19 Apr 2015
April 19, 2015

Taking Education to the Next Level

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SLC Graduation Day

(Written by Cecille de Jesus)

In the Philippines, March is the most anticipated month of the year for students, parents and teachers at every school – not only because it’s time for summer vacation, but because of graduation day! Graduation is an annual event also celebrated at IT Tender for the pre-school program Simula Learning Center (SLC) as the students finish their first year of education.

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A simple ceremony was held on March 14th, 2015 at the IT Tender Center with staff, teachers, students and parents all in attendance. It was a delight to watch the students enter in their formal white graduation clothes and march down the aisle. The program started with a prayer of thanksgiving to God for a year of fun, learning and success for the children, as He leads the students on their first steps on their journey in education. The children performed an action song singing “hip hip hooray, it’s graduation day!” which reflected the excitement in the room.

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The gift of a rose was given to the parents by each student with a hug and kisses, to show their appreciation – a simple gesture that touched the hearts of the parents. This sentimental and emotional moment was followed by the giving of certificates and awards. As each student celebrated the fruit of their hard work in studying, we could see how proud all the parents were of their children. Their teacher Cecille is also incredibly proud of the success that they have achieved.

The program ended with an inspiring message from IT Tender Director John Coffey, who encouraged the children to apply not only the teachings they learned at school, but also in the home from their parents. He is excited to witness the children as they grow and thrive thanks to those who nurture and educate them. To end the afternoon, we had a a simple meal prepared by the staff and parents. As we celebrate the success of the event that was held, and the achievements of each student, we thank God for the success of the Simula Learning Center program for the class of 2015.

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Honest Hands Graduation: Det Det Fuentes

(Written by Karin Jose)

Det Det is a shy and sweet 17-year-old boy with great hopes for his future, but faces bigger challenges than we can imagine in achieving his goals. Having not completed grade one, at 17, Det Det was unable to even write his name. Because of his lack of education Det Det usually spends his days searching through trash piles looking for recyclable and sellable items. The money he earns ‘scavenging’ goes towards food for his large family.

Det Det has been part of the Night Life Youth program run by IT Tender since 2013, regularly attending the weekly bible study every Wednesday. In August 2014, Det Det was selected to join the Honest Hands discipleship and school program run by our partners at Action International.

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Det Det (center) with his mother and Elder Erwin from church

 

Every Monday to Friday Det Det travelled to their campus just outside of Manila to attend bible studies, 1:1 tutorials, and be part of family life alongside seven other students. Each weekend he would return to his home along the railway to maintain family relationships and attend his local church.

Fast forward eight months and Det Det, despite many struggles, has completed the course and now knows the alphabet, vowels and can write. His relationship with God has continued to grow, and despite struggling with reading, he has a great ability to memorize bible verses. On Friday 27th, Det Det graduated from Honest Hands with two awards – one for his commitment in his tutorial sessions, persevering despite the difficulty, and another for his hard work and commitment to helping others overall throughout the 8-month program – especially for completing his chores so faithfully and without complaining.

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Det Det proudly holds his certificates at the graduation ceremony

 

IT Tender is immensely proud of this young man, and we know that he will continue to press on with his learning, faith, and commitment to living a transformed life.

During the month of April IT Tender will be partnering with qualified teachers from Green Hills Christian Fellowship to host a two week summer reading program for the out-of-school youth aged 13+ who live along the railway in Putatan. The majority of the students will be males who have not competed elementary school. We hope that this program will inspire the youth to re-enroll in formal school or alternative learning programs. Please pray that this program is an encouragement not only to Det Det but to his friends and neighbors.

IT Tender would like to specifically thank the following for their role in changing Det Det’s future:

  • Honest Hands – staff and financial supporters who invest so much time, energy and emotion allowing this amazing program to run
  • Jesus Christ Gospel Church in Putatan for their support of the youth that IT Tender works with and who offer them spiritual support on a weekly basis; especially Brother Erwin who has a particular passion for encouraging these young men.
  • Lorna Carro – IT Tender staff member who has spent a lot of time and energy encouraging and supporting Det Det in his continued studies and dedication to the Honest Hands program
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Graduates of the Honest Hands program

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Det Det with Lorna Carro (IT Tender staff)

 

Finally, we are asking for prayers and support for our upcoming Family Retreat from May 1-3. This is an incredible opportunity for families from our community to grow, bond, and seek God’s direction for the future of their family. Thanks for supporting this wonderful event!

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