2020 Visit

A team from the UK are heading off to Manila at the end of January and we are excited to share our journey with fellow streetlight supporters. While we are away we will leave updates as often as possible and it is a real encouragement to the team if you are able to leave messages from home as well.

This week we’ll introduce some of the team members so I’ll start.

I’m Helen, I first visited Kanlungan in 2010 and I became a Streetlight Trustee in 2012 and this is my 5th trip. Over the last 10 years I have witnessed many changes in the projects, children I met on my first trip have now grown but the commitment of staff and transformation in children’s lives stay the same. Each trip is different and I can’t wait to see what this team bring to our 2 weeks in Manila.


Hi, my name is Lou I’m married to Gareth and have two teenage children, Matthew and Charlotte.

I love walking and will soon be training to become a yoga teacher.
I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years caring for patients in many different situations, I’m so lucky to have a job that I love, caring for others is incredibly  rewarding so I fully understand why the staff at Kanlungan do what they do!

The opportunity to visit Kanlungan is something I feel very fortunate to have and I can’t wait to meet everyone!!

Final Thoughts from the Team in Manila

We are now coming towards the end of our trip to Manila, and what a trip it has been. Personally, I have been really touched by the love and compassion that the Kanlungan staff have for all the children. It really is an incredible family. 

On Thursday we drove out to a place called Antipolo to visit the burned out remains of what once was a children’s home. Ate Sol explained that the property has been donated to Kanlungan and she has a vision for it to become a home for children with disabilities and a safe place for children that have been abused exploited online pornography. We had the privilege of praying at the site and while praying one of the team had a vision of children playing barefoot in soft grass. A sight hard to imagine when surrounded by chard brokenness and ashes.

But the team who had been to the farm when it was first donated can testify the transformation that God can bring to a property when He wants to use it for His purposes. It is now an incredible home for the boys who live there. All thanks to our God who hears and answers prayers and to the incredible generosity of the worldwide Christian family. Please join with us and Kanlungan in praying for what this new site will become.

On Friday we spent a joyful morning at the Open Day Centre (ODC). Children from the surrounding communities come to the ODC each day for hot food and fellowship. Many of the young people are also helped with education costs.

We spent the rest of the day regaining our strength to be ready for the big event: The 2018 Streetlight Mini-Olympics.

For many of the children and staff this is a much anticipated event as it is one of the few times each year when all of the parts of Kanlungan come together. It is such a special time of fun and celebration.

Each of the Streetlight team joined of one of the teams and were given a very limited amount of time to learn and practice part of a dance routine – routines that the children had been preparing for weeks! They were very impressive, we were slightly less so.

I had the privilege of joining the mighty mighty boy’s home, they had proven victorious in many of the previous years so the pressure was on. They came together well, but despite a valiant effort this year it was second place, we were beaten to the top spot by the Tunasan Day Centre. To be fair TCC put in a very impressive effort, and their teacher, Vernon, showed just as much, if not more, passion then any of the children.

The Mini-Olympics were brought to a close with a very special time of worship. All of the staff and children that we had meet were there as one united family worshiping God together.

As we now prepares to leave Manila, that incredibly joyful sense of family joined by God’s love is something that I will nether forget.

An Update from Bethany

Today marks our third full day in Manila and what a day its been. We started the day off with a visit to the Tunasan day centre where we went out to visit one of the street communities, here we were lucky enough to spend some time in the house of a family there. It was amazing to see their ingenuity and how they manage to make a home out of practically nothing. It was also clear how much they valued family and their sense of community. We then ate lunch at the day centre and after we spent time eating ice cream and singing and dancing with the kids; they joy we witnessed was outstanding.


In the afternoon we headed to the girls home and as always we were welcomed with beaming smiles and lots of hugs. The afternoon was then well spent singing, dancing and playing games with the girls. We were then blessed with the amazing opportunity to take part in their evening devotion. To see the girls really engage in worship was incredible and something I will remember for a long time, coming through in their worship as well was a real sense of family and love and support for each other. To see girls who have had a pretty tough start in life still praising and thanking God was brilliant and at times a bit emotional.

