As I have mentioned before, I run a children’s home here in the Philippines (POCCH). We have over 70 children in our homes including 10 babies/toddlers and 6 children with special needs.
Most of our children are children of inmates (who were either living in prison with their parents or were left abandoned when their parents were incarcerated), orphaned, abandoned or abused children whom we rescued.
Sadly in the 25+ years of the existence of our children’s homes we have received very little financial assistance from within the Philippines. Though our children use in excess of 25 sacks of rice every month, we have only ever been given 2 sacks of rice from the government.
One time a few years ago, a foreign business operating here in the Philippines reached out to help us by giving £100 ($150, P6,000) a month for a 3 month period to help feed 25 of our children. 25 of our children were therefore selected for the program and they had to be weighed every week to monitor their weight gain over the 3 months.
When I returned from the UK this September I came back to the news that all but one of the washing machines in our children’s homes were broken beyond repair and the remaining machine is hanging on by a prayer. Our laundry personnel are consequently reduced to washing all the children’s clothes by hand, which is back breaking work, very time consuming and almost impossible to cope with the load (bearing in mind the extreme heat and humidity which means the children are not able to wear their uniforms more than once).
I priced how much it would cost for a new machine and it’s around £460 (approx. $750, P30,000) which was well beyond what we could afford.
It so happened that a friend of mine from the UK (who has supported children’s homes in the Philippines for many years), wrote to me and told me that her friend who works for a children’s home in China, did sponsored walk with the children to raise funds. They were able to raise a massive £8,000 ($13,000, P520,000) from the Chinese people without any outside help. She thought it might be an idea for us to try.
So we set about planning our sponsored walk project, “Walk 2 Wash” and we were quite excited.
My son designed the logo. Hope you like it!!!
At least 55 of our children plus workers and volunteers are going to do a 6km walk.
We wrote and delivered 60 letters informing businesses in our locality and inviting them to either join us or sponsor our children to walk. We also offered to sponsors that for an additional cost of £12 ($20, P800) we would print their logo on the back of our t-shirts (which a pastor friend is printing for us at a greatly reduced price).
My son Nathanael went to follow-up the letters today. I was really shocked that he had ZERO response. So far not one Filipino was willing to reach out help a children’s home buy a washing machine. Actually there was one response. He was one owner of 3 separate establishments (franchise of famous world wide fast food chains) who wasn’t interested in actually sponsoring the children or the walk, but he was willing to pay £70 ($112, P4,500) for exclusive rights for the printing of his 3 logos on the back of our shirts!!
I found this extremely shocking, especially considering that we were asking in a big shopping area where two big malls have just been erected for people to spend their money on luxuries.
It’s a very sad day for me!! But I am still hopeful!!
We have one week to go before our “Walk 2 Wash” which will be on the morning of December 01. I was hoping that the Filipinos would exceed the Chinese who gave so much to support their own.
I am confident that one way or another we will be able to buy a washing machine. A friend in the UK has already given a slightly used washing machine that my mother is hoping to sending it out to us on a container and we have been promised support from some foreign volunteer friends from the Logos Hope ship. But I am hoping and praying that there are some Filipino people who will rise to the challenge and will not be put to shame by the Chinese people!!