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

 

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.
Jim

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:
https://mydonate.bt.com/events/cheeseicecream/461461?

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
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcingabruk/14482436185/in/photostream/