Distributing AAI toys on pediatric cancer ward
Christmas eve of 2016 was a wondrous time for more than 100 children undergoing cancer treatment at House of Hope in Davao, Philippines and their families. Many come from surrounding provinces where indigent farm laborers have been victimized by cancer-causing chemicals sprayed in the agriculture fields. Other children were born with leukemia and lymphoma. The small but overcrowded center, attached to a government hospital in Davao, is the only treatment facility for more than 2,000 such children between infancy and teenage years. While medicines are provided by the Davao government, other necessities must be provided by private organizations and volunteers, who range from elementary school students to senior citizens. Overseas humanitarian organizations such as Asia America Initiative and One World Institute help to cover the cost of essential materials such as ward decorations, story- and coloring books, games and toys. Most of the children have never owned a toy due to their family's poverty. "It is a true blessing to be able to assist these children," says Pidot Villocino, the volunteer coordinator for the AAI-OWI assistance programs at House of Hope. "Their smiles are truly genuine."
This Christmas season a series of parties and toy distributions at House of Hope were created by Asia America Initiative, partners in Davao and the One World Institute. AAI is a "peacebuilding and educational" organization by official definition. Some people might say, "It is not our job." But we cannot ignore the needs of children with life-threatening diseases. Although we are not medical professionals, we understand that laughter and joy not only help children undergoing chemotherapy with courage and a stuffed animal to be their friend when they are in pain and alone. We have witnessed that sometimes laughter and joy are as important as medicine to generate the mental and physical healing of cancer that medical doctors cannot explain. We believe that miracles can be sparked by kindness and love.
Thanks to our Global Giving donors, we continue monthly nutrition and supplemental medicines for children with rare diseases in Manila through the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders all year round. And this week, in addition to the Christmas toys to assist more than 300 kids at House of Hope, we ask that you not forget to assist us and please donate through our main Cancer Treatment Project #8496 on Global Giving's website. Your support especially helps during the last week of 2016 so that we are "powered-up" to continue and expand our work with these great kids during 2017!!
Christmas Eve party at House of Hope
Volunteers of all ages at House of Hope
under chemo therapy. comfort from stuffed toy
baby under care at House of Hope
boy undergoing chemo with Mom and stuffed toy