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SPOTLIGHT: Making A Difference

posted Dec 18, 2011, 5:44 PM by Tia Razon   [ updated Dec 18, 2011, 5:45 PM ]

Site Visit 2011

Toddler at CRIBS Foundation
 Our first site visit was to the CRIBS Foundation in Marikina, Manila to meet the dedicated individuals whose lives focus on the care of girl’s who have been abandoned or abused and the infants and toddlers awaiting new homes.
We had a chance to get to know the girls who were in the school there, ages 7 to 16, during our Q&A . During these lively discussions they enjoyed the chance to practice their English and had many questions for members of our group. 
 In addition, our educational grant recipient came by to share her experiences of her first year at college and how it has changed her life.  
On our visit to the Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary school we were greeted with “Good Morning Visitors” by the  children in each classroom. What was most special was that each teacher and student had the California textbooks CRF had donated last year on their desks being used as part of their school curriculum. 

As we proceeded to their school library, books on “Sealife in California”, “California Treasures” stood proudly on stand up frames on entrance. In the teacher’s library were wall to wall California Reading, Math and Science books. On the other end of the library there were the children’s reading books, all catalogued for student checkout. Educational recycling at it’s finest. Books destined for California landfills donated by California teachers and school districts keep on giving knowledge ten thousands miles away.

Our last visit was to the Preda Foundation a 4 hour drive through the lush countryside. There we met Father Shay Cullen, the tireless, Nobel nominated, dedicated Irish priest who has lived in the Philippines for many years. He described the challenges in his area – a ex American airforce base where prostitution once thrived has left a legacy of abandoned AmerAsian children. Now,street prostitution has been replaced by technology as Internet porn thrives bringing with it visitors from around the world seeking relations with children. His staff of paralegals continue to push the envelope to ensure that these pedophiles are brought to justice. Father Cullen personally works with the Philippine Justice Department on laws that protect Philippine children. Sadly, corruption and payoffs are familiar landscapes his courageous team face regularly. With his personal safety at risk, he continues to pursue legal action against the predators who threaten the safety of the children fortunate enough to seek shelter with his organization.
Preda’s latest request was for shoes for the boys who play sports in flipflops. Our call was answered by Atlas Skateboards who quickly went to work with their generous vendors and friends to cull over 90 pairs of shoes, over 75% of them brand new. When the shoes arrived Father Cullen described how this donation was more than shoes but about giving a better self image and confidence to these children who have nothing. Thank you Atlas Skateboard for all your help with this!
Preda Kids with new shoe donation

Preda Kids with new shoe donation