Let Us Help the Ulpindo Family


Kisses Ulpindo (center) with her parents

Kisses Ulpindo (center) with her parents

I looked into their eyes, sunken, tired, dimmed and almost cataract ridden. Mr and Mrs Ulpindo grasp for straws. Where would their family go, to whom could they turn for help so their daughter Kisses Ulpindo can attend and finish high school? A heavy pall of desperation hangs over their shanty. His face weather-beaten, the father ages before his time. The mother tries hard to stay upbeat but it’s clear she’s reaching her wit’s end. She worries about where to get the next cup of rice to feed her family.

This same scenario repeats itself throughout the region. There are no paying jobs, no manufacturing firms that hire, no paying customers. Life must go on however and the father cultivates the landlord’s land for a fifth of the harvest. He sets his fishing traps in the open sea from sun-up to sun-down, and scours the neighborhood for odd jobs for most of the day.

Kisses Ulpindo, is part of this community’s future. All eyes are on her now. She’s bright, hard charging and knows a thing or two about going to bed hungry but gets up in the morning anyway like clockwork to do her chores. It’s inspiring to learn that the Ulpindo Family, confronted by all these temporal lacks and perceived needs, makes it a priority to make sure their daughter at least finishes her high school education. They are willing to ply the streets begging to help her make it happen.

We rejoice at the opportunity to lend the Ulpindo Family a helping hand. We are going to send Kisses to high school beginning this school year and we need your help to continue sending Kisses Ulpindo and kids in her circumstance to school. We ask that you please open a monthly $10 dollar donation allotment by clicking DONATE NOW. Thank you and God bless you.

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Parent-Child Collaboration


Everlyn Jamandra and her Parents

Everlyn Jamandra and her Parents

Eleven years old, graduating from 6th grade, shedding the “elementary school” mentality, and raring to enter seventh grade and into the intermediate league. What goes through the mind of an 11-year old youth about school and the future?

I am willing to bet most of such 11-year old thinking resembles a pail of benign, tangled and disorganized notions. Superfluous thoughts skewed by feelings, fairy tales, wild crushes, hazy ideas, exorbitant wishes, daydreams, strange desires, unachievable ambitions, unsteady emotions, hurts worse than death, diabolical ideas of revenge, mischief, puppy love, infatuation, nocturnal secrets… murky, opaque thoughts that seem like a multitude of narrow paths resembling ribbons etched on the grass where goats walk and graze, where kids run, cavort and play… just a sandbox.

The verdant landscape mind of an active 11-year old holds a world of promise. Parents must recognize, accept, and learn to help their child put order to such a youthful mind. Needed are patience, tolerance, love, fairness, firmness, and an even-handed hold on the reins. In time the youthful mind begins to put things in order, first separating the open fields from the hedges, demarcating the hills from the mountains, grouping the rocks from the sand dunes and partitioning the nice, approachable, gentle and kind adults from the wicked, uncaring ones. Order gradually emerges. Finally and hopefully, chaos becomes unpredictable calm.

The secret to a desired outcome is collaboration between parent and child based on mutual respect, driven by mutual trust that parent and child walk in the same direction, and going for the same goal.

I know. Easier said than done. Don’t just talk about it; work on it.

Changing Certain Attitudes


Planting rice seedlings

Planting rice seedlings

“Good morning Sir. I am Albert Bunoan from SAS Ai. We are here to visit Rosa your daughter. Rosa said she wanted to attend St Augustine School (SAS).” Albert extended his hand to Rosa’s father hoping for a good handshake.

“Very good Mistro, (mistro means teacher)” the man replied, calling Rosa in the next instant. “Rosa… Rosa…”

Rosa came down. She smiled when she saw Albert. “Good morning Sir,” she greeted Albert waving her hand.

Albert asked Rosa, “Did you tell your parents about your plan to apply for financial aid? And that you want to attend SAS high school?”

“Yes Sir,” replied Rosa. Then looking her father’s way, she continued, “But Sir I think my father is not in favor.”

Taking his cue from Rosa, the father spoke. “Mistro… if it is all the same, we appreciate your gesture but I think Rosa will go to public school because we do not have money to send her to SAS. Also, she will just get married and have children. What good is the money spent? To spend money for women’s education is wasting money.”

Albert somehow knew he had reached an impasse – perhaps a temporary one – but he didn’t have the time nor the inclination to try to change the man’s thinking. What a pity and how sad… he thought inwardly as he left.

Albert walked away heavy-hearted. From his conversations with Rosa, Albert knew she had smarts and potential. Good grades, active in the community and with the little children in Church Sunday school. Rosa wanted success. Her desire showed brightly in her earlier conversations with Albert. She wanted to attend a good school and would work hard to get into a financial aid program.

Fast forward the tape.

Clearly, local folks harbor strange, lingering attitudes and notions about women, girls – specially their young daughters. Outside of having babies and keeping house, to them women have nothing else to give to society. As a result of this ingrained, wrong attitude toward women, these local farm folks will not even entertain other possibilities for their daughters besides working around the farm.

We hope to change these outdated attitudes. We aim to spotlight the performance results of our students for them to see. Perhaps as they observe how well the kids do and how assuredly they finish high school, maybe then they will relent and recognize their daughters.