This October we were delighted to welcome back Fiona Thomson for a second visit. She came for the first time to Rehoboth in April this year as part of a group from the UK who came to share in the life at Rehoboth and did lots of fun activities for the residents.
While here she discovered that many of the older residents had left who knew how to make accessories that we had been making and selling as income generating or livelihood products in the past. She offered to come back to teach our current residents and staff about jewellery-making in particular but also to bring some other new ideas of things we could make and sell.
Fiona arrived on October 19th with her luggage filled with an enormous amount of craft resources, and materials for making earrings, bracelets, necklaces and key rings, including old jewellery donated by friends to be ‘upcycled’ into new designs.
We had a busy yet very inspiring 10 days where the staff and residents learned lots of new skills including jewellery-making, knitting, designing and making handmade cards and bookmarks, making paper flowers, decorating cans and jars, wirecraft, making pompoms and friendship bands, sewing felt wallets and Christmas tree decorations and much more.
The staff and residents really enjoyed learning new skills and experimenting with different materials. We are very grateful to Fiona for all the time and effort she put into the visit before, during and after as she continued to create new ideas using the things made at Rehoboth such as calendars and more cards. Her heart for recycling and ‘upcycling’ definitely challenged us all to be more eco-friendly and to find ways to create beauty from things that people have thrown away or have no more use for.
Please visit our website for photos of our current projects and contact us if you would like any more information or would like to buy any of our products.
On Friday, October 26, 2018 we held our 5th annual fun run in partnership with Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU). Just over 250 people registered for the event beforehand and many more turned up on the day to register and ‘Run for Rehoboth’. In total we think that around 277 people ran on the day with over 500 registering in total. We raised approximately P58,000 towards our solar power project so thank you to everyone who helped achieve that .
As last year we had the regular 5K run around the campus of TAU and through part of barangay Sta. Maria, varying the route a little from last year, as well as a shorter children’s fun run incorporating some fun activities for the kids as they ran around their route.
TAU ROTC were a great help providing us with marshalls for the event and the barangay captain also provided a number of barangay tanod to assist in the smooth running of the fun run.
Prizes were awarded in different categories such as men’s, women’s, under 18’s and the children. Certificates were also awarded for the oldest and youngest runners, early bird and largest group, as well as certificates of appreciation for our donors and supporters.
Race singlets were produced incorporating a golden yellow color for this year’s goal of raising money towards our solar power project to install solar panels at Rehoboth. This will help us develop our use of renewable energy and reduce our electricity bills.
Thank you to everybody who contributed in both large and small ways to make our ‘2018 Run for Rehoboth’ another success. Supporting Rehoboth’s fun run is a great way to give Filipino children a hope for the future.
Today (Saturday, September 22) we had our Family Month celebration. The theme for this year was ‘Pamilyang handa ligtas sa sakuna’ – encouraging families to prepare for disaster in order to stay safe. This was a very topical theme considering the country is recovering from Typhoon Ompong, who brought strong winds and rain, particularly across the northern area of the Philippines this month, causing terrible floods, landslides, and demolition of homes, crops and countryside.
The families of our residents who live locally were invited to join us for the day and we were delighted that six families were able to come totalling twenty-four family members. It was a fun-filled time with games, prizes, food, laughing and enjoying time together. Some of the games were on the theme of disaster-preparedness while others were about working together as a team. There was even time to review ways to stay safe from disease and sickness at this time of year, especially those illnesses caused by heavy rains, floods and mosquitoes.
During the afternoon we had an awarding time for staff and residents. Ate Carina was awarded for being flexible, Ate Rose for having faith and Pastor Juvy for forgiveness. Residents were awarded for demonstrating fairness, forgiveness, boldness and fulfilling others’ needs. Some of the children were also awarded for working really hard in school for the last quarter.
A good time was had by everyone and a big thank you to those who worked tirelessly to provide all the lovely food during the day.
On Saturday 28th July, Rehoboth celebrated their annual Nutrition Month celebration. The theme ‘Ugaliing magtanim, sapat na nutrisyon aanihin!’ focused our minds on how making a habit of growing your own vegetables can provide you with good nutrition.
The Nutrition Month celebration consisted of a cooking contest, poster and slogan making competition, a say-awit (song/dance) and games. The residents and staff had been divided into three groups to plan, practise and prepare for the event. Our own twist on the menu prepared was that all dishes cooked had to include eggs from our own chickens.
The day started with time working in the garden attending to our own vegetables growing there. Next was time to prepare and cook your signature dish for the judges to taste. While this was happening the poster and slogans were prepared. Once the dishes were prepared each group presented their recipe and method of making their dish, and then the judges tasted each one. After that everyone had lunch together then each group presented their say-awit and played games.