I am absolutely loving the time in Manila so far and praise God for all that we’ve been a part of. I can not wait to see what other experiences lie ahead.

The New Team Arrives – An Update from Jim

Hi everyone,
My name is Jim and I am one of the trustees helping to lead the current Streetlight Trust trip to Manila.
During the last 12 years, I’ve been to visit the project many times and it is always fantastic to return and see just how well the staff and kids are progressing. It’s particularly exciting for me this year because I am sharing the experience with 5 other friends from our church in Bradford. I know they will have a great time and be blessed by the whole experience.

After a long journey we are now settling into new routines.
For the Bradford contingent, we left home on Tuesday morning and finally fell into our beds very late on Wednesday night. The overwhelming heat and time difference takes some getting used to but we were able to have a great first full day on Thursday – visit to the coffee shop in the morning followed by a welcome and lunch at the Residential Training Centre. There are currently 19 kids at the centre ranging from 6 years old to 15. We had a lovely afternoon playing games with the children and trying (miserably) to copy and learn their dance routines! The kids immediately started plaiting the long hair of Molly, Hannah, Bethany, Christine, Celia, and Beth. (Not an experience the ‘folically challenged’ members of our team could enjoy!).
We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

Last Wednesday

The team are now safely back home – though I am writing this from Hong Kong were I am staying with my amazing niece Susie and her husband Rory who are working here with another great Christian organization, rescuing men from drug addiction.

Before she left, Nicky wrote this blog post describing her experiences last Wednesday. In the end, this turned out to be some of the hardest things we saw during our whole visit:

“In the morning we visited the holiday club run from the ODC. This is an amazing project within Kanlungan where they run a holiday club in the areas where the children are.  This is basically teaching and playing in between a used railway line and the remnants of an old building, no risk assessments here! The children were in three groups the youngest were doing colouring – no desks required just a piece of levelish ground, the next age group were listening to teaching over the noise of the busy road next door, the occasional train and the noise from the building of the new highway overhead.  The oldest children were playing basket ball to which their numbers were instantly added with Calum and Ethan.

We left the boys to play and walked along the railway track to meet some of the families living there; no fitted kitchens here.

Further along the track we saw that the families who had previously been cleared away by the authorities from under a road bridge were returning.  Their homes positioned next to a very interesting smelling river – quite poignant that one of the tarpaulins read Dream House.

We all went to see Wilmar further along the river where we joined him and some of the local children – some of whom we had met previously to sing some songs. It was great to see the older children becoming young leaders being supported by the Kanlungan staff.

The local clean up team consisting of two ladies clearing up the rubbish from the side of the river – very hard in 35 degree heat – if only pictures came with the sense of smell you could all get a sense of the environment.

Today we have really seen what a difference Kanlungan are making to the lives of the children they serve, the staff are all saints!





Thank You – for a Cheesy Afternoon!

Thanks to everyone who has donated to our Cheese-a-thon, we’re really looking forward to tucking into a cheesy treat later today!

If you want to see our ‘grate’ exploit, then you can log onto the Streetlight Trust Facebook page here or go to https://www.facebook.com/streetlight.trust/ at around 9am UK time (though remember time can be a bit flexible in Manila!) to see how things go 🙂

If you would still like to give, its not too late – just click here or go to https://mydonate.bt.com/events/cheeseicecream

News from Simon and Calum

“On Monday we went to ‘Splash Island‘ with all the Kanlungan family. During the day we all went to play in the park. It was massive, there were lots of slides and a big wave pool with inflatables in the deep end. Lots of the children went swimming and only came out for food. At the end everyone got changed and got into a circle to worship. After that we all said goodbye and headed back to the hotel.

The highlight for me of the week was today because all the children were there and everyone had a good time.

For the children, too, this was a much anticipated day, and some of them had been awake since 4am! It is also a poignant time, particularly for siblings in the different settings, who only see each other occasionally.

