mount of toys they have. Ate Mary got down on her knees and taught the children how to play Jenga which they soon picked up . The children are very quick to learn.
It is a deep rooted belief at Kanlungan that all children are made in the image of their creative Father God. The children are encouraged to express themselves through music, dance, drama and art. Children who are recovering from trauma may not be able to express themselves in words but opening up their creativity can often be the key to moving forward.
At the KSEM 30th Anniversary the children’s pictures were sold to guests and it was a delight for the Streetlight Trustees to meet the artists of their paintings and to let them know how much we appreciated their artwork.
Thanks to the generous luggage allowance on our flight from Manila this summer we were able to bring some paintings back to the UK. If you would like to purchase an original KSEM painting please talk to one of the trustees.
One of the older children who used the Open Day Centre found this quote from American Artist Georgia O’Keefe,
“I found i could say things with color and shapes that i couldn’t say any other way – i have no words for.”
—Georgia O’keeffe American Artist 1887 – 1986
Please pray for all the children that they will continue to grow in the likeness of their Creator, Father God and also pray for the KSEM staff who seek to fund creative ways to bring healing to these young lives.
It has been a complete honour and joy to be able to join the Kanlungan family to celebrate the charity’s 30th anniversary. Founding trustees, current supporters and staff, past and present, joined together on Friday afternoon to celebrate.
Children currently attending the projects performed traditional and modern dances and songs with huge smiles and enthusiasm. They had obviously practised for many hours to perfect their routines and their enjoyment at being able to perform was inspiring.
A video had been made by past recipients of Kanlungan’ss care. Some parents themselves, others now working or volunteering for Kanlungan all spoke of the transforming love and care that they had received and the new life and hope they were given.
We are unable to post this video to our website or social media but we will be able to use it a Streetlight events back in the UK so that you will all be able to see it at some point. Please ask a trustee if you don’t get to see it in the near future.
So many projects, so little time.
After a few hours sleep we set off at 7am to join other supporters on a tour of all the Kanlungan projects. Starting with the long drive out to CavIite. First stop, boys home, where we were rewarded for our 4 hour journey with a fabulous selection of fresh Philippine fruit and a well needed coffee and a chance to catch up with the boys and staff. On a quick tour of the farm we we able to see the hard work that has been done to clear more land and saw the new pineapple crop, only planted this week. Change is normal at Kanlungan, there is always something new happening. Adapting to needs as they arise is a thread running through the whole story of the last 30 years.
Back in the bus we moved on to the Girls Home in Laguna for an amazing lunch prepared by the staff and girls. As always at the girls home there was much laughing and squealing as the girls entertained us with their dancing. The volume of laughter at the girls home is always amazing but in full party mode it is delightful, if overwhelming.
Driving back towards the centre of Manila we stopped at the Tunasan Day Centre which works to serve the families that in that community. The Tunasan Centre can always be relied upon to put on a quality show of singing and dancing and this presentation was no different. Visitors were encouraged, some more reluctantly that others, to join in traditional dances. We performed with varying proficiency but our participation always pleases, and amuses, the kids. I don’t think it would matter how many times I attempt the Bamboo long dance I will never manage to success in mastering it. Thankfully we can’t post videos here! Leaving with a goody bag of fried banana snacks for the journey it was all too quickly back to the bus.
Next stop, Open Day Centre. More singing, dancing and giggling and chance to see the newly refurbished school room. More space is allowing the staff to do more and they continue to work tirelessly to support the children who visit them each day.
As the sun began to set over Manila Bay we returned to Benitez House to the children of the level 1 residential centre who had been patiently awaiting our return. Their patience was rewarded by ice creams and time to play.
It was a 12 hour marathon tour but seeing all the projects on the same day gave perspective to the true scale of the work Kanlungan does from street community projects, healthcare and school scholarships, through residential homes for school age children and on into aftercare support for young adults and whole families. It is inspiring, and humbling and I am so proud to be part of the Kanlungan family and to serve it in my small way.
We fly home late tomorrow. The visit has been too short but will stay with me forever.
Thank you for your prayers while we have been away from the UK and huge thanks to Zachary for letting me come.
A new team is flying out on Easter Sunday, 1st April to spend ten days visiting Manila and seeing first-hand all the amazing work that Kanlungan does.
The team is being led by Mark Adams and Mary Lane and includes people from Milton Keynes, Nottinghamshire, Wolverhampton and Essex. Please check back nearer the time for updates on our progress and to follow the team during the visit.
“I first heard about The Streetlight Trust through good friends at my church in Enderby, Leicester.
It was brilliant to know that as a church we could do something to make a difference to children’s lives in a different country and get to find out the results of how that might look so quickly.
I am involved with the children’s and youth work at Enderby Parish Church something I feel strongly about helping. Through suffering a not so great childhood myself as soon as I heard that the Streetlight Trust helps build children’s lives back together and give them a fresh start I knew I had to get involved. Knowing that God had changed my life so much I knew that he could change theirs too and if I could play a small part in that then I was only too happy to help.
I am a governor at the local primary school and on the assembly rota at both primary and secondary schools. This became an open door to involve the primary school, local children and their families as well as the groups at church for children and young people too. Along came the sock appeal 4 years ago which the school supported by raising money in socks to help buy books and school uniforms. A great way to help the children to have an education and I guess you could say at every opportunity since I have tried to get involved and raise funds to help.
My friend Richard from our church visited Kanlungan in 2010 I was thrilled to hear about the work that was being done there. So as you can imagine my excitement at the opportunity to go and finally meet the children and the team and then come back and then share it not only with my church family but the 400+ children at the primary school and 900 young people at the secondary school too.
So with the love and support of my friends and family I can honestly say I really can’t wait! Bring on January 2013!”
Thanks to Fi Shouler for this great review of KSEM Kafe on Trip Advisor …
“This is a little oasis in the midst of the bustle of the city. Green plants outside the door entice you into a coffee shop that is well worth going out of your way to visit. The young men who run it are a total delight and nothing is too much trouble. I was there with a group and they cooked us “Eggs scramble and toasted bread” every morning. Some of our number were addicted to the chocolate cake (sadly as a diabetic I couldn’t indulge). Best of all was the coffee – using coffee grown by a charity that works with street children (and the banoffee pie used bananas grown by them too!). Honestly this was the best coffee ever and so cheap! You can even buy packets of the beans or ground coffee to bring home. There is also free wi-fi so I recommend this to anyone travelling. We just kept going back – a great way to start the day. Don’t miss this gem.”