Epping Church Orphanage Project 2010
Our church has taken on a special project to raise AUD$50,000 to assist in the construction of a school for an orphanage in the Philippines. The orphanage is managed by International Childrens Care and all donations over $2 are tax deductible.
Poverty and disease are the main reasons why so many children are homeless and in need of our care in the Philippines.
In 1998, ICC was requested to establish a program in the Philippines. In 1999 a home was rented on the outskirts of Manilla, to establish a small receiving centre to care for 22 children.
In 2000 it was decided to establish a Children's Country Home Village in the Pampanga Province.
In 2003 the children were relocated to this 16 hectare property, where there are three cottage homes, an administration home and a two classroom elementary school. An extensive agricultural program is also being established on this land to support the project.
To build in a child the capacity to contribute to the future development of their communities and to prevent them from a life of poverty, they must be able to access training in basic learning and life skills. The learning programs for boys and girls include functional literacy and numeracy skills, vocational training and basic education that enables a deprived child to be able to access resources and opportunities that are available to other children.
Through these programs our children have the opportunity to more effectively determine their own futures and help provide lasting solutions to poverty.
Education Program Specific to Philippines
The children attend the ICC Happy Valley Kindergarten and Primary School at the ICC Centre and at the Central Luzon Academy, which is located next to the ICC Centre.
ICC Happy Valley School provides Kindergarten up to Grade 4 and will expand as the children get older. The dedicated teachers help the children with accelerated studies when they come to us, as they have usually had little education.
We have three teachers who currently all teach multi grades. ICC Happy Valley School currently has: a Kindergarten and Prep, Grades 1 & 2, and Grades 3 & 4 classes.
Because of the trauma the children have experienced in their lives, most find it difficult to concentrate. Therefore, they need a lot of individual attention until they can settle and feel secure and safe in their new home.
Lack of good food leads to poor nutrition, stunted physical growth, low immunity, susceptibility to disease and death.
Our communities receive training in best practice in the areas of: crops, market gardens, orchards, organics, composting, mulching, soil conservation, water containment, dry season management, reforestation and marketing of their goods.
This not only equips them to become self-sufficient in producing wholesome, nutritious food all year round, year after year; it also teaches them to care for their land. Tools, equipment, machinery, irrigation, drainage, seeds, plants and fertilisers are all donated.
Agriculture Program Specific to the Philippines
The agricultural program at ICC Philippines is currently being established and includes: fruit trees, large crops such as corn and soya beans, and home vegetable gardens with a large variety of vegetables for the home table.
Children and staff take great pride in making their centre neat and attractive. There are beautiful lawns and flower beds throughout the centre, making it a peaceful and uplifting environment for young children.
All of the children who are old enough participate in the agricultural program by planting, harvesting, watering, weeding, collecting leaves and maintaining crops.
Some of the children who take a keen interest in gardening have, in addition to their home gardens, their own garden crops to care for in their free time. They can then sell their crops for some pocket money.
This year the whole of the 16 hectare property has been cleared and a large banana and fruit tree planting program has commenced.
Children and Family Life
There are 22 children at ICC Philippines. These children have come from very traumatic backgrounds and as soon as they are all well settled we will accept more children. We expect this to be in March 2006. Our children's ages range from 1 year to 12 years old.
There are 3 children's homes, with one Administration home. Homes are made up of boys and girls of mixed ages with a married couple to care for them, just like a real family. Because the children are young at ICC Philippines, we also have an aunt to help care for the children in the homes. The children like to have fun and play together in the newly constructed playground. They also enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and football (soccer).
On Sundays, the children all work together in the mornings in developing the beauty of the campus. They then have a picnic lunch together on the lawns, followed by games and fun for all. Micro-Industries and Vocational Training equips the children with valuable skills that will enable them to become self sufficient and contributing citizens long after leaving the centre.
Program Specific to the Philippines
Plans are currently being made for the future in regards to Industry and Vocational Training for the Philippines Project. At this stage there are no children old enough in this centre to take part in this important part of ICC life.
There are many people, both young and old, who volunteer to do short-term work at ICC Philippines. The majority only stay for two weeks, but are able to use their skills to get a great amount of work done during that time. Some of the more recent volunteers have included: builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, teachers and surveyors.
Some volunteers have stayed long term and have been instrumental in developing the campus from raw jungle to the beautiful home it now is for our precious children.
There are three homes and one Administration home. Each home has 6 bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen and 2 bathrooms for the children and an ensuite for the house parents. The centre also has a playground, a garden shed, a two classroom Primary School, a temporary native material meeting place and a garage.
Christmas is a special time for the centre, with a special meal and gift and especially with Carol singing in the community and also to a number of places in Manilla.
Throughout the year the children join with other similar groups for a sports festival and cultural and arts activities.
Each year the children have a special weekend at Silang, where they were first located. While there, they take special worship programs at the church where they previously attended.
Once a year the centre has a long weekend away at the Baptist beach camp and they all enjoy the swimming.
Birthdays are a special occasion for each child. The house parents make a special meal for the children and give them a small gift on their birthday. Then once a month the whole centre celebrates all the birthdays for that month with a combined meal, special blessing prayer and the main gifts are given to the children at that time.
Philippines in General
Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Government type: Republic
Population: 96,061,680 (July 2008 est.)
Coastline: 36,289 km
Climate: tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Roman Catholic 80.9%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)
Two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English
Eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan.
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