Someone said to me the other day "nobody does anything for nothing" ... after a moment of thought I replied "Oh, I do".
Actually I think a lot of people do. I say this with reference to mission of love, a charity my wife Maria and I started with our friends Dave and Judy Tomlinson and Pamela Muscat over 20 years ago to help the indigenous people of The Philippines known as Ati or negrito who at that time were subjected to severe poverty, malnutrition, sickness, racial discrimination, the constant threat of eviction and lack of any education.
We started a day care centre that evolved into a school that still provides free education and care for over 50 Ati children, some of whom have now graduated to high school and even beyond that. Along the journey, together with Marissa F. Familara we have tried to establish a self sufficient project where the school now called Mission of Love Integrated School Inc (MOLISI) has excelled and provides education for over 200 children which helps to sustain free education for the Ati students and the benefit of helping them to integrate with other children and have the same opportunities. We began with finding sponsors for the Ati children and later attempted to phase that out with the aim of self sufficiency but found that with an increased amount of Ati children which grew from 20 to sometimes over 60, we were not coping. So a few years ago, I revived the sponsorship and have been working to have every Ati child sponsored so we can continue to support their education, care and well-being, giving them the opportunity of a brighter future.
Back to my opening statement, this is something we do 'for nothing'. What I mean by that is we don't do this for money, have no administration charges at all and nothing to gain. That's why I've been up at 4am writing this, I have a full time job and find time to oversee Mission of Love outside of that. No condemnation whatsoever to those that do charity work and have salaries from that, I can totally understand you need to invest time to get things done and we all need an income. I'm saying all this to try and explain what we do and encourage people who want to help someone in need and consider sponsoring a child but also want to know that the money they give is not being absorbed in admin costs, lost in corruption and falling into the wrong hands but actually reaching the people in need and making a real difference.
Thank God we have had a good response and quite a few kind souls have committed to sponsor a child or given one off donations. We do still need more sponsors and I am believing to have every child sponsored as soon as possible. We have recently been able to provide some food at school as well to help with their nutrition and hope to be able to increase this and raise the standard. My daughter Izzy recently got to go back to the island after 23 years and visit her sponsored child. She was just a toddler back then. My son Josh also sponsors a child and has got some of his friends on board, even inspired some to actually go there where they did some voluntary tutoring a few years ago. These kids are beautiful and I can't tell you what a joy it is to see their smiling faces. Maria and I hope to re visit the Ati soon and will continue to tell their story and be channels of your generosity and kindness to them. Since meeting them in 1986 after I followed a trail of children carrying water to their very humble 'homes' they have remained in my heart.
If you want to know more don't hesitate to ask.
To sponsor a child it's €20 per month and some give extra towards nutrition. If €20 per month is too much 2 or more people could even consider sharing (like €10 each) ... every bit counts. You can sponsor a child here...