It's hotter than ever right now in Manila and thus the best time to give our students a break. Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work in the 2013-2014 school year. Special congrats are in order for each of the graduates of our preschool program, our elementary/secondary sponsorship program, and our ALS high school equivalency program. We enjoyed a memorable ceremony and dinner for these graduates on Saturday, March 29th. I was moved by the tears of many proud parents witnessing their children receive certificates and various medals for their successes in completing their preschool or high school education.
We were also honoured to have some guests from the city's Department of Education. After the ceremony, they had a private chat with the five passers of our high school equivalency exam where they offered opportunities and scholarships to technical schools and colleges for those motivated to pursue higher education. Gabby and I continue to encourage our graduates to pursue such dreams and not to give up hope in the face of the adversity they've experienced most of their lives. The fact that they've made it this far is a testament to their perseverance and of God's faithfulness.
|The five latest passers of the high school equivalency exam (front row)|
|Our preschool graduates came "dressed to impress"|
Our vision at IT Tender is to empower children to become educated and responsible leaders in their community. Encouraging children and youth to join our educational programs begins with going into the community and building relationships with those on the street. Our Night Life program does just that, reaching out to children and youth accustomed to living and working in the street. Some of these youth have yet to discover the hope and inspiration needed to pursue their education. Nevertheless, we are amazed by the resiliency and perseverance of our clients who earn a living sorting through junk and selling what they can. Please pray that we can deepen relationships to inspire these youth to go back to school, to attain more sustainable work, and to believe that God can use them to become leaders.
|Our Night Life clients in Putatan sifting through garbage piles|
|Gabby mentors these youth through a weekly bible study on Mondays|
Besides the graduation ceremony and our regular weekly programs, the last month has been packed with special activities and events. I'll leave you now with a brief summary of these...
|The children from our Food for Life program took the initiative to create their own rules of conduct for the nutrition sessions|
|Health workers from the local government came to our drop-in center and led a Hygiene and Nutrition Seminar for the parents of our clients|
|The Hygiene and Nutrition Seminar was a great success and we're already looking forward to our upcoming Family Planning Seminar|
|I brought a handful of our workers to assist the Hygiene Day of our partner ministry "Batang Matinik" in rural Tiaong, Quezon Province|
|Martin and Gabby (in the mirror) joined me in reminding the boys at the Hygiene Day to brush their teeth and bathe every day|
|The vice mayor of the city invited our team to his home for food and fellowship!|
|Teaming up with our partners at Jesus Our Hope Church in Sucat, I helped organize a seminar about "Working and Earning" led by entrepreneur and pastor Dino Yupo and social worker Gela Basiwa|
Thanks again for reading my updates, and I look forward to sharing more pictures and news soon.