What is Needed
Scholarships: Increased funding is always in demand for more children and adults to attend school, or to access higher education and training. This remains the primary focus of the Foundation.
Funds are always in demand for medical assistance, nutrition, and holiday gifts for the school children.
From an emailed thank you message from Patricia Hilao:
"My heart goes out to you, and all those around you who help you in your great work. I feel how it is at your end with your consistent labors of love and sacrifices for the good of others. We can only pray and keep thanking God for making us worthy in this continued selfless and noble partnership over the years. We have turned out several students as professionals who are doing well now in the different parts of the country and hundreds of high school graduates who venture outside Culion already, confident to face the world and making the most of their acquired education. Modesty aside, you are part of them all. Our fulfillment and tribute to God. To Him be the Glory!"
Housing in Culion is usually a thatched roof over a raised platform floor with minimal sidewalls and open windows and doors. These structures are particularly vulnerable to the often-stormy weather suffered by the Philippine Islands. This area of the South China Sea experiences more hurricanes than any other place on earth, sometimes as many as 20 in one year. The fishing communities, living on the edge of the sea, suffer the most. The Foundation provides funds to renovate or rebuild homes as funds permit, but much more is needed, particularly since the devastating typhoons of recent years.
""What concerns the Foundation most is the future of our poorest children in the indigenous villages. The main problems Culion residents face are malnourishment, education and employment.
Our hearts ache when we see young children from the islets and barrios walking 8-9 km on rough roads just to be able to attend classes in a nearby village. Teachers often tell us that upon arriving, these children are hungry and complain of headaches and dizziness.
During the rainy months (May-October), food and other needed items are scarce. . .an added blow to the poorest indigenous people." . . .
The Foundation's Future
As the community of Culion gradually moves beyond the era of the leper colony and seeks a future based on tourism and local industry, the Foundation will continue to be a significant advocate for the education of children and improvement in the lives of the less fortunate members of the community. The value of the U.S. currency is so strong that every dollar makes a big difference in the lives of Culion residents. With a geographically limited population, even with such great need, our support can change the lives not only of individuals but an entire community.