The trip to the Philippines will provide students with heartwarming experiences centered around a tutoring center in a small village called Nanka. Here, students can see how people help each other to cope with extreme poverty. Students will also visit a social service agencies that deal with issues of human trafficking, child welfare, poverty, substance abuse, and crime. Before returning to New York, we will all stay overnight in Hong Kong, a cosmopolitan center where the East meets the West.
Family Fun Park
"It was so cool to see the children get along together without arguing. They played together (see-saws, swings, slides, volleyball, etc.) and we went to the zoo with them... way different from the zoo's in the New York! :) Seeing them with their big smiles as we took the to the swimming pool was so heart-warming. Although these kids may not have as much as we have in America, they still know how to smile and stay happy. It was such a blessing serving the ice cream as they thanked me with a smile. Manners is something that these kids do not lack." - Shaquala Fields
Olive Grove Church
"It was interesting to see such a contemporary church that spoke total English here in the Philippines. It was a short reminder of home. Just to see the people in total worship within such a welcoming atmosphere was so amazing. After service it was cool to see how after they were dismissed people still stayed to worship joyfully. And how they all came to greet us; the hospitality was amazing!
Operation Second Chance Center was truly a place of second chances. I was amazed to see that the Central Government in Cebu, Philippines would see the children as victims rather than perpetrators of civil unrest. Usually when you do the crime you pay but those working with the children acknowledged that the children did not pick the hand that they were dealt in life, the simply played what was given to them. These young boys in operation second chance committed crime not because they wanted to but because they needed to--for survival. I really believe God has provided these children with an opportunity to find grace that is sufficient for them. No child should be without parents from young but these children were and they need hope and operational second chance provides them with opportunity to receive proper skills training, psychosocial spiritual intervention in the lives of these children, structure, responsibility, education, a safe community, and hope for a better future. Operation Second Chance begins with the end in mind--dealing with the troubled youth that they meet by reintegrating these children back to there family and prepared to be assets to their society and community rather than problems. Truly a wonderful model to be exemplified." -Abe Emile
"Injustice anywhere is a call to justice everywhere" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Street Children may just be the most heartbreaking reality in Cebu. We have heard countless anecdote of children who have been either forsaken by their parents early on in life or their parents were so overwhelmed by the reality of poverty that they succumb to coping with their stress in socially acceptable ways in Cebu which are unhealthy (i.e. alcoholism) which ultimately led to abandonment of the child or beating of the child which led the child to run away from home. Cebu City Task Force on Street Children is doing a marvelous job caring for street children. This agency is providing hope and restoration for these children...providing them with love, care and an opportunity to get off in the right path. The agency provides a haven for these children where they rejoice in a loving community and grow to be hope and success stories for other street children in a world where the number of street children are rapidly increasing.