Sunflower Children's Center News
From South Africa to SLU-Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys. A Mission of Service:

Greetings. My name is Nhlanhla Albert- Mpila, I'm from South Africa.

For 9 months I lived in Manila and I was a student of ESM-Emmanuel School of Mission.

As part of the school program we would visit a variety of places for compassion activities which enabled us to encounter different people in different locations faced with different and similar situations/difficulties. We visited places like Missionaries of charity, Little Sisters Of The Poor, Sisters of Good News, C.R.I.B.S just to name a few. One of my personal most powerful encounters was a visit to a place called Smokey Mountain. Never in my life had I glanced at such a scene, overwhelmed by amazement and emotion I was brought to tears and after that I had the desire to do more reaching out and try to contribute a little more. My aim was not to be a hero or to save the world, but I just realized that in all the different difficulties and situations, at times people just need someone to be present, someone to listen and someone to just share a genuine smile with. I asked for help in identifying a place where I could volunteer for a month, a place where I could offer my presence and time. I was then introduced to Fr. Lalo Costa who then suggested and welcomed me at SLU-Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys. From the moment I arrived I was welcomed and received very warmly by the staff, house parents and the boys in Halfway Home. It didn't take long for some of the boys to willingly begin sharing their life-stories and backgrounds with me and that made me realize why this place is called half way HOME instead of half way House. A house is merely an erected building, a structure consisting of walls and a roof... A Home is when that structure provides shelter, comfort, warmth, safety, growth in different ways, unconditional love and care. These few elements for me represent what halfway Home is about and what it strives towards AND very much doing a great task at it. My primary desire was to be present... be part of the life and not just a pitiful by-stander pointing fingers, only talking when instead I can do something, even if it's just being present. Food and money are very essential aspects and also daily needs yes.. but sometimes people need more than just what the flesh requires.

“Let us touch the poor, the dying, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work”
[Blessed Mother Teresa]


A Decade of Laughter and Smiles

By: Rosemond Joyce E. Ruiz

“Salamat at pinasaya mo ako.”
(“Thank you for making me happy.”)

Those were the parting words of Onat, a 12-year old boy, during the culmination of our Summer Camp. It was a bittersweet goodbye; he gave me a warm hug before leaving with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. Aptly given the “Always Happy Award” during the camp, his endearing smile and happy disposition never failed to cheer people around him. He laughed at simple things, ran around barefoot on the ground, climbed trees with gusto, sang at the top of his voiceand danced like there was no tomorrow. He was a testament of children’s resilience and a welcome reminder of what it means to live in the moment, to take it slow, settle down and enjoy life.

Being part of Sunflower Children’s Center this past ten years provided me with an invaluable experience that will resonate for the rest of my life. What started as an impulsive decision to volunteer transformed into a life-long mission and advocacy that molded the person I am today.

Briefing on the IRR of the Psychology Law



Other News
A Work of Heart by the Sunflower Team

This developmental camp was a project initiated by the SLU-Sunflower Children’s Center (SLU-SFW), a Baguio-based institution that promotes the welfare of children in need of special attention and that advocates children’s rights. In helping to establish the center, Fr. Geraldo Costa, CICM, the director of SLU-SFW, was inspired by his experiences as he lived with the Senden Home children for some time. The same inspiration gave inestimable strength to the camp facilitators, aptly named the Sunflower Team, as plans for the summer activity gradually and beautifully unfolded.

The Sunflower Team was a mix of guidance counselors, therapists, and psychometricians who worked together to give wholehearted service to the children of Senden Home. During the many meetings before the camp, the members of the team expressed their apprehension about the tasks.


<< Start < Prev 1 2 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 2