Our Annual Financial Statement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, is now listed on our website (listed above). We had a good year. We are grateful that our donations increased in the year. And the Philippine Peso exchange rate has gradually climbed, which means we have been getting more Pesos for our dollars. Of course, there has also been an inflation in the Philippines, particularly in terms of electricity and fuel. Following the fuel price increases, the car fare we supply for the parents to bring their children to the SPED classes or the rehab centers has also increased. And the school supplies are gradually creeping up in price. But we still had a small net decrease in dollars spent in the Philippines.
In early June, Lea and Jesse delivered the large bundles of school supplies to the thirty elementary schools where we sponsor 5 students in each grade level from Kinder through Grade 6. This is a little over half of the public elementary schools on the island. This delivery includes all the things that the students will need to start the school year: notebooks, pad paper, art paper, pencils, ballpoint pens, scissors, and erasers. Then Lea and Jesse will deliver additional supplies of pencils, pens, and pad paper each month throughout the school year. The school teachers continue to thank us and tell us that this assistance is helping the poorest of the students stay in school.
We have new SPED (Special Education) students in both of the SPED centers. One is located in Mambajao and the other is on the other side of the island in Alangilan. In Alangilan, we have two new students. One is five year old Maryl. She has been diagnosed with ADHD and Autism spectrum and is starting in the Nursery level. And we have a new deaf student, Raniel, who is eight years old. This is his first time in school, so he will also be starting at the Nursery level. This brings the number of deaf students to three. And we are trying to locate any other deaf children on that side of the island because we have been informed that if there are five students in the class, the Department of Education can assign a SPED teacher dedicated to teaching the deaf group separately.
In the Mambajao SPED, eight year old Cristosomo is a new student we are assisting. When he was about two years old, we had helped him go to physical therapy because he had delayed development and wasnít walking. His parents stopped bringing him to PT when a new baby arrived. But they also told us he was already walking. In March, Lea and I saw him at the SPED class which he had been attending because of delayed development and Autism. The father admitted it was very hard to bring him because of the car fare. So we are now sponsoring his transportation to the school.
Twenty year old Romel, who is deaf, attended our deaf class in our school for drops outs in Mapa for one year. He doesnít really remember any sign language. He now seems to be interested in learning more. So we are providing his car fare to the SPED class. He also has a vision problem and we provided eyeglasses for him. But we know that young people this age often donít stick with returning to school. They are old enough to be a day laborer when it is time to plant rice or to harvest (coconuts, mangos, lanzones, or rice). And what they earn can be a big help to their families.
Ten month old John Ethan had his cleft lip repaired in Cagayan de Oro and the lip has healed very well. Two of our cleft children will not be able to have surgery. When Angelo was hospitalized for diarrhea, the pediatrician, noticed that his arm was tensing and he was drooling, which is indicative of a seizure disorder. So he will not be able to have surgery to correct his cleft palate. He also has developmental delay, so we are now helping him go to physical therapy. And ten month old Shirly was diagnosed with multiple congenital defects in her heart. She also only has a cleft palate.
Gal Daniel, now two years old, is walking a few steps alone. He continues to wear the splint at night to maintain the correction of his right club foot. And he is still receiving physical therapy to help his very stiff knees. We now have another newborn with bilateral club feet. May Amethyst was born in May and has started the weekly trips to Cagayan de Oro for casting to gradually correct her club feet.
We are helping another child in Mambajao to get started in rehab. Gillven was a normal first grader in October of 2016. But he developed a high fever and then convulsions. His parents, who have six children and are quite poor, didnít go to the doctor right away, thinking it was just something ordinary. But after six days he wouldnít eat or drink and he could no longer talk or stand. They brought him to the hospital where he was treated for a week. On discharge, the doctor referred him for physical therapy. But due to lack of money, they never took him to the therapist. We only found out about him when one of our former students from the Mapa school saw him and she informed Lea. Lea went to their home and found that Gillven still cannot talk and can only walk with someone supporting him. So we are providing his transportation to PT.
When people harvest the coconuts from the tree, they then peel off the outer husk, chop open the hard shell and dig out the white inner pulp or meat. Then, in order to dry the inner pulp, they place it on a bamboo rack over a pit and make a charcoal fire in the pit. This is then called copra, which they sell by the kilo. One day after school, six year old John Kenneth was helping his grandma get the dried coconut meat off the rack over the pit. A few pieces fell into the pit and John Kenneth hopped down with bare feet into the grey ashes not realizing that some of the coals underneath were still very hot. A piece of hot charcoal stuck to the sole of his foot and resulted in a serious burn. When he arrived at school the next day in tears from the pain, his Grade I teacher called his Grandma and told her to take him to the hospital and then on to Lea. Lea provided the prescribed Tetanus booster and the Flammazine burn ointment. The burn is now healing well.
Grace & Peace,
Contributions are IRS tax deductible (ID#42-1087104) and eligible for matching by employers. They should be payable to "Family to Family, Inc.". If in U.S. dollars, they should be sent to:
Family to Family, Inc.
c/o Availa Bank
126 W 6th St.
Carroll IA 51401-2341
Packages and peso checks should all be sent to:
Barrio Anito, 9100 Mambajao
Letters should be sent to:
3903 Pearl Avenue
Sophia, NC 27350
John Ethan before and after cleft lip repair.
Gal Daniel walking with support from Mom and now walking on his own.
Amethyst before and after 1st casting to correct club feet.
Raniel,who is deaf, starting school for the first time at 8 years.
For photos of children being assisted, click here.