This is my Robin. The sign says: ‘Welcome Sir (or Dear) Douglas Bailey’
A visit to ES803 wasn’t originally on my itinerary because of the public holiday. But the project opened it’s doors to me and showed me around. There is about 238 children in this project which has been going for 6 years. Most children were away with parents placing flowers on graves as is the custom on Nov 2nd All Souls Day. So my welcoming committee consisted of about 8 Compassion project workers and about 5 children. But Robin and I didn’t really care who else was there.
Actually, I was extremely thankful that my driver Alex and translator Carlos were also present!
This is the temple – which is full on Sundays praise God.
From left to right, the Project Co-ordinator who started in that role four years ago at age 18, Robin and the church Pastor.
The team showed me around the project which was absolutely full of colour!
The staff (or they may be volunteers, I don’t really have a short name for them), took me to the office and talked with me about the project and Robin’s ‘profile’.
The Compassion projects used to use their own ‘local’ curriculums until Compassion set up a national curriculum a few years ago. I’m sure you can fully appreciate that there is less pressure on the projects when preparing classes and a whole lot more consistency of learning across the nation.
I noticed these photo guidelines on the wall. I know I’ve often wanted a closer shot but there are guidelines here for a reason. – I still don’t know what those reasons actually are because my spanish is not that strong! (But I trust those reasons and suspect it’s a good way to convey the health of the child).
The team told me how Robin’s right eye had been almost completely blind from birth and thanks to Sponsorship Plus* Robin has been going to a specialist and has been prescribed glasses which he received last month. They are to prevent his good eye from straining to make up for the weakness in the other eye. Please say a prayer for Robin’s eyesight to be fully restored. I believe it’s possible.
The project leaders also report that when the Compassion program started in Perkin in 2004, 70% of the children were malnourished. Today that figure is 0%. If my understanding is correct, this is made possible because of Sponsorship Plus*.
*Please have a look at all that Sponsorship Plus can provide for the kids by reviewing the bottom section of this page on the Compassion Australia site.
At least 2 of the 5 kids I have already met this week have benefited from the Sponsorship Plus program so can I encourage you to please contact you local Compassion Office and tell them you wish to support Sponsorship Plus. Gracias.
Project ES803 has a Bakery program that has been running for 6 months now.
The kids currently sell the product to the church members. Of course the profits go to buy more ingredients and I believe they are currently working to recoup the cost of the cooking equipment and oven. Once they break even I hope they will expand into the community.
We went upstairs for a sample of the produce (mine without the fresh fruit) and it tasted great!
The Pastor talked to us about the local area and said that most of the men in the area have had to leave to find work. Robin’s father left 1.5years ago to find work in the USA. (I don’t know if he got in legally or not, I may not want to know the answer.) In fact, there are about 2.5-3 Million Salvadorans in the USA who work mostly in construction and send money home to their families. Construction was one of the fields hardest hit in the recession.
I’m thankful that at least Robin’s mother gets to talk to her husband once a week on the phone.
Robin then presented me with a gift.
“You are here.”
But then we moved… off to lunch at the Perkin Lenka Hotel.