December 2, 2008

One afternoon of joy

Enough lessons about the Philippines for now! We're going back to my little corner of the world today. Many student organizations in the Ateneo de Manila University are involved with poor communities and public schools—as tutors and catechists, in building houses and repairing classrooms, or in entertaining and providing companionship to terminally ill children. Every year, our office organizes the Lights for Hope Christmas party for these poor children, many of whom would never experience an afternoon like it otherwise. They are fetched by buses and jeepneys from their schools or communities and brought to a large field in the Ateneo where they have games with prizes, have a heavy snack, enjoy the inflatable slides and go home with heavily-laden goody bags—toys, chips and candies, yes, but also more practical items like underwear, shampoo and toothpaste. In past years, the number of children have been in the 300–500 range. This year, there were one thousand! (Alright, about 980—I saw the unclaimed hotdog sandwiches.) This wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of so many people and the fantastic coordinating skills of Lara. Thank you, everyone! Next year, we hope to gather 1500 children.

Lights for Hope Christmas outreach program 2008

Some of the comments in my post yesterday has gotten me curious: How frequently does your country mint new coins and recall old ones?


Olivier said...

c'est une bonne initiative, j'adore cette idée, et c'est très bien de penser aux autres.
it is a good initiative, I love this idea, and it is very well to think of the others.

angela said...

It's good to be reminded of what Christmas is really about. This looks like an amazing party...well done to these volunteers.

Saretta said...

What a lovely initiative! I'm sure those children will remember this day for a long time to come!

MurciaDailyPhoto said...

Christmas is approaching and it is time to give to others. What a great idea this party.

Halcyon said...

That is a really nice thing to do for the kids. Hope you reach your goal of 1500 next year!

Joy said...

It is wonderful when students do something rewarding like that. Do you teach at ADMU?

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lunarossa said...

This is really fantastic, Hilda! I cannot even imagine the amount of time and work you all put into this initiative. But the rewards in seeing so many happy children must have been as magnificient. Well done. All the best. Ciao. Antonella

escape said...

extend my appreciation to the people/students who organized this activity. im sure the marginalized ones enjoyed it and will forever remember that day.

Jane Hards Photography said...

Long the long wide shot on this. You do seem to be very comminuity spirited ove there. As for mited coins I do know a little. Long before I was a photographer I was in banking. Old coind were collected in over the year and then sent to the back of england, destroyed and reminted on a yearly basis, along with old notes, which are burnt. What a waste.