Thankfully Tuesday has been at a very different pace, both for us and the children of Benitez House. We began by joining the weekly staff devotions, sharing together our gratitude to God for all that we have been given, in the work of Kanlungan and Streetlight, for all that we mutually benefit, and then joining together in prayer, that even if we don’t speak the same language, we love and serve the same God.

The afternoon was spent with the children, engaged in a range of craft activities. That these children, who have been through so much already in their young lives, can engage with such an activity with enthusiasm, skill and imagination, is testament to the endless love, energy and patience of all of the Kanlungan team.”

Don’t forget … you can support Kanlungan by giving to our Cheese Ice Cream eating challenge! Just click here or go to https://mydonate.bt.com/events/cheeseicecream/461461

Remember … we need to get to £300 or its “hard cheese!!!”

Cheesy Bliss (or not!)

The Filipinos love Cheese Ice Cream, but for us its a more acquired taste! If you would like to see the current team eat a 1.5 litre tub of Cheese Ice Cream between us then we need to raise at least £300 towards the work of Kanlungan through Streetlight.

Yes that’s genuine Cheese Ice Cream – “Cheese Ice Cream blended with Real Cheese Bits”  and here’s the proof:

This cheesy challenge will take place on at around 4pm on Thursday afternoon (so that’s 9am UK time) and will be Live Streamed by Ate Eunace on Facebook!!

But if you don’t get to £300 then the cheese is off (or we’ll be cheesed off … or both)

To donate click here or follow this link:

Ethan’s Basketball Adventure

There is so much going on here, its difficult to keep up with it all on the blog! We had a fantastic day swimming today, but tonight’s blog comes from Ethan – describing his experiencing playing Basketball yesterday:

“Following the church service, Calum and I left the Open Day Care centre, (ODC) with Kuya Wilmar (one of the Kanlungan Social Workers) and the basket ball team who are all children attending the ODC. We went to a basket ball court which was edged on one side with a concrete wall topped with barbed wire and the other side was a rubble car park with Jeepneys randomly parked, at the back of the court were their homes, although not like anything back in the UK a selection of ramshackle social housing with sometimes 7 families in one dwelling – some would call it a slum but it is a step up from those living on the streets.

We watched a parade of team colours listen to the National Anthem and listen to some motivational speeches from some of the councillors .  Before we got to play in a match the councillors gave out some new basket balls to the teams which we all had a mess about with – practicing our shooting skills.  We then played a match with the ODC team against some university players which was great fun.

It was then time to leave so Kuya Wilmar took us back to the Shalom on one of the local Jeepney’s, the local bus transportation, another unique Manila experience.

The children are really great they always seem to be happy and are such fun to be around they really make me smile.”


This is not an actual photo from the event, but gives an idea of what it is like

The End of the First Week … Caroline’s Reflections

We’ve had a great day swimming today … more on that later, but thanks to Caroline for a great reflection on our time here so far:
“We’ve come to the end of week one. It has been an intense but very well managed journey. We have had extraordinary experiences interspersed with much needed down time.
We are all a really supportive group and are beginning to get to know each other well and connect on many levels. We’ve already started planning future reunions and fund raising opportunities.
The highest point for me over the last 2 days was being a ‘parent’ for one of the girls for their graduation. This personalised the emotions: she became my little girl, marking her achievements, at the threshold of going to ‘big school’. I felt so proud of her.  I want as much for her as I do for my own daughter. The intensity of the emotions surprised me. It was like the emotion I felt when my daughter was born. At the time I had been concerned that I might not be able to love someone as much as I loved my two year old son; but when I held my daughter for the first time, the love just flowed. Yesterday, when I became this little girls parent, the love just flowed!
And then they sang ‘The greatest love of all’, which if you read my initial blog, you will know, is very significant to me. So that was it,  I was awash with tears! To be fair, we all were, and I wondered what the children made of that. I do hope that they felt the genuine love that was in the room.”