As part of our partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, we have become involved as a team with a weekly outreach to the City Refuge. This is led by Luchie, who is accompanied normally by Cheryl and Jenny. Our team members bring snacks, games and instruments and lead the children in a time of singing and activities. Every week there is a Bible story, and an opportunity for the children to share their needs or worries with the team members. For many of the children at the refuge, this visit is the highlight of what would otherwise be a monotonous week.
There are far more vulnerable and needy children in Palawan than government social workers can take care of or indeed keep track of. The City Refuge, despite being relatively small, is the only government-managed safe home in Palawan. The children who are sent there tend to represent the worst cases of neglect, with little or no chance of re-integration with their families. We know there are far more out there who need care, but rejoice in the opportunities we do have to bless these children with our involvement at the City Refuge.
We have also taken the children on a number of day trips, including a visit to Honda Bay, a local beauty spot where island hopping is a major attraction. Since many of them are unsure of their exact date of birth, we hold an annual “joint birthday” for them all, as well as a Christmas party.