RCHT Newsletter Winter 2019
Rehoboth’s mission is to give disadvantaged Filipino children a real hope for the future. This involves providing holistic care for its youngsters including physical, educational, emotional and spiritual support. You will read in this Newsletter the experiences of a recent addition to the Rehoboth family who, encouragingly, illustrates these principles. You will also hear about some of the more practical aspects of the life and challenges of the work.
Do join us, if you can, at our annual Rehoboth Rendezvous from 4-6pm on Saturday 27th April at Godmanchester Baptist Church for Filipino food, fun and fellowship when there will be opportunity to find out even more.
Grabbing Life’s Opportunities
Hi! I am Jessa, 16 years old, a grade 12 student at high school. How did I know about Rehoboth? Originally, I came from another institution and last May 2018 my former social worker asked my opinion about the website of Rehoboth. Knowing just the vision, mission and goals of Rehoboth, I was referred to the centre last June and that’s when my Rehoboth journey began. There were a lot of adjustments for me to make but I was able to cope.
What can I say about Rehoboth? The letter R stands for Responsible and Reliable, everyone in this place knows what their tasks and duties are. The first time I came here, I was impressed because everyone knows what they are doing but they are people you can actually trust. E stands for being Enthusiastic, upon looking at the children who arrived from school on my first day. They were full of energy and not only that, I was shocked they were not only physically active but spiritually too. Which reminds me of the next letter H, Humble. Everyone here is being taught the importance of not being arrogant if you are able to achieve something. Isn’t it great to know that the children will grow up knowing how to be humble. O, which stands for Obedient, children do listen to
instructions carefully. They know how to respond in an appropriate way. B, which stands for Blissful, children seem to be satisfied and happy in their situation here at Rehoboth. All I did on my first day was to observe everyone. They were all smiling, literally, as if they were blessed to be here. No wonder because we are indeed fortunate to be here. O, stands for Optimistic, no matter how hard life is, no matter what problem comes to this centre, everyone seems to always look on the positive side. I mean seriously, the first time that I heard them talking about problems, the conversation would always end with a positive point of view. I was really curious and started asking who they were and why they were able to stay positive in this kind of situation. T, which stands for Talented, everyone here has skills, everyone has a talent. Well the last letter that I can describe Rehoboth is the letter H, which stands for Hospitable, the centre was so welcoming and everyone who enters the place is welcome and everyone makes you feel comfortable. What can I say, I was so impressed with Rehoboth the first week that I was here.
Upcycling & Sustainability
In October 2018, we were delighted that Fiona Thomson returned to Rehoboth to work with our staff and residents on developing our various livelihood products. She inspired us again with her passion for ‘upcycling’ and led some jewellery and craft workshops using many different materials and resources that she had collected together and brought from the UK.
So many new skills and ideas were shared during Fiona’s visit; maps were made into paper flowers; cans and jars were decorated to become colourful new containers; old jewellery was transformed into new earrings, bracelets, necklaces and key chains; bubble and finger painting designs were used to make calendars and cards; wool was turned into friendship bracelets and pompoms. The children also did some more knitting and sewing creating little bags and purses, Christmas tree decorations and headbands.
All at Rehoboth are encouraged to develop their own skills and interests, and to become involved in making income generating products which can contribute to the Home’s sustainability. The staff and residents really enjoyed learning new skills and experimenting with different materials. We are very grateful to Fiona for all the time and effort she put into the visit before, during and after as she continued to create new ideas using the things made at Rehoboth. Her heart for recycling and ‘upcycling’ definitely challenged us all to be more eco-friendly and to find ways to create beauty from things that people have thrown away or have no more use for.
If you are interested in finding out more about our livelihood products please take a look at our RCHI website: www.rehobothchildrenshomeinc.ph
From January 18th to February 1st, I had the great privilege to spend 2 weeks volunteering at Rehoboth, after spending 6 weeks there last year.
It took 3 flights and 23 hours to get back but as soon as I arrived, it was as if I’d never left. It didn’t take long to get back into the swing of Filipino life and helping with tutorials with the youngest children, reading with the elementary, as well as taking general photographs, various design projects, making videos, and publication work.
One of the amazing things about the residents of Rehoboth is their huge hearts and their openness to relationship. Despite being 6,500 miles from home, I have never felt homesick – not even for one second; and I can only put that down to being surrounded by people who love you, want to get to know you. Rehoboth is many things; a charity, a workplace, a home – but to me it’s a family. So the next time someone asks why I’m going back to the Philippines, I’ll answer “because I miss my brothers and sisters.”
Cost of Living
There are many things to consider when preparing the annual budget for Rehoboth. We live by faith and each year we set and agree a budget that we trust will be provided by the grace of God through you our supporters and sponsors.
Every year we estimate how many children are going to be catered for in the home; new admissions are often referred in April or May before the beginning of the new school year, or they arrive as an emergency case with no warning so definite numbers are not known in advance.
The fluctuation of the exchange rate can significantly affect how much is needed annually to cover the expected expenditure and a dip in the exchange rate could make a significant difference to the amount of money needed to be sent to the Philippines each month. At the moment the exchange rate is about ₱68/£1 but a few years ago it was down to ₱61 while in January 2018 it was ₱72. This means that our monthly transfer could vary by up to £1,000.
At the moment we are faced with rising costs of staple food items such as rice, meat, fish and vegetables. This year alone the price of a 50kg sack of rice has increased by ₱400 which is over 20% and as Filipinos love to eat rice with every meal we at Rehoboth consume 8 sacks of rice a month; 96 in a year! Since last year 1kg of chicken or pork has risen by about 17%. Our new free range chicken project should help us in this area.
Natural disasters such as typhoons and bad storms which cause flooding and landslides can instantly destroy complete crops of rice and vegetables which in turn pushes prices up immediately. The prices of vegetables generally are very seasonal and particularly in the rainy season prices can double or even triple.
The work that Rehoboth carries out relies on transporting both staff and children on a regular basis. Any change in the price of fuel or taxation on vehicles can have an effect on the Home’s budget. Recent increases in both have increased our travel costs significantly.
In the Philippines out of a population of 104 million, 21% live below the poverty line. The majority of poor Filipino households only achieve very basic levels of education and they have minimum access to health care. We are glad to provide help and support to some of those families, giving them a hope for the future.
Despite all these challenges we have seen how God has provided in a number of ways, not just financially, since Rehoboth was founded in 1981. For this we give him thanks and praise.
New Website Donate button
In the past RCHT have used “BT donate” for online donations but we have been told that they are terminating this service so we have decided to use “Virgin donate,” on our website, which also means you can use it for any fundraising activity. If you would like any further information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org