It was in March 2013 that Kim and Phil Demars took a trip to the Philippines from Orlando, Florida to spend some time with their sponsored child and to visit all the projects in the Philippines.
Spending time with the students, teachers and in the communities gave them a better perspective of the great need of such educational facilities which reach out to the most deserving children of the poverty stricken neighborhoods. Before leaving the Philippines, Kim and Phil decided to sponsor another child and support her in her educational needs.
Their visit was a source of blessing for the students, staff, communities and the projects.,the management is grateful for their generosity.
Phil and Kim’s Reflections on Their Trip
My wife and I had the good fortune to be able to travel to Negros Occidental, Philippines and stay for one month. We were able to visit the schools in Bacolod, Manapla, Taloc, and Binalbagan. We also visited the ministry for homeless/street children in Quezon City.
Our purpose for going was to see the child we started to sponsor a couple years ago and to get a first hand look at what ABC Childrenâ€™s Aid is doing. We had time to observe the daily operation, attend Moving Up ceremonies (graduation), and as guests, attend the ABC Board Meetings. We also visited in one of the slum areas where many of the students live. After going there, it is easy to see why the free schooling provided by ABC is needed.
It was wonderful to see and meet the children, teachers, and school staff. We even met Angie, who was one of the pioneers of ABC in the Philippines and now volunteers as the ABC School Librarian. She told us what the children were like when the school first started. She talked about how many were dirty, smelly, fought with each other and otherwise misbehaved. Such a difference and improvement the school has made in their lives.
I had seen poverty before when driving by but, in this case it became personal and has affected my life. Many of the school children come from dysfunctional families and a difficult life. Some of these children will at times come to school without breakfast or a breakfast of rice with a little sugar.
The needs of the people and the school were almost overwhelming. We are firm believers that education is the way for the children to get out of the slums and help their families in the process. There are a lot of physical needs that the schools have. With enough children sponsors, the situation could be much improved. The children could all have uniforms, fans in all the school rooms, etc., and if enough children were sponsored, the feeding program could be restarted. To Those already sponsoring, I want to say, please continue doing so and to those who are in the process of making a decision, please be encouraged with our experience and make a difference in the lives of these precious children.
Â Phil and Kim Demars