Two years ago the school had capacity for 14 boys aged from 14 to 20, who had been in very serious trouble , be it drugs or theft, or worse. The boys come from very poor areas, and the idea of getting into gangs and becoming part of something was romantic, but misguided,and was a way of escaping from the slums, or so they all thought.
After the required prison time,(Nothing like Western prisons),they had an opportunity to join this school, and to break the circle of poverty,theftand the ineviatable prison. The school offered food,accommodation,lifestyle teachings and most important the chance to get back into school, and educate themselves out of the quicksand of crime.
Like any charity here in the Philippines,finance is a huge and neverending issue,and two years ago, during my visit I saw a vegetable gardento sustain themselves, also an internal classroom. The school had furniture, food, and beds and so much more spread across all the rooms,that supported the guys, who "worked" too in the school to maintain it clean, to cook , to organise the piggery.
Now after the two years, when their existence was sparse but ok, the boys number only eight and the funding has all but vanished. The vegetables have been replaced by fish stocks for very little profit, the comfortable accommodation has vanished too, and the rooms are empty and cry out for soe new paint. The Piggery is closed because of complaints of the noise from nieghbours. and the boys are less smart dressed as before.
Despite that they are happy,very friendly and respectful to THE FRIENDS OF MINDANAO , who remain attentive as Dennis ,the man who has given up everything he has to keep the boys fed and schooled. He quit his jobs to dedicate his time to this venture, and now he trys to support them, with dwindling funds, and no more new boys can be admitted as the funding cannot cope now.
We passed our collected funds from the Friends of Mindanao group, and on the way out we purchased excellent plant pots of all sizes and knew that every pesos we passed would be used within minutes on food or other essentials, and there is so much needed..
I have so much respect for Dennis who offers a little info about his project on this multiply link. I would ask you to read more about what he does, and maybe he and some of his boys will be at a future meeting. The work that this man dos would put most of us to shame.and before Christmas I will try to go back. Do you want to join me?