January 7, 2019 visit to Centro Salvador in Tondo, Manila

eunice
On January 7th, members of the JDVSF paid a visit to Centro Salvador in Tondo, Manila. Eunice Cheng Chua, a Board Member of JDSVF is devoted to the well-being of the children and communities of San Martin de Porres and in Tondo. She shared the latest developments and status on her hard work as well as the service provided by the JDVSF in Tondo.

Key facts on Tondo, Manila and Centro Salvador

  • Since the Centro’s inauguration in summer 2013, it has undergone many changes as the needs of the community evolve
  • Today, the Centro looks after 1,500 children up to the age of 12 who are all sponsored by the Canadian Chalice Foundation
  • Each child has a bank account which gets directly credited by Chalice every month
  • Eunice is currently planning to increase this program to 1,800 children
  • In addition to the monthly allowance, the sponsored children each receive a healthy meal per day, free school uniforms and school back packs, an annual medical and dental check (thanks to the Belgian MCC medical mission), help with their home work and on-going psychological support
  • Given rampant on-line sexual exploitation of slum children in Tondo the Centro also started an awareness campaign throughout the area
  • To be more efficient, The Centro decentralized the food program which is now run out of five food centers throughout Tondo (one being the Centro itself)
  • The Centro now also looks after 40 children with special needs, such as Down Syndrome
  • Last but not least the Centro developed an outreach program for the parents to look after their needs. After one counselling session, 30 couples who lived together for years decided to get married!
Roëll, a former resident at and graduate from San Martin de Porres, directs the “The Bless the Children Harmonic Group” at the centro. They played recently at the Peninsula Hotel during the “Manager of the Year Award 2018” and compete in the local “SPA Got Talent” competition and reached the semi-finals

Roëll, a former resident at and graduate from San Martin de Porres, directs the “The Bless the Children Harmonic Group” at the centro. They played recently at the Peninsula Hotel during the “Manager of the Year Award 2018” and compete in the local “SPA Got Talent” competition and reached the semi-finals

Charmaine, our resident psychologist, looks after the mental health of the children in the program. 200 kids were identified with having mental issues and receive special treatment. She will shortly be joined by 2 new colleagues to cope with her immense workload.

Charmaine, our resident psychologist, looks after the mental health of the children in the program. 200 kids were identified with having mental issues and receive special treatment. She will shortly be joined by 2 new colleagues to cope with her immense workload.

Nova Brazil runs the food program and keeps meticulously track of all the children. They are assessed every quarter.

Nova Brazil runs the food program and keeps meticulously track of all the children. They are assessed every quarter.

Slowly but steadily modern Manila pushes into Tondo. Probably still this year, the families of 500 of our children will be resettled to Batangas - about three hours north of Manila. There every family gets 500 m2 of arable land and a microcredit to build a house. Eunice already decided to keep these children in the Chalice program and is working on the new organizational model to make this possible. In a few years it is conceivable that we will have to move the entire Centro to a new location.

Slowly but steadily modern Manila pushes into Tondo. Probably still this year, the families of 500 of our children will be resettled to Batangas – about three hours north of Manila. There every family gets 500 m2 of arable land and a microcredit to build a house. Eunice already decided to keep these children in the Chalice program and is working on the new organizational model to make this possible. In a few years it is conceivable that we will have to move the entire Centro to a new location.

The children’s mothers produce these incredibly handy and reusable shopping bags for USD 4.- each. We should start distributing them in the US and Europe

The children’s mothers produce these incredibly handy and reusable shopping bags for USD 4.- each. We should start distributing them in the US and Europe

Another photo of the shopping bags these resourceful women create.

Another photo of the shopping bags these resourceful women create.

Sewing room in The Centro in Tondo. At peak times, when school uniforms need to be made, up to 20 mothers work here

Sewing room in The Centro in Tondo. At peak times, when school uniforms need to be made, up to 20 mothers work here