Heartfelt February

With February being the month devoted to hearts and love, Tiwala Kids & Communities has had multiple opportunities to put our heart in what we do and and show compassion to the children and families we work with. Here are a few ways in which we were able to connect to those to whom we reach out and also reflect God’s love to them:

Art for the Heart: Mayon Evacuees Outreach

As Mayon Volcano continues to erupt, many families are still in evacuation centers in Legazpi City. Tiwala ministered to the children and parents from Barangay Buyuan who were evacuated because of the threat of pyroclastic flows. We were able to provide a three-day therapeutic art sessions for these families. The goal was to give them a safe space to creatively express difficult feelings and to build resilience in the midst of the challenging situations they were going through. The parents said that they felt “released” after being able to share in a small group about their fears and worries. The kids, on the other hand, enjoyed painting and sharing with others about their creative works.

We are also grateful that, aside from the art sessions and the relief goods that we were able to give out last month, this month also Tiwala was able to channel more material blessings from several individuals.

Kids from Buyuan take some time to paint and express their emotions through art.
Cyber Safety for Kids

In this digital age, knowing how to use the internet safely is a crucial skill for children to learn. Tiwala Kids & Communities conducted a cyber safety seminar in the two schools where we host our Digi-Eskwela Project. Through these seminars, the children were oriented about online dangers such as exposure to illegal or inappropriate material, internet predators, identity theft, invasion of privacy, and cyberbullying, as well as practical tips on how they could protect themselves from these dangers. In the next months we hope to continue educating many more children on how to behave safely and participate responsibly in the internet.

Cyber safety seminar at Ibalon Central School
Home Visits: Reaching Out Beyond the Classrooms

Another important aspect of Tiwala’s ministry this month was visiting the homes of our beneficiaries. It was our way of showing the children and families we work with that we genuinely care for them. Whether it was to follow up an absent student, conduct weekly tutorials with our scholars, pray for a sick family member, or have a heart-to-heart talk with a mother in need of counsel, the staff of Tiwala took the time to visit and spend time with our beneficiaries outside our classes and small groups. We were rewarded not just by a deeper understanding of their situations but also by their hospitality and eagerness to welcome us in their homes.

Tiwala kids pose as staff members visit them in their homes
Be Like Jesus: Reflecting Him in the Community

Aside from our regular weekday programs, Tiwala reaches out to more than 150 children on weekends through our student enrichment classes and youth groups. Our theme this quarter is “Be Like Jesus.” Through the classes we hope to provide opportunities for the kids to reflect on who Jesus is and what He can do in and through their lives. At the end of the term, they will be asked to come up with their own outreach project that would reflect Christ’s character to their communities. By doing this, Tiwala aims to help the children become positive agents in their communities.

Kids work on an activity on how they can follow the steps of Jesus
You too are a reflection of God’s love to us and so we would like to express our heartfelt thanks for your prayers, financial support, and practical help all these years! Thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of the children and families here in Bicol, Philippines. May you also continue to experience and reflect His love in real and astounding ways.