Rebuilding the children’s playground

Saturday (yeah the next one coming) is the beginning of a series of art and creative activities for the children of Botongon, Estancia.

Twister tournaments, giant puzzles, painting and poetry. I really can’t wait.

Jerry assembles the giant puzzles from the toy library
Jerry enjoys the giant puzzles from the toy library.

For the last few weeks I have been creating a toy library that includes games, puzzles, art and craft supplies as well as second hand art books. I am also writing simple songs in both English and Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) to teach the kids.

The ladies of Purok 4, Botongon (Estancia) have volunteered to help me with the children. Actually one of the dad’s offered to help as well.

We have spent several hot afternoons walking from house to house (or in many cases bamboo shelter to bamboo shelter) getting the name of the kids and meeting with their parents.

During the months following Typhoon Yolanda I had really enjoyed buying any available art and craft supplies for the children of the tent city. The idea to create an ongoing creative program for women and children (who knows maybe even the men too) has been bubbling over in my mind for nearly two years now. I am excited now to finally roll out my ideas.

Even more exciting is the venue! A private block of land dedicated to children by a kind family, lying in ruins since Typhoon Yolanda. More on that in future blogs. But you can check out the pictures below of our initial clean-up. Big thanks to the men of Botongon for giving up their Sunday afternoon.

The first group will be all the kids of Purok 4, Botongon (+ my sponsored kids from puroks 5 and 7) in grades 6-10. My vision is to provide an ongoing art, craft and music program for all the children of Botongon as well as the children relocated to Go Go Bunkhouses (formerly from Botongon).

Botongon is a densely populated Barangay located on the coastline. Poverty is the dominant force in the lives of Botongon children. Even their school (two years later) is still undergoing repairs from Typhoon Yolanda and a devastating oil spill.

Part of my vision is creating a life for myself too. Painting, drawing and playing music with the kids. Yep I confess it’s not all about the children.

© 2016 Melinda Irvine

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