Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday outreach program for the Tembari children

A Friend of Tembari Children

WHEN Filipino expatriate Grace Delosa heard that a group of his friends was visiting the Tembari Children Center yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, she made sure that she came with them.

She said the birthday party at a friend’s place that was starting those hours could wait.

Grace immediately became interested in meeting the Tembari kids one of these days to create a special bonding with them.

The Center’s visitors were led by New Zealand-based Engr Joselito (Joe) Buenaventura, project site engineer at the hotel building construction project of Holiday Inn in Port Moresby.

Engr Joe and Cocoy Erbina, construction project manager of Filipino-Papua New Guinean-owned ABC Builders Co, and Grace came to The Center to find out what possible help they could offer on behalf of the Tembari children.

The two building experts wanted to build a new classroom for The Center’s 45 preschoolers and a concrete platform for its 1,000-gallon water tank and to do some more that have to do with construction.

And Grace has her own agenda for the Tembari kids – to start a Sunday school and a feeding program with help from her Filipino colleagues in Port Moresby that included Jovy Baltazar.

With the Sunday feeding program, The Center would now be feeding the children seven days a week! – from Monday to Sunday.

Grace and Jovy work as HR staff at Paradise Business Consultants with offices at the new Datec building complex at Gordon district.

“We can do a lot for the children on Sunday … we want to socialize with them and at the same time create a bonding with each one of them,” Grace said.

“It is one way for the children to learn how to deal with people other than their own races … it would help them develop a good personality …”

“On our part, it is an opportunity for us to do this community service at the settlement,” Grace said, referring to ATS Oro Settlement at Seven-Mile were The Center is located.

Back in her hometown in General Santos city, the home-base of RD Tuna Canners’ mother company in the Philippines, Grace had been involved in Sunday outreach programs.

It was something that developed in her simply because her own parents were also into it during those days when she was still in school.

“I carried it on and with help from my friends, we taught many deprived children many things that helped them became good citizens of our city,” she said.

One major project that her group’s Sunday outreach program launched in General Santos city was the handicraft project that first started as a Sunday hobby to keep the children out of the streets, which later developed into a livelihood project that has become sustainable even up to these days.

“I would like the same thing here at Tembari Center … we can do it because it is interesting to do and the kids would love doing it … who knows? … we might be able to produce something that could be marketable …?” Grace told me.

She said she and her friends will sit down to take up what could be applicable as far as the Tembari kids are concerned and launch it eventually.

“Sundays could be our home-time for family but we could make it more meaningful if we give them to the Tembari children.

“It’s also one way of knowing the Papua New Guinean culture in an intimate way,” she said.

Grace’s group would be the fourth from the Filipino community in Port Moresby that I know of being involved in feeding and outreach programs.

These feeding programs are held at Tokarara for the Tete children, Six-Mile (for the settlement children) and GK Village at Gerehu Stage 6.

But the first three would only do theirs once a month, due to time constraints, and therefore, the bonding with the children was not sustained and most of the time forgettable.

“It’s not a problem with us … we would like to devote a part of our weekend to the children,” she said.

Email me:

Kids displaying their flavored milk courtesy of SVS supermarket.

A kid enjoying his vanilla milk drink served after lunch on Saturday.

Children enjoying their prawn lunch on Saturday.

Wagi, the caretaker, mixing cordial drink with purified water.

A kid getting cool drink from the purified water dispenser.

Children playing inside their classroom after lunch.

Wagi leading the singing of Central song with volunteer mothers after lunch while the children sing along.

A volunteer mother painstakingly scrubbing the soot off the giant pot.

An abandoned dirty stove and a pot waiting to be cleansed.

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