IT Tender empowers children in Metro Manila, Philippines to become educated and responsible leaders in their community. This is accomplished through educational programs and community-based initiatives which create lasting transformations in the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of each child. The result is sustainable health and wholeness in the community.
IT Tender provides education for “street children” and their families. IT Tender runs five projects: Smart Kids (early years education), Simula Learning Centre (pre-school), Sponsor-a-Child (scholarships for elementary and high school), Alternative Learning Systems (out of school youth), and Nightlife (drop-in for street involved children and youth with emphasis on literacy). Runaways and children addicted to solvents also find welcome and community here, along with wise counsel and mentoring. The goal is that children and families become Christ-centered, responsible, and self-sustaining.
Detailed Implementation Plan
We learned that the community is truly willing to share their time, efforts and talents with the ministry. We have observed that over the fast few months, the youth and mothers in particular are happy to volunteer at IT Tender’s major events. Parents are also proving more willing to allow their children and youth to spend their free time at IT Tender’s drop-in centre.
SMART Kids, Simula Learning Centre and Alternative Learning System
These projects remain on hold while their ministry leaders are studying full-time in university through the Send-A-Teacher-To-School initiative. In the long-term, this will benefit our educational programs and future school through equipping and training our teachers.
In July IT Tender traveled with the Sponsor-A-Child youth to volunteer at a local shelter for the families of children who have cancer. “Silungan ng Pag-asa” (“Shelter of Hope”) temporarily houses impoverished families who travel from rural communities for their children’s cancer treatment. The Sponsor-A-Child youth blessed the children and their families with small gifts and snacks. The youth also helped with setting up all of the winter decorations and performed songs and skits at IT Tender’s annual Christmas party. We are encouraged by their hearts to serve others!
IT Tender has introduced small incentives for the Sponsor-A-Child children and youth, as a way of encouraging them to attain good grades or improve their grades. These incentives include special recognition or simple gifts for their hard work and dedication to their education.
In the new year we will begin increasing Sponsor-A-Child updates to our donors. Rather than receiving an annual update on their sponsor child, donors can expected more frequent updates. We will also continue to encourage youth who are in the Sponsor-A-Child program to get involved with various IT Tender programs and events to serve others, develop their leadership skills, and gain experience.
Education Media Centre (EMC)
The media centre is now open for children and youth! EMC is located in our drop-in centre building, and provides local students with a space where they have FREE access to library books, computers, and printers to assist them in their studies. This has been incredibly helpful for our students as many of them do not have access to a computer at home and cannot afford to use a typical internet cafe to complete their homework.
In the last six months, 3 of our Filipino staff members began attending university! We are happy to share that through the “Send a Teacher to School” fundraising initiative, Cecille, Gabby, and Jizza are officially pursuing their studies in the fields of education and the social services.
IT Tender Christmas Party
Our annual IT Tender Christmas Party took place on December 3rd and it was an absolute success! This year we welcomed 110 of Manila’s street children into our “winter wonderland” party. They were able to experience the joy of Christmas as they made crafts, took photos in a photo booth, sang songs, and watched skits together. Each child also received school and hygiene supplies and a warm meal. We are incredibly thankful for our partners at Extreme Response (from Canada and the United States of America) for volunteering their time and resources to help make this incredible event possible.
Trip to Enchanted Kingdom
In July “U-Happy Events” provided 25 street children with the opportunity to spend a day at Enchanted Kingdom, a popular Filipino theme park. The children were full of so much joy as they rode the rides, over and over again. Thank you “U-Happy Events” for giving these children the opportunity to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
We will be dividing Night Life in 2017 into two groups — children and youth. The program was on hiatus for a short while, but we are excited to share that we will begin the group once again! Our teachers Cecile and Gabby are both studying education full time in university, but they will work at IT Tender once a week leading these weekly Night Life sessions (Cecile will be teaching Night Life Kids and Gabby will be teaching Night Life Youth). This will provide them with the opportunity to apply what they are learning in university with the children and youth in the program.
