Family Care Center
The Family Care Center officially opened in July 2009 and currently operates as a child-minding center and training and livelihood center. Children aged 3 to 5 years old, from underprivileged families who do not have the means to pay for kindergarten education or hire caregivers for their children while they work, receive free care and pre-school education at the Family Care Center. Every weekday, the children shower and get clean clothes, learn to brush their teeth and wash their hands, are taught basic pre-school concepts by an in-house teacher, play with their friends, are provided with healthy and nutritious food and milk for snacks and lunch, and learn in a safe environment which is in stark contrast to the condition of their homes. The mothers often volunteer as cooks and for activities in their free time, or get work done and are able to support their families without worrying about the safety of their young children.
The center runs on donations from caring people who collaborate with us in giving opportunities to these children who otherwise have no chance to grow into well-educated individuals. We seek sponsors for each child through our Educational Sponsorship program to ensure their future and welcome guests who wish to celebrate special events and parties with the children. Any help that you are able to give to the Center, the children, or their families, is received with much gratitude.
BAGS AND ACCESSORIES
Rise Up Crafts is a livelihood program designed to help poverty-stricken families by helping mothers gain a steady income so they can provide food and education for their children. When we realized that the mothers of the children at the Family Care Center were not able to find work though we had taken in their pre-school children, we requested Fair Trade in Cebu to hold a bag-making seminar and workshops where the women received training in weaving bags, mats, purses and more from recycled rice, flour and feed sacks to create trendy and sustainable products from upcycled materials. It has made such a big difference for these mothers to have steady work to provide for their families, and they later joined us as instructors when we taught women in other areas. Another group of mothers made beautiful bracelets, belts, headbands, and earrings from scrap leather donated by an export company here in Cebu.
Marites and Dennis are siblings who both suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta. We met them at a school for disabled children and youth in 2001 and have since been in steady contact with them. As they had no chance of finding work, we helped them by investing in art materials and machines to help them make greeting cards out of recycled paper. Marites is talented and creative, so when we saw her creative designs, we donated a good sewing machine to her and now she has started sewing dresses and popular costumes for kids’ birthday parties. Ten years ago, she started her Christmas program for poor children, and she has been fundraising for this activity every year since. She chooses a poor area and 100 children whom she then gives parcels of food and Christmas-gifts to. You can help support these two sweet handicapped friends of ours by ordering costumes, dresses or alterations, as well as donating good quality second-hand clothing for them to sell and thereby help them have an income. You can also participate in Marites’ yearly Christmas gift-giving. A little will go a long way.