Hopelink

Reg. charity no. 1141534

Hopelink raises funds to support educational assistance programme, provide emergency relief aid to victims of flood, typhoons, fire and other natural disasters and support Christian activities to advance the gospel. Our vision is to give hope and improve the lives of the poorest people and communities in the Philippines in partnership with local churches.

 

How it all began

 

In February 2010, Rodney and Ahmor Orr organised and led a mission trip to the Philippines mainly to work alongside a local church and see the work first-hand. To the 6 adults who joined the trip, it was their first time to visit the country and see extreme poverty lived out on a daily basis. The group visited the poor communities in the dumpsite area, people who live in the cemetery beside grave stones and people whose houses were built on bamboo stilts whose lives were constantly at risk during typhoon season. The living conditions were dire. But there was also good news. The church the team was working with has already an on-going ministry amongst those people and communities, but resources are limited and they need a lot of help. Natural and man-made disasters have frequently left thousands of people homeless, no employment, and children missing education with no hope for the future. The church has become a place of refuge and help to hundreds of people. It became evident that something more has to be done in order to help these families get out of the poverty trap. Giving children a good education would be a good start.

 

The trip was the catalyst; the need to help and to do more was crystal clear.

Happy, but would you be so happy living in a cemetery

Activities and Projects Funded by the Trust

Many have to survive while living within the rubbish dumps

Educational Programme

There are 60 children and young people in the programme, 44 children in primary and secondary education and 16 in college or university. At the beginning of the school year in June 2011, one college student finished a foundation degree in computer that school year. All recruitment, visitation, follow-up and pastoral care are done by our local Back to School Administrator alongside our partner churches.

Relief aid for typhoon victims

In September 2011, the strongest typhoon of the year hit Manila with devastating effects with at least 9 people dead and thousands of families displaced. In Navotas city, where most of the work of Hopelink is, hundreds of families lost their shanty houses, and the city were submerged in flood water for a couple of

weeks. Hopelink responded quickly by sending immediate relief aid to the

flood victims. Through our partner churches, we were able to give out

food packets to at least 200 families.

Christmas Boxes

Four huge boxes (10 cu. ft in size) were shipped to the Philippines in time for Christmas. Donations of clothes, bed sheets, towels, toiietries, toys, books and non-perishable food were packed into the boxes. The shipment arrived just before Christmas and our partner church in Navotas distributed the items to over 100 families. Some newer stuff and toys were wrapped up and given out as Christmas presents.

Christmas Hampers

We had also given out Christmas hampers to the 60 families in the educational programme. The hampers consisted of noodles, bread, sandwich spread, juice, milk, coffee, sugar and cheese. Many families had these foods for their Christmas meal which in the Philippines happens at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Grant to Catmon Church

A grant of £2600 was sent to help our partner church in the dump site area in Catmon, to secure a lease to a property which they use for church services.

Building Project

Since the conception of the charity, it has been our wish to help our main partner church buy the church building they are currently renting. The church has been in the same building for the past 26 years, but a year ago, the landlord had told the church about his plan to sell the building but would give the church the "right to first refusal". Losing the church building will have significant consequences not only to the church, but also to the whole community. The building is used not only

as a place of worship but also for many different community activities and events including as an evacuation centre during typhoon season. The location and the size of the building make it an ideal place for this. So far we have 2 main donors to this project, which in total amounts to £18,000.

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