PHILIPPINES - Hope For The Nations Philippines

Children at risk becoming children of change

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The Philippines is a archipelego of extremes. There is extreme beauty and economic growth alongside rampant exploitation and severe poverty. The children are affected the most.

Lack of education leads to a higher risk of abuse. In 2002, 1.87 million youth and children in the Philippines did not attend school. That number has risen to 5.6 million today.

Lack of nutrition when children are young can lead to brain impairment, minimizing education outcomes and life potential. It is our conviction that it is unjust when children do not receive enough nutrition to properly equip their developing bodies.

Primary reasons for the millions of children and youth being out of school in the Philippines is that they are unable to cope with school due to lack of nutrition, combined with overcrowded class sizes and psychosocial problems in their homes and communities. 

Our goal is to empower children to break the cycle of poverty through good nutrition, education, health care and sustainable enterprises while showing them God's love and mercy.

Davao City is home to Hope for the Nations Philippines, where HOPE programs are piloted and then implemented in other parts of the country. 

  • Hope Rising is a teaching and mentoring program centered around a nutritious breakfast in public schools
  • Kids of Hope is fostering good nutrition, good health and good habits based out of the Hope House in Davao.
  • Micro & Social Enterprises are creating sustainable futures for families in extreme poverty.
  • Hope Gardens & Farms are growing organic produce and moringa for the benefit of children at risk and project sustainability.

 

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Project Updates

  • In the Philippines, leadership traditionally follows an authoritarian structure. Adherence to the group and social norms is celebrated, as is obedience to those you are "above" you. Children are generally expected to do as they're told and not challenge authority figures or the status quo. For our workers at the Hope House, this cultural norm has proven to be both a hurdle and a blessing. While it has, at times, been difficult to help kids overcome the fear of being different in a culture that values sameness, Hope Philippines staff have been able to use this obstacle to set the centre apart in a good way.

    The Hope for the Nations Philippines Executive Director, Tancho Baes, has purposely run the centre with a more collaborative style of leadership than would typically be expected of someone in his position. He chooses to lead through inspiration, versus intimidation, and having an adult show genuine interest in their ideas and abilities is incredibly empowering for any child. This collaborative and empowering leadership style has helped many children feel that they can be bold in other situations, such as their social circles at school. 

    Indeed, the very idea of "Children of Change" is revolutionary. In the Philippines, children would not typically be the ones to introduce change. And yet, we have an entire centre full of scholars and change makers, willing, confident, and able to go out into their schools and workplaces and introduce change. These are brave children, willing to disrupt social norms on purpose with the purpose of changing the society around them.

    Under the care of Tancho and the other staff, these children at risk are becoming Children of Change. If you would like to partner with Tancho, you can do so by

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter

    - Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, or on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates.

  • Our scholars are incredible young people. We are continually impressed and inspired by their ability to rise above, despite the challenges they face. One of these challenges is peer pressure, which is a huge issue facing young people in the Philippines, where emphasis is put on upholding the group values, as opposed to individual expression.

    For me personally, and perhaps many of us in North America, this concept can be difficult to fully grasp. While I did fair amount of peer pressure in school, there were also people reminding me that I didn't need to follow the group. Many children in Davao do not have anyone telling them that it's OK to be different and break the mold a little. 

    This can become particularly tricky if one's group begins to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and this was the exact situation one of our scholars found herself in this school year. One of our particularly bright and dedicated scholars had a difficult choice to make when her friend group began drinking alcohol. 

    At first, she participated in order to not create tension in the group. However, she quickly realised that compromising her personal morals was not worth keeping up appearances or trying to compliment the group mentality. 

    After a short time, she broke the trend of "just going along with it," and chose to tell her mother, God, and the leaders at the Hope House about what she'd been struggling with. 

