With our new seedlings program we teach children and adults alike the importance of organic farming and healthy nutrition. We give them seedlings from heirloom, open pollinated seeds which can bring forth good produce and replicate over and over again. Besides planting healthy seeds, we teach also how to make your own fertilizer and improve the soil quality.
Hello everyone! December is coming to a close and we have much to be thankful for! A lot has happened this month, and we owe it to the Lord and to the many, many sponsors who have generously donated, most of whom wish to remain anonymous.
Hundreds of very poor people in many places in Bohol, Mindanao and Samar have received not only rice this month, but also canned goods, oats, milk powder, Spaghetti and more. Thanks also to all the ones behind the scenes, helping to organize the giving to make sure it goes to the very poor, helping with buying and packing the goods, and then the ones bringing the donations and handing them out, not without giving them a message of hope and faith!
After the Pandemic, this year's Christmas party was a very welcome and happy change to the years of lock-downs. On December 17th, almost 50 children and their parents celebrated the birthday of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus! The party was held at the beautifully decorated Bellevue Pavilion, which use was graciously donated to us by the Bellevue admin.
As always, the event started with a prayer and was then followed by the national anthem, as well as a few inspirational speeches. Then came the turn for the children to shine! The teachers has practiced many songs, poems and cute dances with these 3 - 5 year olds, which they performed with boldness. The parents' performances were traditional dances and Christmas songs and left nothing to be desired. We even had a magic show done by Brother Matthew, who captured the audience with his tricks and illusions.
The food was exceptional! Bellevue had sponsored some delicious chicken and spaghetti, and the bountiful rest came all from the parents! The long awaited gifts, sponsored by STEPS Mission, were given at the end. The children received toys, and the parents were given rice, as well as some canned goods and milk. Everybody left with a happy heart, full of thankfulness and joy!
Several times a month, we continue to distribute rice, other foodstuffs and, more recently, seedlings to many poor people in Bohol and other places, who have become even poorer as a result of the pandemic and the economic crisis. With the seedlings, the recipients can feed themselves for a longer period of time, as they come from seed-proof varieties and can be multiplied again and again.
We are now in our fifth week since opening our newly renovated classrooms, and things are going very well. Last week we had our first evaluation, after which we will place the children in their permanent groups according to their reading and learning levels. Below you can see photos of a classroom of our restored school, and of Lourdes in the center of Panglao, where we also have a classroom for STEPSprogramm. Every day we teach between 45 and 50 preschoolers.
Here at the celebration of the founding day of the United Nations, which is celebrated here every year at the end of October in all schools. This year, the celebration had to be postponed due to a heavy storm.
The other day we held a short seminar for the kindergarten teachers of Panglao. The meeting was arranged by the vice mayor, who had also visited our school before and was happy about our wish to cooperate again, like before the pandemic, with the local schools and day care centers. On the picture on the right you can see a container school, which is supplied with electricity by solar cells and will be independent from the local electricity companies from now on. It was donated as a prototype by a Chinese friend who wants to help the community by providing this type of classroom at cost. The mayor of Panglao, who also visited us recently, shows great interest in promoting this kind of container schools in remote places.
In Samar we have 4 centers using our STEPS program and 3 more are being opened soon. Adults also join in the learning.