Dear Friends and Sponsors,
In addition to our child and family sponsorships, at the end of July, we started a new type of sponsorship program that sponsors children’s meals and gardening programs. We have begun these programs in schools located in some of the most impoverished areas of the Philippines.
On August 19th, just a few weeks ago, Give Children Hope started it’s first “School Food and Gardening Program “at Maravilla Elementary School on Aklan Island in Southern Philippines. It feeds all 150 children at this sponsored school on a daily basis. It’s clearly a blessing for the children because they receive their critical food and needed support, all in their school setting.
Here’s what Ian Horton, the Australian who helped Give Children Hope get this amazing program started at Maravilla Elementary School says about the Give Children Hope “Food at school program”: “Because of the free feeding, you can see in the children a bigger smile”. They have written letters for the people who lend their hands in making this program possible. In the letters, they say that they are more motivated to learn and go to school. The biggest reason for their motivation is because they know that somebody cares about them. This is such a great assurance that every child you are helping will excel in their performance in school because you have cared for them.
The food given in the feeding program did not only fill the children’s empty stomach, but it resulted into something even much greater. It gave the children drive and motivation so they can continue to give more focus in school and not worry much about getting hungry. It is really true that even plain porridge can bring a lasting smile and gratitude from the children.
The gardening program in the school that we have started is well under way, and that has also had a positive outlook on the parents as well as with the school. There seemed to be a spark of hope ignited in their little community.
With the little amount of help coming from the government, an initiative of an organization to help build this project is really a great help for those unfortunate ones. The program would be basically done by acquiring a patch of the land within the school, cultivating it, and preparing it for planting. The vegetables to be planted would be the typical kind of vegetables that Filipinos eat the most (ex:.Eggplant, camote tops, gumbo-lady’s finger, water spinach and alike). Once these plants have been planted and grown, there will be opportunities for the families living within the school area and those who helped in planting, to harvest from the vegetable garden an amount of vegetables that they could bring home and cook for their families. All these people need to do is to continue to cultivate and take care of the plants until they are ready to be harvested. The kind of help that they would need would be obtaining the materials for the maintenance. These people have excellent skills in farming and in soil cultivating; skills that are acquired through years of working on farms.
The children can also be involved in taking care of the garden should they have free time in school. Basically, those children’s parents who are being fed in the program would be the main people involved in the School Garden. Other parents who don’t have kids in the feeding program may also help and benefit from the School Garden.
The “School Food and Gardening Program” looks far beyond feeding children. It is also mainly concerned about teaching people skills and diligence so that they too can help themselves in sustaining food for their families. They only need help because of the very unfortunate circumstance that they are in. Most of these people do not have the resources to start such a program. These people live in a hand-to-mouth kind of living. The food that they have worked with for a day would only last for that day, or worst, it won’t even be enough. Because of this, they need someone to help them start a program like the gardening one that helps even more than just providing their food.
I see a great and a far reaching future in Give Children Hope’s “School Food and Gardening Program”. It is something that could be passed on to the next generation, should many people and sponsors be involved in making this project succeed.
From me, Kristina, thank you so much for your sponsorships! The funding you are now providing to Give Children Hope not only provides critical care for individual children, but is now providing funding for this new school feeding programs as well. Thank you so much for all that you do to help make such a difference in their lives.
My love for all of you, Kristina
for the Sponsored children and families in the Philippines