For 5 month now, my 3 year old daughter and me, accompany cleft patients on their long way to recovery. I was looking for them, driving to their homes to the different barangays and had gunmen following us. I brought them to different check-ups and went with them on a over 30hour journey to Manila. We rode together tricycle, multicap and jeepnis, taxi, pedicap, ferry and plane. I had support on the way and was suddenly left alone. But I had promised not to stop until all 10 patients received their first operation and they know how to get the follow up operations. (All operationa and compleat clft treatment done by NCFP). Now 5 month later all 10 patients have received their operation. One major step is done. Thank you to everyone to helped along the way. Also to the ones who had not the endurance to finish. I did learn from all of them.
Along the way I got to know patients and families very well. We shared joy and tears, laughter and sorrows. The cleft patients and families became our friends and finally our family.
My holistic approach does not end with the operation. There is so much more that can be done.
In addition to their cleft child they have financial and other problems. All of them have a very low income at the moment. They earn less than 70€ a month, what is hardly enough to survive. Some of already shared part of their story….more to come…this gives you the chance to really get to know our cleft families.
In Manila at the Transient House they startet to producing doormats for the ICM Sisters who run the place. They bought left over fabrics, cut and knot them so they can use them to weave doormats. For each doormat they get 17Pesos (0,35€) commission.
One family here lost their entire base while being here in Manila with their cleft baby. They got evicted of their home and lost their 3 computers they used to have a home based internet cafe. They have to start again from the scratch. And they use their chance to do it with the doormats for now. They will buy their own fabric here in Manila and bring the material back to Bohol, where they will produce and sell the doormats for 50 Php (1€) per piece.
Our four cleft families could need some support to start. They need to buy the start up materials.
For the frame they just need the wood and nails and they can do it themselves. The clothes they can buy here in a whole sale fabric in Manila. They will return to Bohol by ferry and therefore they can bring many kilos of material. They will also bring some for our other cleft families, who have already returned to Bohol.
If you wish to support the three families, here is what each family needs:
1 scissors 300 Php ~ 6€
1 wooden frame 100 Php ~ 2€
30kg fabrics left overs 350 Php ~ 6€
1 transport to the factory 200 Php ~ 4€
With 18€ for each of the four families, each one could start their own little business. They will save the money they earn to buy more fabrics when they return to Manila for the next operation of their child.
Whom would you help?
You would help the mother of 4, who is a widow after her husband got shoot in front of their house. Left with 4 traumatised kids, the yougest was only 4 weeks old when this happend. Since then she is working hard on the ricefield to support her family. As a woman she get only 150Php for a day on the field. (subject: Charly)
You would help a lovely young family. Young parents with a 8month old baby, who lost their home while bringing their son for operation. (subject: Leemcer)
You would help the mother of 6, who is working hard collecting seashells to support her husband feading the family and try to save money so the kids can go to highschool. (subject: Nina)
You would help the fisher family with 10 kids. Three of them are cleft patients. (subject: Jonas)
What else is needed?
8 children of the above families are in school age and in need of some basic school materials. Like paper, pens and m ore. See the letter of Nina Grace’ older sister.
500 Sheets White Paper cost 160 Php (3,20€)
One Year Highschool Fee 800Php (16€)
One school uniform 500 Php (10€)
School Bag 300 Php (6 €)
If you wish to help one of the families and their kids you can donate here: Donate for the cleft families!
Please write in the subject which family you wish to support: Nina, Leemcer, Jonas or Charly.
School starts June 1st, and I am with the patients till may 31. I guarantee that they will receive the supplies…we will buy them together while in Manila.