At the end of the celebration prizes were given for first, second and third place for each of the contests. Dishes prepared were Group 1 – Sweet & sour ground pork with egg; Group 2- Chili chicken adobe with egg; Group 3- Egg muffins with sausage and cheese served with fried rice and egg soup. All dishes were delicious but Group 3 won first prize. Well done everyone!
On March 24th 2018, two members of Hardwick Evangelical Church arrived in the Philippines to stay at Rehoboth for a week, before the rest of their group arrived. They enjoyed getting to know the boys as they stayed in
the guestroom and got used to the Filipino way of life. They helped out with some practical tasks of building a chicken house in the garden, and painting the gates and water storage tanks. Some one-on-one drum and guitar lessons were given, and unlimited games of Uno and Lego building sessions were enjoyed!
A trip to Nambalan river was an opportunity to see some of the surrounding countryside and everyday life in the area. Carabao, cows, goats, chickens and ducks added to the scenery with rice fields, hills, streams and rivers. A dip in the cool water was refreshing and a great way to relax and appreciate the beautiful setting.
The rest of the group (8 adults and 2 children) arrived on April 1st, and they all stayed at Tarlac Agricultural University in the guestrooms. Every day the group came to Rehoboth and after an orientation, guided tour and introduction to everyone, activities were planned and organized for the following days.
In the first few days of the visit, Elementary and high school moving up, recognition and graduation ceremonies were taking place. It was an opportunity to see the proud moment when some of our residents received special awards and their diplomas so they could move up to the next level in school. Residents whose parents couldn’t make it, asked some of the volunteers to be their step in “parents” and award them with their medal.
The residents enjoyed an all-age holiday club on four mornings learning about different Bible characters including stories, drama, songs, games and crafts. Other craft, cooking, games and music sessions were held as well as lots of time for informal board and card games, playing with lego and generally getting to know each other and spending time together.
On Saturday morning, we hosted a Rehoboth Masterchef where four Filipino dishes were cooked on the covered court for our visitors to watch and learn how to cook. Tortang talong (grilled eggplant), shanghai rolls (mini spring rolls with fish), stuffed bangus (fish) and kare-kare (stew with peanut sauce) were enjoyed by all alongside chili con carne made by one of our visitors. We ate Filipino style called ‘boodle fight’ where the food is placed on banana leaves on a long table and everyone helps themselves! It was a highlight of the trip for some of our visitors.
We went out on two home visits to see local families and to see the different types of places that the children come from. We all enjoyed an afternoon of sports at the college playing basketball, volleyball, rounders, badminton and other games and a day out at Tarlac Recreational Park where swimming was top on the agenda! An optional visit was also made to Tarlac Monastary for the visitors to see another beautiful place in the area.
It was a very successful visit and everyone has many treasured memories from the time shared together. One member of the group has stayed on at Rehoboth to volunteer for another three weeks.
December is a busy month at Rehoboth and a time that the children talk about and look forward to a long time in advance!
We are usually blessed with a number of gift-givings and special Christmas programs from local friends (old and new). In 2017 we were visited by ‘The Camilenos, Inc.’ who brought hygiene packs for everyone; ‘The Knights of Columbus’ from Tarlac who played games with lots of cash prizes, brought food and gave gifts of toiletries, biscuits, rice, canned goods and shoes; Gods Family KAB who also brought food, gifts of coloring books, crayons and organized games for everyone. Another kind donation was received from Jack Lord Paragas who gave 1 sack of rice, Christmas packs for the children and bath towels for everyone; a former resident and his girlfriend came with a group of friends to play games and make gingerbread houses with the residents. Finally the Governor’s Office in Tarlac donated five Christmas food packs which we were able to share with some local families in need and 3 sacks of rice. We were very blessed with people’s time, donations and gifts.
On Friday 22nd December we all enjoyed our annual Christmas party at Rehoboth. Our theme ‘Sama Sama, Salu Salo, Sa pagdiriwan ng Pasko’ (Sharing together in the celebration of Christmas) was the inspiration for our drawing contest and group presentations given on the night. Lots of games were enjoyed, raffle, exchange gifts, song and dance presentations given and food enjoyed during the evening. Awarding was done for our lantern contest as well as drawing and group presentations. As always our residents and staff worked hard in preparation for the Christmas activities and a good time was had by all.
The following day, December 23, many of our residents were able to go home to stay with their family for the rest of the Christmas vacation. The children will be back to school in the first week of January 2018.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year from everyone here at Rehoboth!
On October 18, 2017, Rehoboth welcomed 14 visitors from Seaton Community Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Seaton Community Church, led by Pastor Barry Douglas, began their partnership with Rehoboth in 2014 and brought their first mission team to the Philippines in October 2015. This year, we welcomed Seaton back to the Philippines for the second time for a 2-week visit.
