917 Infor’s Sand Art with Manila Boys Town
Written by Vice President for Internal, Ate Charmain Tan
This morning we visited the Manila Boystown Complex in Parang Marikina City. This institution caters to the abandoned, forgotten, and voluntarily surrendered children, teenagers, and senior citizens of Manila. In this 23-hectare facility are the housing and school structures for those living in this community. Our partnership with them started in 2014 and we had 10 events with them in the past. The event was a project of the US-based software company, Infor, which has a subsidiary in the Philippines. It was organized by Kuya Vincent form the IT department as part of the company’s CSR. They do regular outreach activities and today they wanted to spend time with the marginalized children. As we waited for our volunteers to arrive I was able to talk to some of the kids living in the community. Some of them were a bit shy but some of them were very friendly and cheerful. Contrary to the name Boystown, there is currently a mix of boys and girls cared for by the institution.
We grouped the children together with the volunteers from Infor as they started to arrive. They were able to get to know the children in their groups while talking about a little bit about themselves. The groups cheered as we called on their group numbers one by one. For our first activity we played Act a Shape. The groups had to do the shapes that were specified. There were star, triangle, heart, crown, and lechon. For the final act we asked them to shape their “kinabukasan”. Some of the groups did home, soldier, and other things they hoped for.
We then had our Art Workshop by our art instructor Teacher Blanca. She taught them how to make sand art. Each kid was given a black board and the groups were given different colored sand. They used the glue to draw on the board any image they wanted. The kids then sprinkled the colorful sand grains onto the board. When it dried up, they tapped the board onto the floor and the excess sand came out. The finished products came out beautifully. The bright colors stood out against the black backdrop. The kids then held on to their sand art while we took group photos of them with their ates and kuyas.
We then got to enjoy a hearty lunch. The kids and volunteers happily ate together. The volunteers from Infor also gave out school supplies and toiletries kits for the children. I was able to talk to some of the employees of Infor and they all definitely had fun. All of them came from different departments like IT, Finance, Cloud, Eagle, and others. A lot of them did not even know one another when they first got there. It was also an opportunity for them to get to know the people from other departments. The kids hugged and thanked their ates and kuyas for spending time with them. Kuya Vincent also thanked his co-workers for participating in today’s event.
Most of these children do not have families. All of them need the care and encouragement every child deserves. I asked one of the kids where her artwork was and Antonette said she threw it away because it was “pangit.” She asked me to make her another one and we did a new one together. I wrote down her name and she also wanted our U! logo to be drawn there. She happily held on to the artwork and kept saying “Ang ganda!”. At the end of the day, it is always heartwarming to make even the smallest difference to these children who do not get to have a lot of opportunities in life.