meals program - Children's Hope Fund

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On March 21st we conducted our March meals program where over 300 children at Bacoor Elementary school were provided a hot meal of arroz caldo, a traditional Filipino comfort food.  Thanks to all our supporters and volunteers for making this possible.  We couldn’t do it without you!

We would like to thank everyone who supported our meals program in February. Meals were delivered to over 300 children at Bacoor Elementary School. A dish called arroz caldo was served. Arroz caldo is a Filipino comfort food – a porridge with rice, vegetables and chicken cooked in chicken broth that is eaten in many Asian countries. Filipinos love arroz caldo and will eat it anytime of day.

This activity was conducted by volunteers who unselfishly shared their time and effort in preparing and distributing the meals. Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures so you can see the children that you’re helping.

In November 2010, I went on a two-week backpacking trip to the Philippines with my sister and friend. From Manila, with our 40-pound backpacks, our destination was 9.5 miles away: Bacoor Cavite. A typical 10-minute drive in the States was a three-hour adventure. We first took a tricycle to the train station, then rode the train to a jeepney stop.

Jeepneys. I’ve never seen anything like it – picture a carnival on wheels. Bright colors, wild graffiti and decorative adornments embellished a school-bus-shaped vehicle. We missed our stop, going too far south and had to tread down a dirt road to get to another jeepney stop headed back the way we came. We then took another tricycle to Bacoor Elementary School. We made it!

On our journey, many asked us why we, tourists, were going to visit this town. What is there to do or see in this poor area? Well, today we were going to volunteer with Children’s Hope Fund (CHF), a Denver-based nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities and resources to impoverished children.

We were greeted by Rosalie Concepcion, a school teacher and volunteer for CHF. She warmly welcomed us into her home where over a dozen volunteers were cooking. This day was an exciting day for 300 children. They were going to receive a hot meal – for free!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA-Y65ywCIk

The Children’s Hope Fund was hosting its monthly meal program that provided one piece of fried chicken, white rice and a juice box to each child. When we arrived at the site in the poor village of Tramo, the children were waiting patiently and orderly in the hot sun. They were lined in rows, each holding “the golden ticket.” Tickets for the free meal were distributed to children in school, as a way of encouraging them to attend.

The volunteers gave us a tour of the area. Many of the homes did not have doors – we could look right into them. They appeared to be formed by upright pieces of wood with a board slapped on top to function as the roof.

Some of the children did not have shoes, running around on the path of dirt and rocks. They were playing with bottle caps. Everyone greeted us with a smile. Many were missing teeth.

When the food arrived, my sister and friend assisted in passing out the meal boxes to the children. I wandered the area taking photos and making conversation with the parents – nearly all were women. Most said they were single mothers, working as the breadwinners for their family. They expressed their gratitude for Children’s Hope Fund. This meal was important to them. Some children had waited in line for more than two hours. Many mothers asked if there would be leftover lunchboxes available for them. I watched the joy on the children’s faces as they enjoyed such a simple meal.

It was an eye-opening experience. With the kind hearts of its volunteers, the Children’s Hope Fund was making a substantial impact on the lives of these children. Rosalie shared a major problem is that after concepts are taught in school, they are not reinforced at home because most parents are not educated enough to help. Many parents shared the same sentiments, but with guilt that they could not provide more for their children.

As my eyes began to well up, I realized that not only do I need to better appreciate what I have, but that there are many ways to help others even on the other side of the world.

With this experience kept firmly in my mind and closely in my heart, we left Bacoor Cavite to Batangas.

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Annie Guo is the President of Asian Avenue magazine, a monthly publication based in Denver, Colorado. This is an excerpt from the magazine.

We would like to thank everyone who supported our free meal program in November.  Hot meals were delivered to children in Tramo, a village in Bacoor, Cavite. There were over 300 children who attended the meal program, some of these kids in this area frequently skip meals or eat too little. Fried chicken, rice and juice was served.

