811 Ate Criselle Celebrates with Young Focus

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Written by Board Member, Ate Charmain Tan

It was another birthday celebration in Tondo last Saturday with sponsor Ate Criselle, who turned 24 this year. She was joined by her friends and family to spend the day with the children of Young Focus.

Young Focus International was established in 1992 by a Dutch-English couple in the Netherlands. In 2008 Young Focus for Education and Development in the Philippines was established. It develops programs that gives the youth the opportunity to develop intellectual as well as creative and social skills. It is located in Dayao Street in Tondo, which is known to be one of the poorest and most underdeveloped areas of the country. Through the development of talents and gifts, it aims to help the youth escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Some of their programs are Infant Care, Family Care, Early Childhood Education, School Sponsorships for elementary, high school, and college students. In 2016 a 3-story building was purchased to accommodate the growing number of sponsored children.

The volunteers introduced themselves by acting out their favorite superhero characters. They did superman, flash, and green arrow. The other half of the volunteers did a group dance number while the children cheered for them. We grouped the volunteers and kids and they talked about their best friend and their favorite sea animal. Most of them said they like turtles and sharks.

We played a couple of games to start of the afternoon’s activities. The first game was Hula Together. Each team was given a hula hoop and all members had to put two of their fingers under the hula. They had to bring the hula hoop down to the floor while all the fingers remained in contact with the hula hoop. The group of Kuya Aaron did very well as all the kids were determined to finish the task first.

The second game we played was Hula Together. We gave a category and the people who fell within the category had to either go in or stay out of the hula hoops. For instance, everyone in T-shirts had to go inside the hula hoops, so everyone wearing shirts had to go inside while those wearing sleeveless tops stayed outside the hula hoops. Some categories were hair length, those wearing shorts, those with mixed ethnicity, and the pretty ones. The last one was fun as all the girls in the groups laughed as they went inside the hula hoops, therefore saying they are all pretty.

We then got to see the spectacular performance of the magician Kuya Kobe from the Salamangkero group. The did his popular acts like doves flying out of books and rabbit popping out of a platter. He did his candle tricks where fabrics would turn into sticks of candles and he would use his hands to put out the fire. He also showed us how he seemingly split a Coke bottle in half but the bottle remained whole. He called on a kid volunteer Santino and to help him out with his tricks. Since appearance is important for a magician Kuya Kobe brought out a giant comb to fix Santino’s hair. Everyone laughed as he tried coming Santino’s hair. Kuya Kobe also opened a big fabric thad a monkey’s body painted on it and put it under Santino’s head making it look like he has a monkey’s body. All the kids laughed as they saw their friend having fun on the stage. Kuya Kobe then asked Santino to hold a magic wand which kept breaking as Santino held it. He laughed as he couldn’t make the wand stay straight. He finished of his performance with the Flying Table where he asked another kid volunteer to hold the other end of the table and it flew up over the kids.

After the show we gave white cardboard masks to everyone and they got to color the different masks. There were animals like rabbit, fox, lion, bear, and dog. The volunteers helped the children color their masks. After they finished the kids eagerly wore their masks and had fun having their photos taken with their ates and kuyas. We then had our pizza and spaghetti which the children enjoyed. We gave out storybooks to the team with the best mask as judged by one of the teachers at the center. Ate Criselle gave clothing as donation to the center. We also gave crackers and baby feeding bottles to the center to be shared to the the community. I also gave badminton shuttlecocks to some of the children who plays badminton regularly with each other. They were playing badminton by the street before the start of our activity and they were very excited to get the new tubes of shuttlecocks as the ones they were using already lost their feathers.

As we said our goodbyes Ate Criselle got to blow her birthday candle and the kids hugged and thanked the volunteers for spending the day with them. We thank Ate Criselle for choosing to share her special day with the kids of Young Focus. May her birthday bring her as much happiness as she was able to give the children.

U! Happy Events

U! Happy Events