The Tenth Big Day

"I always wanted to help in my own little way. God has blessed me with so many things in life and I believe that it is imperative to share these blessings to people who needed the most. I am always looking forward to celebrate my birthday differently. Thanks to my friends who supported me along the way. Seeing the children happy is the best gift that I have received that day." 

Shai enjoying every moment with the kids on her natal day

The School

The tenth distribution was planned unexpectedly. Shai, a volunteer of POHD, wanted to do something special on her birthday. With the help of other volunteers, she organized a party for the 65 pupils of Ocean View Play Group Center, one of the day care centers of Kobbler Federation of Neighborhood Association (KOFNAI) in Barangay Ilang,  Bunawan, Davao City. The area was identified with the help of Ms Miraflor Austria, a project team leader in the community. 

A typical house in the community

Residents of the community came from the outskirts of Agdao, Boulevard, R. Castillo, Matina, Tibungco, Sasa, Buhangin and other districts in Davao City. In 2003, they made an exodus-like journey to this foreclosed Maranon property despite the poor infrastructure conditions and the absence of water and power supplies. Currently, KOFNAI officers are still negotiating for the legal acquisition of land through the government's programs for urban poor communities. Though they have been given access to electricity and water, most families live in dilapidated nipa houses. 

The Distribution

Last March 21, 2012, four POHD volunteers came to the center to spend a few hours with the kids. The original plan was to have the big day in their classroom but due to limited space, the teachers decided to have the program at the community seminar hall. 

Top left : The day care center (with a floor area of about 30 square meters)
Top right: A shot inside the ceiling-less day care center
Bottom left: The unfinished community seminar hall
Bottom right: The community event area (composed of a chapel, the day care center,
the seminar hall and a basketball court)

The program started with a prayer led by a student. Then the kids listened to the story of Pinocchio and were reminded that telling a lie isn't a good act. After the storytelling activity, the vols facilitated parlor games that excite the kids. Some were shy but many actively participated and had a great time. 

The kids while listening to the story

A group of girls also prepared a dance number which gained much applause from the spectators. Everyone brimmed with awe as they discover their promising talent and outstanding effort. 

Kids outsmarting the vols with their dance steps

After about an hour of merry-making, they were then given a kit of storybooks, pencils, crayons, ruler, eraser and sharpener. The kit was meant to serve as supplemental educational materials during summer vacation. 

Kits ALWAYS bring magical happiness to kids' faces

The birthday snack and group pictures followed. Of course, the kids didn't forget to sing a birthday song for Shai.  

Kids and vols 

To Ate Miraflor and the community leaders who coordinated with the school, 
to the preschool teachers who helped the vols in facilitating the program,
to our supporters and donors, to Shai, Belle, Dan and Kit, 

iRun for Pens of Hope

Below are some pictures taken during the fun run activity initiated by SAMAHAN, the student body organization of Ateneo de Davao University, on March 10, 2012.

Thank you very much for supporting Pens of Hope in Davao.