I was chatting online with Inday, taking care of some business, and I asked her to describe what is happening today.
The older children are at school. Kevin, Dindo, Gregory, Leray, and Lilang are all there playing with some of the toys and books that we have sent. Over the years, we have sent quite a number of educational books and toys and videos.
When I was there, a person in Sindangan had a TV and DVD/VHS player that he wanted to sell to meet a need. I was able to purchase it very inexpensively. We had a person donate a large amount of early childhood development DVDs.
When I shipped those, I also included quite a few classic children’s and faith oriented movies. One of the benefits of the movies is that the children speak better English than most of the other people in the village.
I said all that to explain that after a while, Inday will put on some of the educational videos for the children.
She is washing clothes for people in the morning to earn income for her and Babeselle to live on. She also takes care of her sari-sari store.
Later she will fix some rice and two or three fish for the children to eat after school. She will do this over a wood fire in the kitchen because the gas has run out and she won’t have funds to buy more until I send money for the daily needs.
The younger ones will get home mid-afternoon for their hot meal while the older ones will get home closer to 5:00pm.
She will help with schoolwork while they do their homework. When that is done, they will head to the various homes where they stay at night.
One of the things that I try to make sure that I am clear on is that we are not an orphanage. There are a large number of studies that show that putting children in an orphanage is very detrimental to their psychological wellbeing.
It is best to keep them with family, even extended family, and provide the assistance at a central location like we are currently doing.
And that is a typical day in the children’s home.
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