It’s the tail end of Monday and I’m sitting on the balcony of the hostel in the warm night air. It’s been a long, full day, and our first with the Compassion project here.
We started the day with meeting all of the primary school age kids at the project partnered with Life Church. They put on a play for us and dance presentations and we spent the entire morning with them. School starts next Monday, so we distributed school supplies and then we all ate lunch.
It was cool to see them so excited for the backpacks full of supplies. Schools here require that kids have all of their own supplies, including uniforms, and if they don’t, then they cannot attend school. Compassion provides all of that. And somehow about 200 kids got all of their school supplies in about ten minutes.
All kids seem to love cameras and these were no exception. We took a ton of photos together, and our kids played with them. it got a little chaotic, but definitely broke the ice and they all had a great time just spending time together.
We had lunch at the project and then went out for home visits with the sponsored kids in our group.
The kids live in a variety of types of homes, some with wood and some with dirt floors. Being out of Manila, there is a little more space, but only a little. Some of the families have animals like chickens, but they all have very little. Some have small businesses based out of their one or two room homes, and many have little to no income. Compassion makes a huge difference in their lives, not just for the sponsored kid, but for the whole family.
In the evening, we had dinner with students who are part of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program, or LDP. They are sponsored a a rate about ten times the childhood program so that they can attend college. They are the top students coming out of the Compassion program and in many places around the world are changing their countries by serving in politics, teaching, becoming doctors, etc. It was really cool to meet the seven from Palawan.
Tomorrow we’re spending a day at the beach with the kids sponsored by people in our group. It should be a fun day, and I’m looking forward to getting out on the water. The islands here are so beautiful.