We all mark important events in our lives. Special occasions remind us of the grace and goodness we have received, and so we pause in gratitude and praise. We invite others to join us in the festivities to share with them our joy and thanksgiving. The Lord has given Tiwala several milestones to celebrate the past month, and we would like to invite you to join us in praising Him for His goodness and faithfulness. Here they are:
Renewal of Accreditation
Tiwala Kids & Communities successfully received the renewal of our accreditation under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)! Aside from acquiring registration and license under the DSWD, Tiwala also had to be accredited as a social welfare agency in order to comply with Philippine laws. This is to ensure that the services we offer are complementary to the needs of our beneficiaries and do not foster dependency but rather empower them toward a better life. The tedious process of accreditation involves document evaluation and focus group discussions among the recipients of our programs. After months of diligently preparing for it, we at Tiwala are delighted to finally receive the commendation last month!
We’re halfway through the school year, and so during the semester break in October, we organized a Scholars’ Day — a one-day activity aimed at celebrating the achievements of our full scholars. Our Tiwala scholars usually face significant challenges in succeeding in school: learning in overcrowded public schools that lack proper facilities, taking care of younger siblings while coping with demanding school work, and living in tiny houses (usually just one room) in dangerous slum communities. That’s why we take time to celebrate even the small achievements they make, such as involvement in extra-curricular activities, passing a difficult exam, or simply completing school attendance for the semester. Thanks to each one of you who continues to support the studies of these precious children! Your prayers and donations enable us to help these kids have a brighter future through education.
Wrap up of 1st Semester Weekend Classes
Around 150 children in five villages finished the first semester’s curriculum of our weekend classes. Centered on imparting life skills, “Growing Up Together” sessions sought to equip the kids with social skills that would help them communicate and get along well with others. Among the topics discussed were showing empathy, appreciating and understanding individual differences, and resolving conflicts. The children enjoyed roleplaying, learning songs and dances, listening to stories, writing in their journals, and playing games. On the last day of class, they received awards and prizes and were able to bring home their workbooks to serve as reminders of the things they had learned.
Outings, Birthdays, and Other Festivities
October was filled with many fun and memorable times. For example, we went on an outing with our Tiwala teens by hiking up a nearby hill (Ligñon Hill). In doing so we together got to appreciate God’s beautiful creation and enjoy each other’s company. Towards the end of October, we also took time to celebrate the birthdays of our beneficiaries by giving them gifts. After this we were further invited into the homes of our beneficiaries when they celebrated Legazpi’s “fiesta”. Nanay Lolit, one of the mothers actively involved in our family strengthening sessions, also invited us to her simple birthday celebration at home. A few days ago, we also had the joy of celebrating the birthdays of two of our staff, Mila and Jean! But more than the festivities and food, we were most grateful for the chance to acknowledge and appreciate God’s goodness in our lives.
Thank you too for your prayers, friendship, and support all these years. You are also one of the reasons why we celebrate! Your faithful partnership enables us to continue serving and building strong foundations in the lives of the people here in Bicol, Philippines. May the Lord also give you many more reasons to celebrate each day.