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Educate, Enrich and Empower underprivileged girls in the Philippines

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another baby

Recently I was told by our director that Carol is going to have a baby. Again.  She has 5 children and can barely feed them.  She is one of millions of moms in the Philippines who are uneducated, have lost hope but continue to have kids because they can’t say no to their husbands or no access to proper family planning. Also, part of the Catholic faith is against contraceptives. I could go on about this but I feel it is a touchy subject.  I respect all opinions so please feel free to voice them.  

Two of her kids, Irysh and Jessel are with F.L.A.G.  Irysh, who is now ready to go to Grade 1 in June, is doing very well in school.  Jessel, who have shown an enormous improvement, is in Grade 1 now and ready to go to Grade 2.  We are so happy for both of them.  I see the great future for these 2 girls! I hope Carol feels very proud of her kids.

Jessel 2010

Irysh 2010

Carol is also a member of our Project Super Mom initiative where we have given her a small loan to start a food vendor business.  All she has to do is to grow her business, pay back to loan to F.L.A.G with no interest and no deadline.  One thing that is slowing Carol down is having this new baby. 

She asked the question – “Can Monica and Jon adopt my baby?”
How can I take this baby away from her mother?  I could never do that.  But on the other hand, what kind of future will this baby have? This baby will soon be part of F.L.A.G.  But how can I make the parents understand?

It is easy for us to give the advice coming from where we are.   I’m sure it is hard for a mother to have to think to give up her child.  I don’t know what to say but I will help in the best way I can. 

Thank you for stopping by,


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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Trip they will never forget

Time flew so fast and we are on our way back to the Philippines once again.  We are excited to see our school, the staff and of course, the girls. 

What to expect when travelling in the Philippines in March?  Hot, Humid and Hazy and we love it!  I always stay in my neighborhood where I am from.  It keeps me grounded and appreciate a lot of things I take for granted sometimes, like hot water.  Yep, we don't have hot water so cold showers for the next 2 months. 

The community
This time I will be staying a bit longer to spend time at the school, my mom and search for opportunities to grow the school.  We are also planning our Graduation for the girls who are ready to start their grade 1 at the local public school within our community. 
What is in store for them? Well, this time we are taking them to the Manila Ocean Park (www.manilaoceanpark.com) It is a famous attraction in Manila that has over 10,000 marine life in its famous indoor ‘aquarium’ and much, much more.  THIS WILL BE A SURPRISE FOR ALL THE GIRLS!!.  I can’t wait to see their faces. 

Our girls have never been to any amusement park in their lives. I remember last year when we went for our swimming party and that was the first time they have seen a swimming pool! Imagine.  Most families who can afford to go to Manila Ocean park are of course rich and affluent and they can go there at least 3 or 4 times a year. Our girls will so happy just to be there at least once (for now). They deserve this for they have worked hard. We are looking for sponsors to help us fund both our graduation party and trip to the park. We need to raise $700 for both our trip to Manila Ocean Park and our Graduation Party.  The cost for each student is $30.  All donations can be made to our local church Connexions Ministries whom we have partnered with to grow our school and create more awareness.
If you are interested in contributing to our graduation and field trip event, please send an email to monica.vera@flagphil.com

"No matter how bad your life is, the first thing you should do is help somebody else that's worse off.  Because it will put everything into perspective. I don't care how bad its, you're missing a leg, you lost your job.. go help somebody else, that's when things start to change." - Tony Robbins.
Thank you for stopping by,
Monica and
F.L.A.G Team

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greatest Love of All

The music of Whitney Houston was deafening during the first few months my sister and I arrived in Canada.  Thus, her music is memorable and unforgetable.
The lyrics of this song describe how I feel about the girls in our school and how I want to raise my children.  They are my greatest “loves”.

 “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

Show them all the beauty they possess inside, Give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.”

Thank you for stopping by this Valentine's day!
From our heart to yours!

  F.L.A.G Team

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Made by Steph

I saw the pendants from my good friend’s blog (www.avagracescloset.blogspot.com) and found it very cute and personal. I contacted Steph from www.pendantsbysteph.blogspot.com and it was an easy process.
Finally, they came and they were adorable. Nothing means more to me than these 3 people in my life. 

 I found silver chains in my jewelry box some long some short so I can definitely mix n match.
With my oldest already in college and my youngest leaving me in September, I always want them to be closer to my heart. (sniff!).
Thank you to Steph for making these wonderful pieces. I will definitely show them off.
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, February 3, 2012

Love for Leslie Ann

Leslie Ann back in 2010
When I first met Leslie Ann, I had a feeling she will be a handful.  This picture was taken when we first met her March 2010 she was 5 at that time and not attending any school or own a book.  Her mom too busy to look after her and she can barely feed her 4 other children.  Despite of it all, she talked with us, sang and just trying to be a little girl.

Leslie Ann, sitting in front of our teacher

She was doing so well until recently, she decided to quit school.  Our director informed us she had an argument with her teacher and kicked her.  Her mom couldn’t even convince her to go back anymore because now she is afraid.  What will happen to Leslie Ann? If her own mother couldn’t convince her to go to school, who will?  Now, she is lost.  With 2 more months left before summer vacation, she will be behind in our studies.  At age 7, she should be in Grade 2, at this rate, she will have to repeat Grade 1 one more time.

I have 2 more months before I visit the school once again.  I am praying for her and hope her mom can motivate her and for the other girls to do the same.  That’s all I can do for now.  

Please send your love and prayers for Leslie Ann

Thank you for stopping by,
Monica and F.L.A.G team