The past months have been chocked full of wonderful activities for Stairway kids. From January through February, the children participated in various Youth for Change Camps, while also balancing academics, yoga, football, sailing and learning circus arts. In early March, they attended the 4th annual Malisimbo Music and Arts Festival. And a few days later, they attended a thrilling shark workshop facilitated by Green Fins, a marine education conservation group who promotes environmentally responsible diving and snorkelling. Click to view images.
Each year in our Youth for Change Camps, we host a diverse group of students hailing from various ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Throughout the 4-5 day period, working over the theme of human rights, we witness the creation of a beautiful mosaic of humanity in which the whole outshines the individual.
View photos from the Youth for Change Camps 2014.
Read the poem: Thank God I met you, brother by Nikil Sinha, SAS
We were expecting around 15 to 20 patients, but 3 times that number showed up for the first medical consultation we held at our Baclayan Camp House early last February. The complaints ranged from diarrhea, dizziness, cough, colds and other conditions that were easily treatable, but with cases of serious infections and tuberculosis along the line. Under nourishment, vitamin deficiency and dehydration were the most prevalent triggers to the ailments presented.
Local advocacy for online safety among school children in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental in the Philippines peaked during the worldwide celebration “Safer Internet Day” (SID) last February 11, 2014. The worldwide call “Let’s create a better internet together” reverberated along the campus halls of three local schools here: the Aninuan Elementary School, the San Isidro Elementary School and the Puerto Galera National High School – San Isidro Annex. View images
The fight against child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation has no rest—at least not for the amazing people involved in the Break the Silence project. SFI advocacy officers, Nancy Agaid and Ace Diloy, along with Grace Estaban, project coordinator of the Break the Silence project, travel throughout the Philippines and the world facilitating trainings, giving presentations, and participating in a variety of forums. The results of such hard work and dedication become manifest in organizations like Guanlandi Volunteer Service Programme (GSVP), who recently won the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations award for GSVP’s “Break the Silence’ project which gives a voice to deaf victims of physical and sexual abuse.
Congratulations Stairway Denmark for winning the finals on Tabersagen, a Danish television series. It is a kind of X-Factor for NGOs that compete for who has the most important “tabersag” or “loser case.” Claus Abildgaard, Stairway Danmark’s fundraiser, represented Stairway in the competition.
Last week, Rey D., 17, a resident and Peer Motivator in Stairway, went to Manila on a home visit. His story is a touching tale that reveals what he experienced while in the city and how it helped to put his stay in Stairway into perspective.
It’s a wonderful experience again to see my family even there is no changes in life style – still hard and poor. I stayed in the small house of my brother who has a live-in partner already together with my other brother also. So, we were four in the house which the space are not even enough for all of us. On my first day, I sent a text message to my mother that I already arrived then, after 6 hours she appeared in our place. From our conversation, I found out that she is living with someone who is jobless. This situation makes me annoyed. I had a spoken with my mother. I told her to spend her that much better for her to spend her life with her children particular to our youngest that are living in Cavite under care of our maternal grandmother. During our conversation, it seems that my mother was not interested on my views ;(. However, I took my 700.00 from my pocket and asked her to bring the money for my younger siblings in Cavite for their food which she did.
Ace Diloy is one of Stairway’s trainers in our Break the Silence program for the prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation. His work often takes him on the road around the Philippines or to some far-flung place in the world. It can be stressful at times, but Ace manages to cope through his love of photography. Read what he has to say.
Remnants of last week’s Halloween festivities can still be seen around Stairway. We celebrated the annual event with our traditional Halloween Haunt. Staff and volunteers, dressed as every imaginable ghost and ghoul, lurked in the darkest recesses around Stairway and waited for the children. Armed with just a flashlight, a map and a thirst for a thrill, the children sought out the different scary haunts and solved the many fun challenges.
Thank you Stairway staff, children, volunteers and friends for a haunting success!