Public education in Manila does not provide students with the opportunity of obtaining a high quality education. We believe that no matter one’s socioeconomic background, each child deserve a high quality education. As a result, in the next six months IT Tender will begin planning and raising funds to start a private Christian school. Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church has decided to help support our vision to establish this Christian school for the urban poor! The church plans to send a short term mission team to visit IT Tender in 2018. We are truly excited for the ways both IT Tender and Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church can grow through this partnership.
We look forward to our annual reading camp. This is an opportunity to offer extra support in the area of literacy to the children and youth who are studying.
Every few years, the families of Sponsor-A-Child enjoy either a Family Camp or Family Retreat through IT Tender instead of the usual annual Family Day. Since the Family Retreat in 2015 was such a great success and blessing for those families, we decided to have another retreat in 2017. This time we will bring the families of Sponsor-A-Child to a fresh water springs resort for 3 days and 2 nights in February. We are also inviting pastors from our partner churches as guest speakers for the retreat. This is a treat for the families from urban poor communities who would not otherwise experience a vacation. This event is an opportunity to minister separately to the fathers, mothers, youth and children, providing encouragement and counseling to help them with the daily struggles they face in their lives.
We will continue to work towards officially licensing IT Tender in the Philippines. This a slow but critical task and we hope to have the process complete in the near future!
Stories of Transformation
Hope, faith and perseverance can help us overcome any obstacle, including poverty. This is the steadfast belief of former IT Tender sponsor child Maria. At 19 years old, Maria lives in the poorest of IT Tender’s three target communities. Upper Sucat, an area on the outskirts of urban poor Manila, is home for more than 100 Filipinos. Families living there set up tents with large tarps or use simple plywood walls to build their homes. There is no running water or electricity, and most of the adults have never completed high school.
In 2010, IT Tender held a nutrition program for 50 children in Upper Sucat. Three days a week, healthy meals and vitamins were provided to eliminate malnutrition amongst the children. Maria joined the nutrition program as a youth volunteer, and her younger sister Hannah attended for the meals and children’s stories. IT Tender staff also shared the gospel through this program and many people in the community came to know Christ, including Maria. The community even asked IT Tender to help them plant a church at the end of the nutrition program.
The next year, IT Tender introduced the Sponsor-A-Child program to ensure street children from Upper Sucat could attend elementary and secondary schools. A donor offered to sponsor Maria, and she was able to attend school as a sponsor child. Through IT Tender’s support, Maria graduated high school and could finally apply for jobs to provide for her single mother and her siblings.
Maria prayed to find work and was encouraged to consider a local agency that hires high school graduates and trains them to become domestic helpers in reputable homes. She thanks God for providing a good employer, and she is currently providing for her family through her employment.
Maria enjoys her work and thanks the Lord for using IT Tender to empower her. She remembers the Tender Team fondly for the many years of discipleship and support that nurtured within her the faith and determination needed to succeed. When recently asked how she is doing she responded, “I’m great, and I know God always helps me to pursue my dreams step by step. To become a positive person, always keep in mind that God is always beside us, watching us and guiding us.”
We are truly proud and grateful for this strong and resilient young woman of God.
U-Happy Events has become more involved in our community and as a partner of IT Tender. We host an event for street children with U-Happy Events almost every month or two. U-Happy is an organization in the Philippines whereby people/donors can bless poor communities by giving or celebrating a party with the children for a birthday, Christmas, or any other special occasion.
We have now confirmed an official partnership with Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church in Ontario. They will be sending a short-term mission team in 2018 to IT Tender, and they will help to support our vision of establishing a Christian private school in the future.
On August 6th, IT Tender staff took part in the first ever “Ride for Refuge” in the Philippines! Together we rode our bikes to inspire others to join the official ride in October.
On October 1st, several bikers and walkers braved the Canadian cold to take part in the “Ride for Refuge.” Participants raised money for the IT Tender’s educational programs and the “Send a Teacher To School” initiative! We are so thankful for your commitment to our programs — through your donations we are not only investing in the lives of our teachers, but also in so many children’s lives in Manila!
|Total Income 2016||$86,453|
|Total Expenses 2016||$92,171|
|Overall 2016 Budget||$105,435|