    We are incredibly inspired by this young woman's bold choice to live authentically and live according to God's word. We feel blessed to be part of her life, and invite you to be part of hers, and the rest of the scholar's lives by

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter

    Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, or on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates

     

  • School can be tough for teens, especially when poverty is also working against them. However, some students simply refuse to give up. Jonaline Dagasdas is one of those students. Currently in grade 9, she often finds herself having difficulties with the lessons. Because of this, she will often end up handing assignments in late, or getting low scores on quizzes. Luckily, it is not in her nature to give up without a fight. Jonaline, or Jona, digs deep and finds the resolve, every day, to improve her quiz scores and improve her performance. To do this, she must be courageous and ask her teachers if she needs clarification on parts of the lesson. 

    As we've gotten to know Jonaline, we've come to understand that confidence and overcoming shyness is one of the areas she needs the most help with. Indeed, self confidence is difficult for many people, which is why having a supportive community is so important. After all, if you don't first believe you can do something, how can you do it? Jonaline has begun attending the Kids Revolution every Saturday night, which is part of the Kids of Hope program, as a teaching assistant. Being able to help others has helped to boost her self assurance, as she realizes that it is amazing not only to recieve help and guidance, but to give it.

    We know that God is doing amazing work in Jonaline's life, and in the lives of the people she interacts with on Saturday nights. 

    If you would like to partner with us and support more people and programs like Jonaline and Kids Revolution, you can do so by

    Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, or on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates

  • What makes a good disciple? How can we, at the Hope House and abroad, measure the effect of a mentor, or a teacher? Effective discipleship is not just about how efficient the teachers are in sharing their biblical knowledge with the Kids of Hope (KOH). While this is one method to understand the Biblical teachings, we generally prefer a more holistic approach to discipleship.

    How the children in the Kids of Hope program picked up on the example live out by their mentors among them, both in Biblical knowledge and in interactions with others, is a much more useful measurement style. Are they growing in their love and knowledge of God? Do they care about the younger children? Are they able and willing to offer help or advice to other kids? Amazingly, we are seeing so much growth in all our Kids of Hope, and Kids of Hope youth are now ready to lead other children. One step at a time, they have grown more able to pass on what they have learned during their own period of being discipled by others. They have not only learned that holistic discipleship must include a love for people and a love for the Word of God, but are now learning how to teach the next generation how to go out into the world and make positive, lasting changes for the Kingdom of God!

    As an added bonus, the KOH staff are now enjoying the benefit of "multiplying oneself through others." Every Friday and Saturday, the youth take responsibility for caring for the younger children in the program. They learned to integrate skills they have developed through the Urban Container Gardening in their discipleship time with the younger children.  What makes it worth the while is to witness how these young leaders pass on the holistic education lifestyle among their peers. There is truth to the saying that you can only share what you actually have!

     

    If you would like to partner with us and support more programs like this, you can do so by

    Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, or on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates.

  • Living in the inner city of Davao like Agdao means small spaces and limited boundary lines. If your heart is not into gardening, the crowded land area of Agdao can be a great excuse for living without plants around you. However, the Hope House is different and the children who take refuge inside its spaces every other day and on weekends, testify to the possibility of growing a garden in the inner city.

    For example. the Urban Container Gardening program continues to train the Agdao children to bloom where they are planted and to cultivate this garden for aesthetic and practical reasons. This is where the first batch of the vegetable juice that the Hope for the Nations staff concocted came from. If the yard is limited, praises can also be shouted from the rooftops. Regularly, the Kids of Hope assign a youth leader to go up the roof, cultivate and maintain the container plants grown there. From the sweet smelling basil and peppermint to the pungent oregano, eye-relaxing green ornamental plants and vines, come shouts of praises to the God who causes them to grow, and all the blessings that come with these wonderful plants.

    If you would like to partner with us and support more programs like this, you can do so by

    - Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, or on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates.

  • At the Kids of Hope (KOH) program in Davao, graham crackers are playing a big role in teaching entrpreneurial skills to the scholars. Within the Kids of Hope tutorial program, which teaches academic skills like reading, we have the Learning on the Streets (LOTS) program to teach some additional, practical life skills.

