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International Literacy Day is held on 8 September every year and this year I’ll be celebrating with the children of Botongon as well as some accomplished artists, writers and musicians from Iloilo City. As a special treat, my friend and children’s author Dr June Perkins will be joining us via skype to engage with the children about the subjects closest to her heart: family, the natural world and the importance of going to school. And you can join us too, LIVE via YouTube or Facebook.
Did you know that almost 27 million Filipinos live in poverty and many never have the opportunity to finish primary school, some remaining completely illiterate their whole lives. Others can read and write basic things but have difficulty with tasks like hospital admission forms or opening a bank account. They are easily misled or mistreated and are frequently swindled. Ultimately poverty perpetuates for yet another generation.
One of the reasons a lot of children from the Philippines don’t go to school is because they can’t afford a uniform and are ashamed to wear only rags to class. At other times they have nothing to eat and again (feeling ashamed), they stay at home.
Inspiring the Children with Magic Fish Dreaming
Living in the Philippines away from my family and friends can get very isolating at times and I’m always looking at ways to connect. How wonderful that accomplished poet and author Dr June Perkins is donating her time to read to the children from her book Magic Fish Dreaming! By special permission from June and her collaborator, illustrator Helene Magisson, I am able to gift illustrated poems to each of the children as well as decorate the space with some of the beautiful drawings. Thank you ladies, this is a gift more precious than you realise.
Maybe you’d like to help out too!
Sometimes my family and friends send donations to help with my projects, like my “retired” Uncle Richard in NSW who sells stamps online. Maybe you’re interested in helping too? I have a long term vision of running a dedicated learning centre right here in the local community where children have a safe space to learn and play. With your help this could really happen.
We’ll Be Livestreaming
And don’t worry if you can’t make it here to the Philippines, the whole event will be broadcast live over YouTube and Facebook. I will be answering questions live as well as shouting out the amazing people who have donated money to help the children here. I’ll be updating this space regularly with details on how to join in as well as other live events we’ll be holding here with special guest artists, musicians and writers.
Why Help the Kids?
Every single person who gives a donation receives a personal email from me, photographs of how I spent their money as well as regular updates. Because I use my own money to pay for things like bank charges and international transfer fees, I can guarantee that 100% of what you send goes directly to the children. (Unless of course it’s a huge donation, I probably can’t cover the bank charges on a million bucks, but that would sure buy an awesome learning centre and employ a lot of the local mums).
PLEASE NOTE: I am completely independent and not associated with any NGOs, charities, religions or political organisations. I’m not against any of these institutions, I just want everything I do to come from a genuine heart-space of giving, rather than pushing an agenda or some sort of ideology.
How to Help?
There are four ways you can help.
1. Make a donation
I have a dedicated bank account and PAYPAL account for fundraising.
Bank: ME Bank
Account Number: 000153372
Name: Melinda J Irvine (Humanitarian Aid Account)
2. Tell your friends
Share this post out with your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, clients and customers.
3. Join us Live
We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube and Facebook on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 6.30pm AEST.
4. Subscribe to the email list
Click on the link to join my email list and receive informative (but not spammy updates).
© 2017 Melinda J. Irvine
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I am a volunteer tutor in a mostly Haitian-Honduran second language school, and I really think the pictures and words would resonate with my kids.
I can’t seem to find a US outlet that sells this book!! Any suggestions … besides paying $25 shipping fee?
[…] very honoured to support this project of my dear friend and fellow creative Mel Irvine who has invited me to via skype to an International Literacy day in Botongon. It’s been […]