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Events · 15th April 2015
Carol Foort
Come celebrate 20 years of caring and sharing through Quadra’s support in the northern Philippines! At 7 pm on Sunday, May 3rd in the Bayview Room of the Heriot Bay Inn, Carol, Michael, Danielle and Steve will share events from their recent trip to Tabuk, Kalinga province including daycare success, student sponsorship, recent developments and a new focus.
What a joy it was for me to reconnect this past February with Remy and Sisan, the original IAT coordinators whom I had met during my original visit over 16 years ago and to now have the privilege of meeting their families as well! Being graduate IAT sponsored students themselves, there are few who are as committed as these two inspiring individuals!
It was certainly rewarding for all four of us to visit the villages of daycare children, parents and teachers. Over the past 2 decades Quadra islanders have supported a total of 7 preschool programs and over 1,100 children through a partnership with the small ngo IAT. Many of the original daycare children are now successful professional graduates working either in their own villages or abroad and offering support to their families. Šuring Quadra’s sponsorhip, the dedicated teachers from these programs have been able to show the benefit of positive daycare over time and thus, over the past year our goal to have local government assume this responsibility has finally been met. We are now looking at supporting an innovative initiative through IAT called the Gift for Peace Program and we were honored to be participants in the special “passing of the gift” ceremony during our stay.
It was also heart-warming to meet not only our own sponsored students but children of other sponsors from Quadra. During the extent of our stay we were indeed treated as royalty and shown unending hospitality. Sharing food is an especially important part of Kalinga culture and so we were certainly well fed and nourished as we received regular invitations for meals consisting of local delicacies. One morning we were even invited for breakfast with the local mayor! For Filipinos, a meal is not a meal unless there is rice and a variety of sticky rice dishes soon became a favourite part of ours!
Our visit began with a presentation in our honor at the IAT dorm by sponsored students that included emotional introductions, inspiring speeches and an offer of music, dance and food. We also had the honor of attending Kalinga days, a celebration of traditional culture including a parade of 2000 gongs from various tribal areas and played by the participants clothed in rich, colorful Kalinga attire. Since the small ngo of IAT has been well recognized in the local Tabuk community, because of our connection, this visit made us celebrities and we were interviewed for the radio and even local tv.
We were constantly shown genuine appreciation as to how much our humble Quadra support has meant to the children of this area and their families as well as the affect on their future. For these communities with all of their challenges, a little goes a very long way!
Plan to be inspired as you gain first hand experience as to the full impact of sponsorship and Quadra’s support on our friends in the Philippines as we share our photos, discussion and snack on April 3rd. We look forward to seeing everyone there!