During their visit, the Seaton team were involved in a number of projects and activities at Rehoboth. They helped out in our Eco-Learning Farm, building cement posts for our dragonfruit trees, planting, weeding and landscaping, and setting foundations for a pighouse and chicken coops. At the Home, they facilitated a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, lessons in knitting and hairdressing, and sports and games with our kids. They also developed our kids spiritually through prayer space, kids club ministry activities, and Freedom In Christ sessions with our young people.
In addition to the work and activities, the visitors and our kids were able to engage in valuable cross-cultural exchange. Our residents learned about life and traditions in Scotland and the Seaton team experienced first hand Filipino culture and way of life. The team went on home visits, a trip to the local town, and tasted a variety of Filipino foods. The Seaton team and Rehoboth residents and staff enjoyed an overnight R&R trip to Morong, Bataan where everyone enjoyed time together and playing at the beach. On the way home from Morong, we stopped by Mt. Samat Memorial Shrine in Pilar, Bataan where visitors, staff, and visitors learned about the history of the Battle of Bataan and the Bataan Death March, a significant piece of Philippines history.
On the visitors’ last night, we had our second Cultural Night where everyone enjoyed Filipino party games, Filipino and Scottish dances, songs, and evening meal featuring Filipino and Scottish dishes. We ended the night singing “Auld Lang Syne” and saying goodbyes.
Rehoboth is incredibly thankful to the Seaton Community Church for their love, support, and partnership in everything we do here in the Philippines. We are proud to have you as part of the Rehoboth family and we look forward seeing you all again!
This past weekend was an eventful one here at Rehoboth! Last Friday, September 29, we held our 4th Annual “Run for Rehoboth” fundraiser in partnership with Tarlac Agricultural University. Thanks to the support of our community, partners, and sponsors, this year’s fun run was our best one yet! In addition to our usual 5K walk/run, we organized a shorter 2.5K children’s run for the first time. We had over 500 registered runners with about half showing up to run on the day. Our goal each year with the Fun Run is to promote the programs and services of Rehoboth to the community and at the same time raise funds for special projects at the Home. This year, our project goal is to develop a simple irrigation system in our Eco-Learning Farm in order to increase production of fruits and vegetables for consumption at the Home. We were able to raise nearly P40,000 towards our projects. Thank you everyone for your support! Check out our Facebook page for more pictures from the event!
The next day, we celebrated Family Month with a whole afternoon of activities together as a Rehoboth family. We were also joined by family members of some of our residents from the local community. Our residents come from all backgrounds and situations; many of our residents have families but are at Rehoboth in order to continue their studies. We were thrilled that some of those family members were able to join us this weekend. Our activities consisted of eating lunch together, role plays, cheers, speeches, songs, and games.
Today we start another semester of tutorials in partnership with the College of Education at Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU). This partnership program began in 2010 with Peace Corps Volunteer Tom Ferrebee and has continued twice a year until now. It is a service-learning experience for the 3rd and 4th year Education students and an invaluable opportunity for our children and young people to receive one-on-one tutorials in subjects they are struggling with. The program was designed to be more than just tutorials. With the motto, “Teaching Minds, Touching Lives,” the program is also about building relationships and investing in people. In addition to teaching, TAU tutors also serve as role models and mentors to our children. Each semester, TAU students are paired with one of our residents or REAP scholars and teach numeracy and literacy twice a week for 7-9 weeks. We are extremely grateful for TAU’s partnership with Rehoboth.
We recently had our Orientation and Meet & Greet at TAU to launch this new round of tutorials. The tutors prepared an interactive program for the children to meet their tutors. The children enjoyed the activities and are excited for tutorials to begin!
Over the last two months, we have been busy preparing our Eco-Isdaan (Eco-Fishpond) for tilapia farming. After a month of waiting, we were finally able to acquire our tilapia fingerlings! We lined the base of the fishpond with a layer of clay soil, gravel, chicken manure, and stones to help retain water and produce algae for natural food. Recent rainfall has filled our pond and we have tested it with litmus paper to make sure it is not acidic. Last Friday, we received 1,000 tilapia fingerlings and we have stocked both our main pond and second mini pond.
First, we floated the fingerlings in an oxygenated bag for about 10 minutes in order for them to acclimate to the temperature of the pond. Transferring fingerlings directly into the pond without doing this would cause them to stress out. After 10 minutes, we opened the bag and slowly added water from the pond little by little into the bag to help fingerlings to continue to adjust to the temperature of the pond. Lastly, we dipped the bag under the water and waited for the fingerlings to swim out of the bag and into the pond.
We are excited to have our Eco-Isdaan up and running and are ready to track the growth of the fingerlings over the next few months. Stay tuned!