In early April, 17 boys had their first open water dive experience, courtesy of Alice and Bjoern from AB Wonderdive , in Small Lalaguna, Puerto Galera. Our partners from ReefWorld foundation organized the event and provided dive instructors and dive masters to secure a fun and safe experience for everyone.
Try Dive day was an exceptional day. This was the first under water sea adventure the children and staff from SFI ever encountered. And imagine their experience! It was like none other they had ever had before. Before the dive, the children and staff were separated into small groups. Next they were briefed by professional instructors about the equipment and learned some of the safety hand signals. Afterwards, they buddied up with a dive instructor. View images
After nearly a year of planning, preparations practice, and support from MMQ, Theatre and Events Group, Stairway's theatre rendition of The Lorax premiered last April 22nd, Earth Day. It played throughout the month of May to hundreds of children and adults, as a part of Stairway's latest program called Environmental Awareness for Children and Youth or EACY. The purpose of EACY is to foster an understanding and appreciation of our natural environment through our Sea Adventure School (SAS) and the Lorax play, which is based on the environmental classic by renowned children's book author, Dr. Seuss. Click here to view images.
"I enjoyed the snorkeling because I could see the coral clearly with the use of the snorkels and I can also see fish that I didn't see in my entire life, not only fish but also other creatures under the sea."
Last May 15th, Stairway launched its Sea Adventure School (SAS). It is one of the components of our latest program called Environmental Awareness for Children and Youth (EACY). Sailing twice a week throughout the month of May, children from the local community explored the mangroves, sea grass and coral reefs, and they learned about the beauty and importance of our marine ecosystems.
Reef-World Foundation developed the games, materials and provided the educators for the sea adventure trips.
A special thanks to Fiona Childs, Stairway volunteers and local volunteers, for opening the children’s eyes to a new world.
Click here to view images.
We have completed another cycle for another group of children who successfully completed SFI's Family Home Program. Last May 30, Stairway boys gave a wonderful ceremony where they displayed their exceptional talents in music, art and dance. In the course of the Moving on Ceremony, the boys were given backpacks filled with books and school/art supplies, as well as a photo album of their highlights in Stairway. The ceremony concluded with a very touching music performance of the song, "Lean on Me."
Click here to view images
Click here to view what the boys had to say about their stay in Stairway.
Below is an inspirational story about a former street child named Daniel who will attend the Robert Bosch United World College in Germany.
When Daniel was eight years old he lived alone on the streets of Manila, selling flowers for a living. He did not attend school and often had no money to feed himself. Thankfully after a year or so he was found by a street educator from Child Hope Asia, who guided him through the dark nights. Daniel learnt that by focusing on positives it is possible to change your life, and so he did.
To read the complete story, please click here.
Thank you to our partners: Childhope Asia Philippines, Kids in Action and Aguinaldo International School for helping Daniel to achieve his dreams.
A life on the streets doesn't offer much opportunity for play and recreation. Soeren, a Social Work practicum student at Stairway, took his circus talent and sack of props to the streets of Manila to the delight of children of all ages. The Stairway boys had helped Soeren make 150 juggling balls that were all left behind for the Manila kids to play on.
Soeren is a Danish social worker student doing a 6 months practicum at Stairway. He is also an active circus practitioner, which he has used in his work with the children here at Stairway. Soeren expresses how impressed he is with the Stairway children. “They are curious, unafraid to make mistakes, focused, and they have picked up the circus skills very fast,” he says. Click here to view images
Anatomically correct dolls are routinely used in interviews of young children suspected of having been abused.
In our efforts to support the Philippine National Police Women's and Children's Desk in their work to protect children against abuse and exploitation, SFI prevailed upon IKEA to redesign their dolls and make them anatomically correct.
Last June 25th, thirty-four Women and Children Police Department (WCPD) Chiefs and Officers from sixteen regions of the Philippines gathered at SFI for a three day Regional Training on Child Protection Policy for the Philippines National Police (PNP). Leading the delegation was Police Chief Superintendent, Juanita Nebran, Chief of the Women and Children Protection. The highlight of the training was the turning-over of thirty-two anatomically correct dolls to the WCPD and the representatives of the WCPD regional offices. Another turning over ceremony of the IKEA dolls will be held in July for region 4B and Metro Manila.
Many thanks go out to Annie Hulden, designer and illustrator of the dolls, and Maria Thörn, Product Development Manager for Children's IKEA.
Click here to view images.
Thanks to substantial support from Firetree Foundation and Lauritzen Fonden, we have now expanded our Educational Assistance Program to include more than 170 deserving families. The funds support students in elementary, high school, college and vocational school.
May 31, 2014, the sun was stretching its long arms over the clear blue sky; however, summer vacation break would soon end for most of the students in the country. On this sunny Saturday afternoon, two days before classes commence nationwide, a total of 300 scholars and parents flocked at the Stairway Center for the annual general assembly and orientation of the scholarship program.
Click here to view images
Staff Day 2014 was a nice respite from work and a great opportunity to bring colleagues together from near and far to reconnect. Boarding Stairway's new boat, Berge Apo SAS, the Stairway team, including children and volunteers, spent time at the beautiful white sand Haligi Beach, swimming, snorkeling, exploring, and picnicking. After a wonderfully relaxing day, we all boarded the boat again to sail back to Stairway as the golden sun slipped slowly beneath the sea.
Thanks to all for a great day.