    Currently the scholars are learning how to invest small amounts for future gain, and how to make a profit from sold goods. One purpose for this is to eventually train the kids to manage their own business. As one can imagine, this is a challenging task for the mentors, yet it is the hope of everyone that these children will develop the habit of saving hard-earned money and making it grow. Truly, what they earned from their efforts in the KOH tutorials - to finish reading a book - is being well rewarded, collected, and invested.

    So, where do Graham crackers come into play? Right now, the kids are having a fun time preparing munchkins - a delicious treat made of pounded Graham crackers mixed with cocoa and condensed milk powder and formed into small balls of sweet dessert. They are selling it for 2 pesos apiece for smaller balls and 5 pesos for bigger balls. So far, after months of buying raw ingredients using their savings, making munchkins and selling them, these junior entrepreneurs are gradually adding to their income from the profit that they made from their small business.

    It is wonderful to see God's hand in guiding these children, who will eventually become well-educated providers for their families. We believe that if we invest into the children of Davao now, we will see an even greater return in the future. 

    If you would like to partner with us and support more programs like this, you can do so by

    - Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter in the Kids of Hope and Learning on the Streets programs

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davaoor on Twitter, at @HFTNPhilippines to keep up with our events and updates.

     

  • The performing arts can be a powerful tool of self expression and discovery. For almost six months now, children ages 11-16 attend the seminar and workshop on performing arts which is taught and facilitated by Faith Ocquiola, a former Youth With a Mission (YWAM) DTS student. Faith meets them every Wednesday and Thursday for a time of prayer, devotional and sharing before they proceed to the workshop.

    One kid shared that the performing arts workshop helps her overcome shyness, and is a good exercise for someone like her who suffers from asthma. Before, she used to have attacks but after several warm ups and some dancing, she feels alright. Now she understands that attending training like this helps her accomplish feats which are difficult to do before. This is a testimony that performing arts training is an empowering experience.

    During the soft opening of the Hope for the Nations Philippines Community Development program dubbed as “TRANSFORMED 2020,” the performing arts children presented a dance skit about the urgency of the Gospel of Christ. The song is about the danger of delaying yourself from serving God. Promising that you will serve God tomorrow is useless when tomorrow may never come. One of the mothers who attended the event cried upon watching the presentation. Then she confessed to one of the staff that a long time ago she had prevented her sons from attending a Kids of Hope VBS camp. She thought that they would be converted to another religion if she allowed them to attend the camp. After the presentation, she promised that she would now encourage her sons to join the camp because she did not want them to face life without Jesus.

    If you would like to support more programs like this, you can do so by

    - Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter at the Hope House

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, to keep up with our events and updates.

     

  • Hanna Jumawan is a bright, driven student in grade 6. We know her through the Kids of Hope program, where she is able to recieve tutoring and support. Like most kids in the KOH program, she looks forward to a time when she will excel in her class, and will earn herself a spot in the honors list. Despite many setbacks, Hanna is well on her way to achieving this goal.

    Hanna is, above all, determined. She is no typical student, just getting through school. Hanna rarely misses a class and, in fact, has been known to insert herself into a different class if hers is ever cancelled for the day. On top of refusing to miss even a single class, Hanna doesn't let food shortage stop her. Even when she has no money to buy snacks during break time or doesn't have food from home, she will attend her classes. 

    Hanna is also very outgoing. She participates well in classroom activities, and never shies away from oral recitations. Instead of feeling threatened by class reporting, she thrives in it. She willingly asks the teacher for direction when she's having difficulty with a subject, which, for Hanna, is usually Science. 

    Probably due to her extroverted personality and the support from the Kids of Hope program, Hanna is confident in her academic abilities and will continue to work hard towards her goal of making the honors list. We know that the honors list is just the start for Hanna! With support from Kids of Hope and our international partners, her drive and determination will allow her to do amazing things!

    If you would like to further support Hanna and the other scholars, you can do so by

    - praying for Hanna and the other children we meet through the Hope House and through Tutors of Hope,

    donating to the Kids of Hope program,

    - sharing this post with a friend.

