Final thought from our Philippine Trip

What an amazing experience and privilege it has been for me to be able to be so closely involved with a project that is really working on the front line in defence and protection of vulnerable children.
Nothing could inform you better about the need for such work than a visit to the workplace to dig beyond the surface and see the depth of love and dedication being shown by Ate Sol and her team in this project.     It is sad to think that these children are actually the lucky ones in the fight against poverty, homelessness, abandonment and abuse for they have been and are being rescued and loved and supported throughout life whereas many go unnoticed and slip below the radar, which is why support for this project is so vital.
Ate Sol, the founder of Kanlungan, has been working tirelessly and fearlessly for 31 years and deserves our admiration, but she would be the first to acknowledge that project would not succeed without her team of most dedicated staff.  It is obvious to me that they all have a calling on their lives to work with these children, in the process , bringing them to a belief in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. They need and deserve every ounce of our help and support as they trust and rely on God to equip them day in day out with healing damaged young lives.
The staff really do show their faith by their deeds and live out the words of this scripture
James 2 v14-18 Faith and deeds.
Many Blessings Lynne
I felt that the staff needed to know that they were anointed in carrying out the words of Jesus when he said that he was to proclaim Good News to the poor , proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind and set the oppressed free.
This is what they do day in and day out releasing children from poverty and pain and helping to heal broken lives and this is a big emotional journey, I felt is was important to leave the staff with hope from Romans 15 verse 13.
 ‘  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit ‘       May they be truly blessed.
     Much love.       Leta
Every time I come to visit Kanlungan I’m humbled by what Ate SOL and the staff achieve with the children in their care.  Many young lives are broken and hurting and the Kanlungan team work tirelessly to love these young ones. –  this is not an easy task as you can imagine. So please pray for Ate Sol and her unbelievable team, that they are strengthened daily by the Holy Spirit and blessed beyond measure.
    As the Kanlungan team carry the Light of Jesus with them, surely this scripture is for them …
    ‘You are the Light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden’.
     Matthew 5 verse 14.
     Much love.    Mary xx
farm2

Visiting the Farm

Driving down to the farm
What a day we had yesterday, we saw so much it is sometimes hard to process it all:-)
As we drove out of metro Manila I was once again struck by the vastness of the city and what a brave project Kanlungan is!
The Kanlungan farm is one of my favourite places and watching it transform into what is now a beautiful boys home and a working farm .It is now the place God wants it to be and truly a miracle.  Sitting with two of the boys and playing with my binoculars was one of the highlights of the day for me.
We called in to the boys school ,  a bright and happy place with lots of space to play
The principal tells us that the Kanlungan boys are such good dancers (as well as good students:-)
We finished the day with a firework display at the mall of Asia and then very civilised shopping at Balikbayan with refreshments and snacks all thrown in!
To be honest it’s very hard to put into words what we are experiencing but I know God is in it and there’s a lot of blessings here.
Much love Mary xxx

A day of singing and dancing

What joy it has been to do so much dancing and singing with the children at the Tunasan Centre, with the girls at the girls home and with street families out on derelict sites amidst make shift homes constructed from tarpaulin, cardboard and plastic sheets.
The welcome at Tunasan was overwhelming as there were the greatest number of children there and all wanted to hug us ,and all at the same time!!
It was great fun teaching them our dance and playing patacake with them – they were fascinated.
leta.jpg
Another most memorable occasion was joining in with the girls(at girls home) for worship before sharing a meal with them.
It is my first visit out here so there is so much to take in – so much wonderful work going on amidst so much poverty – the staff of all aspects of the project show such dedication and commitment and are certainly acting out their faith-shining the light of Jesus in some very dark places.  Matthew5 v14
Love Lynne xxx

Day 2

Today we arrived at the Open Day Centre mid morning where the children were in the middle of their worship and prayer time ( no words on screen here) All the children seem to know their songs and actions and sing from the heart.  It’s amazing to see the dedication of the staff who help and work with the children to achieve so much with so little !
      Lovely to see Wilmer again. It’s been 10 years since my last visit to Kanlungan.   What a fantastic job he is doing with such a passion for every aspect of the work with which he is involved.
     Amazingly small classroom into which 30 children have to fit and all at different levels of ability.  Quite humbling really when you consider what we have in UK schools.
       Watching children at play, again quite humbling, when you realise the small a

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.

      Pray for the staff who work there every day
      Who’ve devoted their lives in such special ways
       Pray for the children who live on the streets
       That they and their families with Jesus would meet
        Pray they’ll know how much they are loved
        And are special and treasured by Jesus our Lord.
Much love.  Leta xx
mary ODC

Mary & friends are off to the Philippines

Streetlight Trustee Mary, and two of her friends, have gone to Manila on a two week trip.   
At the end of day 1 Mary has messaged:-  
We arrived safely last night after a really smooth flight on Philippine airlines.  Thank you for your prayers everyone!
There were huge queues at passport control but we spotted a desk for senior citizens with only a few people so off we toddled (there are some advantages of being old)
We went for breakfast at Ksem Kafe then on to Benitez house to meet the children, we have spent most of the day there just hanging out with them and telling them all about Robin Hood! I love it
Mary xxx
mary ksem
Thanks for messaging us all back home.  Have a great trip and enjoy all the benefits that being a ‘Lola’ (grandmother) offers you in Philippine culture.  Always ask for a ‘seniors discount’    God bless,   Helen X

 

Art as Therapy.

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.

30th Anniversary Celebrations

Let’s Party

Ate Sol

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.

Current Staff

 

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.

Helen

 

We’re Returning to Manila soon!

We’re really excited to let you know that we are in the final stages of preparing for our next trip to visit Kanlungan in Manila.

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.

Salamat po!

January 2013 Visit – Crystal’s View

Crystal McAllister is one of the team going to Manila in January. She explains how she got involved in the work of Streetlight and what she is looking forward to about her 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!”

KSEM Kafe – Trip Advisor Review

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.”