Dear Sponsors,

I am writing this on the 1st of April here in my country so it’s a Happy April Fool’s Day! We do not really observe that here, but we will celebrate with everybody anyway.

How have you all been? We would be glad to know that you, with your family are always happy. We have seen in the news things that are happening around the world. Some are great and some are greatly devastating. We feel for those people who have been victims of these natural disasters. We have experienced the same thing in our beloved Philippines. Tsunami warnings were raised on provinces, those that are surrounded by water. Everyone was advised to keep their families intact and always be alert. Manila was no exception after being hit by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. We felt how it shook establishments but we thank the good Lord for sparing us.

In these times of turmoil, nothing is more important than being safe with our families. I honestly felt an instant realization that nothing would make me feel more secure and comforted than being with my family in these troubled times. I know that you feel the same thing. Really, there are things that we experience that make us love and appreciate our family more, our only treasure here on earth, the only possession we can bring with us forever.

Amidst these alarming events, there was an experience that I will always be grateful for. Such happiness it brings me in seeing genuine innocent smiles and hearing happy laughter from hundreds of children… immeasurable! The feeding in Dugcal Elementary School brought me this much happiness. A total number of more than 300 children were benefited everyday by the Meals at School Program of Give Children Hope.

On a rainy Monday afternoon, I headed to Naga City Area to be present at the Dugcal School meals program. That afternoon’s meal was a hot and yummy vegetable noodle soup. Parents and school officials were present to volunteer in preparing the meals for the children. The meal they chose was really perfect for the weather. It would keep the children warm. I asked a boy in the 4th Grade about why he loves the feeding program. I was humbled by his answer saying, “My parents give me P1.00 every day I used to buy chichiria (a junk food that his P1.00 could only afford) from the vendors outside the school (the school doesn’t have a canteen, so the children either bring their own food or buy outside). When the Feeding program came, I could save my P1.00 and I have a more nutritious and delicious meal. My parents always help in preparing the food for the feeding.” What a lovely word from this young boy! He is being benefited, by being able to go to school without a hungry stomach. There are a lot more stories from these children. I am really overwhelmed.

These children at Dugcal School feel your love for them as you try to understand what they go through every day. We thank you all for being a part of their happiness. These children should always feel how happy it is to be a child, to be in school, to do homework, to study, to enjoy time with their friends and to meet great people. They will be children only once and your support allows them to experience this.

There are a lot more Filipino children other than those in Dugcal and Maravilla Schools who are in real need of the school meals programs . The children who now receive these meals at school are indeed blessed. We hope to extend this blessing as well to those other children.

On behalf of the children that you are helping, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all of you. Thank you for making them so happy. I’ve walked in their shoes once in my life and I know how they feel. I know the amount of happiness that they feel having someone to provide these meals for them. We love you!

On behalf of the Sponsored children – Dugcal and Maravilla

Kristina Lou Sunico,
for the Give Children Hope children