    Also be sure to follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines -Davaoto keep up with all our events and updates.

  • In the spirit of bringing family and the arts together, and with its vision of seeing Davao City transformed by the year 2020 through holistic community development, staff and volunteers invited parents of children in the community to gather together last April 16, 2016 to officially open the Hope for the Nations Philippines TRANFORMED 2020 Community Development program. 

    Thirty (30) people attended the event and most of them are mothers of the children under the Kids of Hope program. The event opened with a Zumba exercise to the tune of some danceable Christian fast songs led by the Performing Arts program Director Faith Ocquiola, and with the help of the young people attending the drama and dance workshops.

    This event helped the parents and guardians of the children in the community appreciate the power of working together, envisioning together and enjoying fellowship. Tancho Baes, from Hope Philippines, shared an inspiring message about why the community development program was created.He emphasized the dream of transforming the community where the children live so that these kids will continue to grow and succeed in life.

    One of the most meaningful experiences for the parents during this event is the time of playing together. To make it meaningful for them, the staff and volunteers prepared games and contests which were also educative. Divided into groups, these mothers worked together to create a picture of what TRANSFORMED 2020 is all about. One group won the game by raising a white banner, symbolizing the aim of this program to plant a banner in every transformed community in Agdao, Davao City, come year 2020. A lofty dream, but nothing is impossible with God.

    Staff from the City Social Services Development Office (CSSDO) graced the occasion and at the end of the together, together with the participants, staff and volunteers signed the tarpaulin where the commitment form was printed. The commitment statements were said in the Cebuano language so that the community mothers can truly understand and reflect upon what they have committed to.

    The 30 participants must have enjoyed it so much that they suggested to make some Saturdays a Zumba event and maybe if that will be a regular thing, it will be used as a tool for relationship-building,discipleship and evangelizing other adults in the community.

     

    If you would like to support more programs like this, you can do so by

    - Praying for our workers and the children they encounter at the Hope House

    Donating to any of our empowerment programs

    - Sharing this post with a friend.

    You can also follow us on Facebook at Hope for the Nations Philippines - Davao, to keep up with our events and updates.

     

  • Encouraging children to be creative and adventurous is so important. For many children, the various forms of art and creativity are ways of building confidence, learning to problem solve, and learning perseverance. I (April) currently work with kids ages 5-10, and would like to share 6 ways I've observed that help kids feel confident in exploring, building, creating, and sharing their ideas.

     

    1. Set the mood. At the Hope House, the tutorial room has been painted with bright, happy colors in order to encourage excitement, creativity, and happiness. Showing that it's OK if a space gets a little untidy could also help kids to feel relaxed and safe to experiment. If the environment shows that creativity is welcomed in that space, kids will be more likely to jump in.

     

    2. Emphasize the process and journey, rather than the finished product. Be encouraging of the child's creative expression. Be less concerned with what they achieve, and more concerned with why and how they achieved it. Why did they choose to paint/mold/draw that? How did they accomplish their goal?

     

    3. Value varying perspectives and ideas. Have open, friendly discussions about the child's opinions and perspectives on artistic and creative things.

     

    4. Ask thought provoking questions. Get them to solve problems through asking stimulating questions. For example, "darn, it looks like your Lego bridge keeps falling. Why do you think that's happening? What could you use to prop it up?" Be supportive of the trial-and-error process as they figure out how to solve issues creatively and on their own.

     

    5. Avoid discouraging and judgemental comments. Comments such as, "that's not how you do it," "that won't work," or "I don't think you really know what you're doing," discourage children from taking risks with their play and art work. They need to know that it's ok to have projects and attempts that don't always work out. It's part of learning!

     

    6. Encourage them to keep exploring and learning. Not every child is going to grow up to be the next Picasso or Mozzart, and that's completely fine! The arts in all their forms teach so many valuable skills, such as problem solving, concentration, and fine motor skills. Encourage kids to keep trying new things and discovering the world through the arts. 

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