JDVS Treasurer Hugo Banziger and Jennifer Asuncion met some of the 160 children at St. Martin de Porres during a December visit. They also met 15 college students who now live there who are studying subjects including accountancy, architecture, marketing and teaching.
They were able to see progress at SMDP, including the near completion of a staff quarter. This is a stand-alone building next to the main entrance that includes an inner courtyard. Thanks to JDVS support, construction of a Pre-Admission Centre, where nearly arrived children will be housed for the first few weeks before integrated into one of the villas, is underway. Roof support beams are already up and the roof should be covered shortly.
Girls living at Hijas de Esther, the Girls’ Village, are becoming more ambitious and confident since living separately from the boys. Father Boyet will build a school with four classrooms next to the Village to further their academic progress.
At Centro Salvador, the halfway house in Tondo, spirits were high with progress achieved over the year. Centro now looks after 650 children, sponsored by Canadian Chalice. A recent Dutch Medical Mission praised Centro for its health and nutrition program. There are two nurses on staff, as well as a dentist who is an implant specialist and comes there twice a week.
In addition, the livelihood project for mothers of sponsored children is thriving. While the mothers usually have no skills and were rubbish pickers, they can now earn money by sewing school uniforms and backpacks. They also made little dolls for Christmas presents.