This activity was conducted by volunteers who unselfishly shared their time and effort in the preparation and distribution of the meals. Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures on our Facebook page so you can see the children that you’re helping.

We just posted pictures from the February and March meals program feedings on the Activities: 2010 page.  Please check it out to see the kids you’ve helped.

kids at the march meals programWe would like to thank everyone who supported our free meal program this month. Hot meals were delivered to children in Tramo, a village in Bacoor, Cavite. There were approximately 335 children who attended the meal program, some of these kids in this area frequently skip meals or eat too little. A dish called arroz caldo was served. Arroz caldo is a Filipino comfort food – a porridge with rice, vegetables and chicken cooked in chicken broth that is eaten in many Asian countries. Filipinos love arroz caldo and will eat it anytime of day. I am a big fan of this dish. I remember living in the Philippines stopping at roadside food stalls standing in the rain while eating arroz caldo with so many people and jeepneys passing by. It’s quite good.

This activity was conducted by volunteers who unselfishly shared their time and effort in the preparation and distribution of the meals. Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures so you can see the children that you’re helping.

Over 400 students were fed a hot meal when we hosted our monthly meals program at Bacoor Elementary School on February 18, 2010.

We’re committed to these kind of school meal programs to help improve children’s health and increase school attendance, retention and improve learning. Limitations on funding limit the feedings to once a month at the present time, but we are hoping to expand this program to conduct school meals more frequently and to serve additional students as additional funds become available.

This activity was conducted by our volunteers, who were joined by a group of 2nd year high school students from St. Michael Institute, a local private school. Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Check out the pictures to see the kids we helped.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this cause, this past Thursday, January 21, 2010 hot meals we’re given to over 500 students at Bacoor Elementary School. The majority of them are children living at or below the poverty line. Lack of food is often one of the challenges that children face at Bacoor as some families do not have the means to purchase it. We’re committed to this kind of school meal programs to help improve children’s health and increase school attendance, retention and improve learning. Limitations on funding limit the feedings to once a month at the present time, but we are planning to expand this program to conduct school meals more frequently and to serve additional students as additional funds become available.

This activity was conducted by volunteers along with the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers who unselfishly shared their time and effort in the preparation and distribution of the meals. Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures so you can see the children that you’re helping.

Over 500 students greeted us at Bacoor Elementary School when we hosted a meal program on Wednesday, November 11, some went to school hungry and dirty without shoes or adequate clothing, however, the children were very optimistic. In this trip I met hundreds of children and dozens of families. While my heart aches, I am encouraged that despite the extreme poverty they live in, the children still have hopes and dreams. The school is filled with laughter and kids running around. When I asked the children what they want to be when they grow up? The answers are lawyer, teacher, doctor, nurse, policeman, fireman, president. Their potential is being lost under the weight of the extreme poverty they deal with every day.

Even though education is the right of every child, not all children get to go to school. Education is essential to every child that I met. It’s the most reliable way of working towards breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. Every child has a right to it. As the world becomes a smaller place with technology advances, we become more aware of of the well being of children around the world. It is up to us to decide whether we choose to try to help save the lives of these children. The weakest and the most helpless in our world can only depend on the goodwill of those who have the means to help. Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. What we accomplished on this trip made a huge impact on the lives of so many children. You are a hero for over 900 children we that we visited on this trip. You made an immediate difference in their lives.

Happiness, freedom, love and peace of mind are always attained by giving it to someone else.

Over 300 kids greeted us this past Saturday when we hosted a meal for the children. Malnutrition rates are so high in the poorest area of Bacoor, Tabing Dagat, which makes meals for these children absolutely critical. These kids are all roughly 7 years of age. They were quite small for their age. Despite their cheery faces, they were incredibly thin.

By the time the project is finished here and it’s my time to return to Colorado, we will have fed over 900 kids (1 day that they don’t have to worry if they’re going to eat or not). I am hoping that I can continue a meals program for these kids even just once a month.

Thank you to all who made it possible for this kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help me facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures so you can see the children that you’re helping.

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