Music rings in Christmas Day but not in the usual way

January 2015

On Christmas Day, Stairway boys were in for a big surprise when they opened three giant boxes filled with African djembe drums and other percussive instruments. 

Enough drums and percussive instruments for everyone to participate and to play, Anders, a Danish musician and teacher, led the children in a mesmerizing drum circle.  Following the drumming session, Jireh, a rising local jazz musician, presented her gift of an electric keyboard.  Jireh created heavenly music on the keyboard while she sang one of her original songs from her latest CD.

The African djembe drums were generously donated by Drums for School, a London-based group of music specialist who are motivated and passionate about making music-making accessible to everyone.

Jireh plans to attend Berklee School of Music later this year.

Thank you, Drums for Schools and Jireh for your inspiring and transforming gifts.

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First assembly of EACY club held in Stairway

January 2015

After less than half a year of child-to-child organizing in the local community and schools, the EACY Club (Environmental Awareness for Children and Youth Club) culminated the year end with the first ever combined General Assembly  and Christmas gathering held last December 20 at the Stairway Theater. 

Attended by 167 members from all over Puerto Galera -- from primary school scholars to some College members as well -- this event marks a momentous milestone towards the new project’s vision to foster “a community where children and youth unite to become active stewards and vanguards of the threatened environment.” 

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Breaking the Silence-G6 partners complete training block

January 2015

When Stairway first started out with our child protection advocacy, which was then called CSAP (child sexual abuse prevention), we were in a situation wherein we wanted to cover different parts of the Philippines with the advocacy, and reach out to as many stakeholders and children as possible.

Being a small team of advocacy and training officers, Stairway had much ground to cover, which was compounded by the situation that during that time, there were too few organizations working on the issue of child sexual abuse and its prevention. To avoid creating excessive strain on a single organization because of the scope and magnitude of the problem, we had to think of a strategy which would enable the expansion to as many areas and regions as possible. Thus, in 2008, the Break the Silence campaign (BtS) was conceptualized and launched.

After many years absence...

January 2015

Over the holidays, we had the pleasure of reconnecting with Ralph Rodschat and Pascal Annoual, longtime friends, who have followed Stairway's development for nearly 20 years!

It has been almost 20 years since we first met the wonderful people at Stairway and almost that long since most of the family had been back to the Philippines, so were thrilled to finally make it back this Christmas season.  It was a wonderful return to a beautiful place and the welcome received from Monica, Lars and the whole team made us feel those years melt away. 

Artist trading cards--miniature works of art

January 2015

Artist Trading Cards or ATCs is the latest new concept introduced to Stairway children by Pascal Annoual, an art therapist from Canada and her daughter, JuliAna, 18.

Simple to make and highly addictive, these small original works of art can be swapped like baseball cards and are never for sale.  Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) have just one simple rule: they must measure 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches, and be flat enough to slide into a standard trading card sleeve.  Media, materials, and techniques are totally up to the individual artist, so cards can be rubber stamped, painted, collaged, screen-printed, or created by any method imaginable. 

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Try Dive delight Stairway kids

June 2014

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

SFI's production of the Lorax was a splendifourous effort!

June 2014

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.

Sea Adventure School opens children's eyes to a new world

June 2014

"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.

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