One Wish brings joy to many

One Wish, a Christmas TaleJanuary 2013

The love and joy that Christmas brings were certainly felt around Stairway during the Christmas week, especially for the 14 Stairway boys who celebrated the holidays engaged in performing One Wish, Stairway's annual Christmas show.  Not your ordinary Christmas play by far, One Wish  is a farcical Christmas tale about an elf called Elfie who is kicked out of the North Pole by Santa and the other elves for being too selfish.  Elfie learns the true meaning of Christmas from a bunch of streetkids who are locked away in a detention center on Christmas Eve. 

Beautifully performed, the Stairway boys gave 8 performances for the local and indigenous communities as well as for tourists and their families.

Thank you Stairway Family, friends and supporters for helping to make Christmas 2012 a very special and memorable holiday!

Click here to view images from One Wish.

Click here to view cast portraits from One Wish.

The Stairway Project

altDecember 2012

Seven kids. Three weeks. One goal: to tell the story of Stairway Foundation.

A team comprised solely of high school students, led by Max Heald and Zach Jorgensen, filmed the entire movie during three weeks in August 2012 on an entirely student-run shoot. Heald and Jorgensen were awarded Phillips Exeter Academy's first-ever Summer Fellowship Award for their work. In addition, Heald is currently screening the film and giving talks at high schools and colleges around New England. He advocates youth activism and hopes to demonstrate that passion, not age, is the real limit on the impact one can have.

Click to view

Clay ovens

November 2012

Since I am ending my happy volunteer career in Stairway, I will share my experiences working with the clay stove project.
The point of spreading the idea of clay stoves made in Baclayan is partly for comfort of the people there and partly protection of the environment. The clay stoves are designed to protect the cooking fire from the wind which makes it easier to maintain the fire. The stove will burn by a higher temperature because the heat is contained in an isolated room. This means a cleaner fire with less air pollution. The clay stove will because of its mass contain the heat and the amber for longer time. This will lower the amount of firewood needed for cooking. Since the people in Baclayan spend much energy finding and drying firewood, especially in the wet season, this is meant to ease the life on the mountain.
 

National Children's Month: a celebration of Filipino children

Jason, 10, playing at the beach.November 2012

National Children's Month is celebrated every October here in the Philippines.  Mandated by Presidential Proclamation 267, it is a time to recognize the value of Filipino Children as the most valuable assets in the society.  Observed by Government and Non-Government agaencies around the Philippines,  the month-long celebration is also a campaign to end violence against children and to promote their physical, emotional, moral, spiritual and intellectual well-being. 

Stairway celebrated the month-long event with a series of Children's Rights and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention workshops for Stairway scholars and their parents.  A team went up to Manila to create Child Friendly Spaces in ten police precincts around Metro Manila.  In Stairway, the children enjoyed many different activites through out the month of October from learning about foreign countries to making clay ovens. 

At the end of the month, we celebrated with an impressive display of music, poetry, dance, theatre, drawings and sculpture.  The children were given awards of encouragement followed by games and lasagna!

“Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” -Anonymous

Click to view images

Opening of new children's quarters kick-start Children's Month celebration

November 2012

With children, staff, volunteers, and friends in attendance, Stairway kick-started National Children's Month, last September, with a ribbon cutting ceremony of the new children's quarters.  The new structure extends from the hillside overlooking the mountains. With terraces on each level, the four-story building is complete with a classroom, computer room, a library and the children's sleeping quarters. 

The old children's quarters, will be converted into a workhsop space for livelihood projects such as sewing and jewelry making.

Click to view photos

I am a Child: A Storybook About Children's Rights

Painting by Mark GalangNovember 2012

November 20th is Universal Children's Day.  It marks the day on which the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.  In 2000, world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to reduce extreme poverty, halt the spread of HIV/AIDS and provide universal primary education by 2015. 

I am a Child is the latest creative advocacy initiative produced by Stairway Foundation in recognition of Universal Children's Day.  Beautifully illustrated with vibrant paintings, that were created by children in Stairway's programs, I am a Child perfectly captures the essence, vitality and beauty of children.  I am a Child will surely delight children and adults alike.

Click here to purchase your copy.

 Your purchase of I am a Child will help to sustain Stairway's programs and services.

 

SFI kids participate in annual Puerto Galera regatta

November 2012

The weekly sailing activity is a favorite among the Stairway children.  One can literally see the transformation taking place in some of them. For one child, who was terribly afraid of the water, he conquered his fear and is now one of the best in handling a dinghy in the group!

Last Nov. 1-2, the Puerto Galera Yacht Club (PYGC) held its annual All Souls Regatta.  While the main regatta was going on, children from the PGYC Sail Training Program and Stairway children were having their own fun on the water sailing new Lawins and Optimists. 

In existence for 10 years, the PGYC Sail Training Program has taught over 300 children to sail.

Click to view images.

Further reading:  Building confidence through Sailing

Child Friendly Spaces add a ray of hope in Manila police stations

November 2012

Stairway’s commitment to train Philippine National Police on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention was the start of a journey that would eventually lead to the creation of Child Friendly Spaces in 10 stations across Manila. 

As the children prepared for the annual Children’s Month celebration, three members of Stairway staff also prepared for their trip to Manila, for the installation of Child Friendly Spaces in 10 police stations.  They were well aware from past experience that preparation was not exclusive to collating materials and purchasing the necessary tools; the team also needed time to prepare emotionally and physically for their 10-day assignment.  For Birgit, a Stairway Board Member and an international volunteer for over 11 years, this journey would encompass a different meaning to Joemar, the House Father of the Residential Program and also to Jhao, a former street child and strong advocate for Children’s Rights.  Click to view images.

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