothing for some of the families sleeping on the streets. He said they were lovely people and in spite of their circumstances they were still able to smile. I'll leave you with some of the photos of them...


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