Photo: Students from our after-school care program recently enjoyed multiple days of games and activities ending in a big sports festival with several teams arranged by color.
We are happy to report that our Manila team organized a VBS-style outreach program on April 18-22 for 50 of the children enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center and 20 children from the local community. The children were divided into three groups according to their ages (3-5, 6-8, 9-12), and they enjoyed various contests, crossword puzzles and drawing activities based on Bible stories, singing group songs, dancing, and playing fun games together. Our team served the children healthy, delicious meals each day such as fish, chicken, pork, vegetables, rice, and bananas.
On the last day of the VBS-style outreach program, our faithful director, Malaya, and the teachers and volunteers organized a Sports Festival for 120 children (ages 5-15), including boys and girls from our Children’s Hope Center as well as children from the local community. The theme of the Sports Festival was “Stop, Look, and Listen” which taught the children about good sportsmanship and camaraderie. Through this theme, the children learned to stop playing when it is risky, think and look carefully in order to win the games, and to listen to their teammates and the other teams. The children were divided into 5 teams: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Orange, and they enjoyed playing basketball, tug-of-war, dodge ball, sack races, track & field activities, and popular local games such as Larong Pinoy, Patintero, and the Calamansi relay race.
On April 22nd, our team held a Sports Festival awarding ceremony for the children. One child was awarded for excelling in basketball within his own team and over the other 4 teams. First, second, and third prizes were also given for the teams which competed in tug-of-war, dodge ball, track & field, and Patintero. All of the children who were recognized for winning in various games received medals and candy to celebrate their victory and good sportsmanship. Our field director, Malaya, prepared spaghetti with fried chicken and bread, which is the children’s favorite meal.
We want to share what one of our children, Benjie*, reported about the Sports Festival — why he enjoyed it and why it was important to him. He was on the Red team who won the basketball competition, and he also won an award in the track & field category. In his own words:
We were happy playing basketball. We were so happy because we won and we really did our best to get a medal (he laughed). I made many shots and I’m so lucky for it. Of course, we also joined the dodge ball competition and I also won in track and field because I’m fast. I am so happy every time we have a Sports Festival because we really wait for it, and also the delicious food. (he smiled).
In other good news, we currently have 60 students (ages 5-17) enrolled in our Children’s Hope Center after-school care program. Since the new school semester began in June, they have been diligently studying math, English, their native Filipino language, science, social studies, technology, skill development, music, art, and physical education in grades 1-6, and algebra, geometry, calculus, English, the Filipino language, biology, chemistry, physics, social studies, technology, and skill development in junior high.
We also continue to focus on the problem of illiteracy amongst impoverished children in our community — an important part of our weekly after-school care program which has proven so successful in our other Children’s Hope Centers — and we are continually encouraged by the positive results. The children receive homework tutoring for these subjects and we also provide additional nutrition support for the children by giving them snacks and a fresh-cooked meal before they go home for the day.
We are ever thankful for your prayers and generous support which makes all that we do for these children possible.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others
* Names are changed to protect our program beneficiaries.