Sagkahan Orphanage

Many orphanages in the Philippines are often understaffed and the children do nmissionaries1ot always get the level of attention and care they require.

Volunteer for the Visayans offers volunteers the opportunity to help out in these orphanages to ensure the kids are getting the level of care any child deserves.

The children are often abandoned or have parents who have passed away, and as such they need and deserve attention and care as does any child. By volunteering at an orphanage the children are given the chance to play and interact with the volunteers, and the staff at the orphanages who are often over worked get much needed help.

At the Missionaries of Charity: Gifts of Joy orphanage in Sagkahan when we arrived the children were very excited to see their regular volunteers and even more excited to see they had brought along some fresh faces.

Volunteers Maddie and Kerrie have been assigned to this orphanage, but brought along Kerrie and the media interns Bao and myself. As soon as we arrived the children were extremely excited tmissionaries4o have new friends to play with and immediately began hugging and playing with the volunteers.

As always the children are bright faced with smiles from ear to ear and are always wanting to play games. Their level of positivity shines through, but can sometimes dull when they begin to fight over who gets to play with which volunteer. In the end they are usually happy to share and play all together.

This orphanage houses 16 children ranging predominantly ranging from ages one to four, with some older children who are in school.

Some of the children were brought to the orphanage because their families could no longer take care of them, while others have been abandoned and some arrive at the orphanage very undernourished. The sisters and the staff run a very well organized orphanage and ensure all the children are clean, fed, and happy everyday.

However any help they can get is always appreciated. After playing outside in the morning we all went inside and the colouring books came out. All the kids love to colour and some are very creative and take great pride in their work.

There aren’t always enough books for the children to all colour together and donations of books and toys are always welcome. While we are keeping the children distracted the staff have a chance tmissionaries2o give each child a bath and change them into clean clothes. There are kids colouring, kids climbing on the volunteers, kids laughing and all the kids seem to be having a whole lot of fun while the volunteers are around.

Volunteer Kerrie was kind of enough to donate some hand made blankets to the children which obviously made the kids extremely happy. The children don’t often have things for themselves because they usually have to share all their toys and clothes so when they get given a gift that is theirs to keep they feel very fortunate. It was amazing to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they were given the blankets and how they immediately wrapped it around themselves and were just glowing with happiness. Some of the children made sure to hide their blankets in a secret place just to make sure no one else would take it.

After the blankets were gifted to the children and they had time to appreciate the donation, it was time for lunch. All the children knew to sit down at the table and wait to be served a delicious local dish of Pork Adobo.

Most of the children are able to feed themselves, but some of the younger ones need some help which is were the help of the volunteers comes in handy as this leaves the orphanage staff free to begin cleaning up and attending to other duties. The food smelled delicious and must have tasted jumissionaries3st as good because all the children seemed to thorough enjoy their lunch. After lunch and a quick clean up of the children it was nap time.

The children were changed into clean clothes and many of them were very excited to cuddle up to their new blankets and go to sleep. The blankets seemed to make them feel safe and warm and I’m sure helped many of them get to sleep.

Leaving the children was the hardest part of the day as I know how much fun they had that day, but it’s good to know they are in the care of a very good organization.

If you are interested in working with VFV and volunteering at an orphanage please visit: http://www.visayans.org/volunteer-in-an-orphanage

Written by: Perry Staios – Media Intern

Photos courtesy : Tan Hoang Bao Nguyen

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