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Mar 25, 2019

Going Solar in Banaba, Thanks to You

Demonstrating a solar panel in action
Demonstrating a solar panel in action

Thanks to your amazing support we’re making great progress to equip the Banaba Livelihood & Evacuation Centre. This means that even more Filipino families will soon be able to shelter there during storms.

In our last project report we described how we were about to start work on another twenty-four family cubicles to add to the nineteen previously provided by you.

In total this will allow forty-three families to use the building during disasters. So, since our last update we’ve also used your generous donations to buy more ceiling fans to keep everyone comfortable, and to undertake some maintenance to the existing bathrooms to make sure the building remains sanitary.

Also, while the building has an electrical supply, mains power can often be disrupted after typhoons. So, with your incredible support we’ve also provided the centre with a small solar system that can provide emergency lighting, charge phones and power a drinking water purification system.

Ka Noli, the founder of our local partner organisation, Buklod Tao, described how staff from the local university’s Innovation Centre helped to design and setup the system:

“As you know we recently undertook the scheduled purchases of materials for solar-powered water purifier.

Asst Professor of Ateneo Innovation Center assisted me in the purchases. Next Sunday, 8:00am to after lunch will be the agreed training and installation here at 3rd floor of the Evacuation Centre with Professor Paul Cabacungan and his students.

Around 98% of the materials were purchased already. All others are to be bought in downtown Manila, Saturday by Reymond who offered to purchase the remaining materials.

I gave him the funds for these purchases and he already texted me and mentioned that all the additional parts have been purchased and shall be brought to Buklod Tao before the installation and training day.

Already we have been inviting colleagues here in Buklod Tao, especially plumbers and electricians, to attend this training and installation. Thank you to IDV donors for making this capacity building possible.”

We echo Ka Noli’s thanks, for this and for all your previous support to improve and equip the Centre over the years.

We’re delighted with this recent progress but work on the cubicles themselves has been delayed slightly. Ka Noli explained:

“Your acknowledgment of our current tasks is much appreciated. Attached are pictures of two workers of Master Plumber Gerry who started repairs of toilets/bathrooms Monday mid-afternoon. The two started off with boring of holes at the interior and exterior side of male's toilet/bathroom to facilitate installation of pvc pipes for exhaust ventilation of the smell of the toilet.

For the cubicles, sorry we are hampered by delays due to non-availability of workers.

Work for installations of pipes for cubicle curtain hangers has not started yet, even purchases of metal materials. The builder, Vic has committed to work , after he has finished a job in Marikina City, to fabricate and install roof trusses for the house of his younger brother, Boying.

I agreed to give way for his younger brother's need for trusses installation. It should be done now before the rainy season. After that, Vic assured me the Centre works would be the next.”

We’re keen to see the work completed, and we’re sure you are too. So, we’ll keep you posted as our work in Banaba continues. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

Buklod Tao member training on the solar purifier
Buklod Tao member training on the solar purifier
Bathroom maintenance work in the Centre
Bathroom maintenance work in the Centre
Installing an exhaust vent for a bathroom
Installing an exhaust vent for a bathroom
Mar 22, 2019

Hanging on in there at the HTDC orphanage in Haiti

Hanging on in there with your help
Hanging on in there with your help

We’re always grateful for your incredible support, and this has been doubly true through what’s been a difficult couple of months in Haiti.

In early February demonstrations erupted across the country as people protested against rising inflation and alleged corruption and mismanagement of overseas funding by the government.

The protests sometimes turned violent and inflation has driven up the costs of essential items, including food.

This has placed pressure on the HTDC orphanage and that means your ongoing generosity has been particularly important of late.

Although demonstrations have swirled around them the kids still need to be housed, fed and educated, and the work involved in keeping the orphanage running hasn’t stopped either.

Carlo, the orphanage director, explained:

“The child welfare agency, IBESR, have requested all orphanages to update the way they do things to meet new standards according to the law. We have to make sure we do a great job so that they renew our paperwork.

So, we buy some new beds and mattresses, and repaint the house again and make some more changes, like building some new tables for them to eat at.

We change the kids diet and verify how we feed the kids, so I have to hire a nutritionist and spend some more money on food.

So, we are very happy the IDV donor are still helping us! Thank you.”

Happily, it’s not all been work and stress though. Before the protests began Carlo organised a fun day trip. He also explained as follows:

We took the kids to the Olympic Park in Haiti. The kids enjoyed it and they all want to go back. I think they would even prefer to stay there!

We bought snacks for them, but they were not interested because they wanted to play as much as they can when they have [the] chance because they don’t have a place like that to play at home.”

Carlo sent some photos from the day and we can see exactly what he means - the kids all had loads of fun at the park.

He was planning to take them back again but the protests meant this hasn't been possible yet.The situation has thankfully calmed down a bit now, but the underlying political situation hasn’t changed and Carlo remains worried things will flare up again.

Fow now Carlo and the kids are all hanging on in there and, like us, remain incredibly grateful for your support.

If you ever have any questions about the orphanage and how we use your donations, please don’t hesitate to email I would be delighted to hear from you.

A trip to the Olympic park was loads of fun
A trip to the Olympic park was loads of fun
These kids aren't fazed by much!
These kids aren't fazed by much!
A reluctant break for snacks before playing again
A reluctant break for snacks before playing again
Feb 4, 2019

Thanks for keeping Kenson in school

On behalf of Kenson, "Thank You!" so much.
On behalf of Kenson, "Thank You!" so much.

Thanks so much for helping to provide a year* of school for Kenson.

Kenson's mum is alive but she’s homeless and living on the streets. She couldn't afford to feed Kenson, or keep him safe. So, she was forced to abandon Kenson at the HTDC orphanage.

But with so many other needs, like food, to worry about, the orphanage couldn’t provide Kenson with an education.

Without an education, Kenson’s future looked bleak. Kenson was heartbroken when his mum left him at the orphanage, but he’s started to giggle and laugh again. Yet without basic literacy and numeracy, he would almost certainly be doomed to a life of poverty.

But Kenson is lucky - he has you in his life.

Your fantastic generosity means that we’ll be able to keep Kenson in school and learning the skills he needs to build a brighter tomorrow. Kenson’s been doing really well in school, but if he needs extra help we’ll be there to get him the tutoring he needs.

We’ll be able to support Kenson because you chose to give. There are so many things you could have spent your hard earned money on, but you chose Kenson. Thanks so much.

We’ll keep updating you about Kenson and all his classmates through this project’s parent page, Provide a Safe Home for Haitian Orphans. If you ever have any questions about how we're using your donation, please email We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again, and very kind regards!

*Donations to this project will cover Kenson’s school costs over a year, but will be spent on all the children in parallel as we fundraise for each in turn.


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