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Christmas at Field of Dreams Boys Home

On Saturday, December 13th I again went with the Davao Area Expat Association to visit the Boys Home, Field of Dreams again in Tugbok, Davao City, Philippines.

As I have mentioned in past articles the DAEA has a connection with the home to help and support in our small way. This trip was to give the boys a Christmas Party.

A little History of Field of Dreams:
The home was started by an Englishman Lawrence Fields. He started a foundation, The Childhope Foundation with its sister charity Field of Dreams.

Their objective is to provide a haven for homeless children in third world countries. Initially, we are concentrating on building an orphanage in the Philippines. The chosen location is on the southern island of Mindanao, close to the major City of Davao, and is in a semi-rural area known as Tugbok.

It was decided to be called a Boys Home since some of the boys are not orphans. Some are abandoned, some are from families too poor to care for them. Some were street kids with no place to go.

They purchased 1.9 hectares (almost 5 acres) of land for the home. The purpose of the chosen location was an area with good road access, easy mains water and electricity connections and is level fertile land. The location is ideal in that the children’s home will be within 100 yards of a primary/secondary school.

There should be enough money to operate the orphanage for two years. From that point onwards we have to think in terms of a degree of self-sufficiency, combined with sponsorship, and fund raising activities to maintain the facility.

On the property behind the housing facility there is an area for farming, a piggery and raising of chickens. They have recently planted banana trees. Besides growing and raising food for the home, they will sell to the local markets to help support the home.

Unfortunately a lot of the Foundations attempts to get donations has declined due to the world’s economic depressions.

With the board of directors attempts I am hoping they can find some corporation to endow the home to cover their monthly costs of operation.

With all the problems in today’s lives, these boys are always clean, well dressed in clean clothes and in good spirits.

The home has a staff of about 12, with house mothers, cooks and other staff to take care of the home and the boys. Some of the house mothers are graduates of Social Work.

The boys share dorm style rooms with 6 children to a room. Each dorm room has a vanity with 2 sinks and there is a toilet room and a shower room.

There is also a Day room, dining room, kitchen and activity room with a pool table, study tables and a small library.

There is an outside area between the 2 wings of the building for a courtyard and in the back an area with a basketball hoop for them to play.
Because of the distance, we all met in Bankal at the Makro Warehouse store. It is a lot like Costco in the states with a big parking lot. Once there we all car pooled to save on the amount of vehicles and the gas cost.

Back to my story:
Once there we were met by the smiling faces of the boys and the staff. Since the boys only get sweets once a month, so we brought sodas, cakes and chips (crispies for our UK friends).

From a generous benefactor of the group and some help from the DAEA treasury all the boys received a Christmas card and 500 pesos to shop for their Christmas. Each boy was called up DAEA Chairman Gary Dickerson to receive his card.

One of the other DAEA Directors, Gary Aube, who looked a lot like Santa even found an Elf to pose with.

Later Father Tom Martin gave a watch to the 2 boys who had their birthday in December. It turned out Lalaine, one of the Directors was celebrating her birthday that day. Father Tom blessed her but I think she was disappointed she did not get a watch too. (just joking)

This trip I decided to focus my photographs on the boys. Even with their loss of families, they always have a smile for us, comical poses and closeness and hugs. As always we were treated to dance routines from the older boys doing their hip-hop dancing.

Again we were treated by some of the girls from their local school to do dance presentations for us to entertain us. One little girl did the Philippine Traditional dance Tinikling. This is a which involves two people hitting bamboo poles, using them to beat, tap, and slide on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and in between the poles in a dance.

As always, the presentations were wonderful to watch. A few of the hip-hop dancers will do hand stands and somersaults. Also the little girls were so cute in their costumes and smiles always on their faces.

There were other guests in attendance. There were Members of the Board of Directors, mothers and families of the staff and the girls. Whenever they would see my camera, they would pose and smile for me.

After a while the staff brought out trays of some traditional Filipino foods for the guests to enjoy including Lechon Baboy (roast pork) and Bihon (rice noodles with sauce and vegetables) and other items.

As always the time flew by and it was time to get into the cars for our journey home.

I will miss visiting them and look forward for my next trip to visit again. The love from the children and the friendship and hospitality of the staff and the open warmth of the guests I have met there always leaves me feeling so Blessed to have become a small part in their lives.

There are too many photos to post on the blog, so please click on the slide show to see more.

7 Responses to “Christmas at Field of Dreams Boys Home”

  1. Tom Martin says:

    Great pictures of the children. I wish that readers would consider making a monthly donation to the home for they certainly need it and it is very much a worthwhile cause. The cost to operate the home is between $3500 and $4000 monthly. Money well spent to give thirty young men a future. I once read “Nothing is worst than to give these boys hope and then have to take it away from them due to lack of funds.” That is so true for you do not miss what you never had, but once you have had a stable home and are surrounded by people who love, care and educate you it would be terrible to lose it. My heart breaks everytime I think that in the scheme of things the money it takes to operate the home is so small yet so difficult to raise. It makes no difference how close they get to making the monthly expenses if they do not get it all the home cannot continue. If I could afford to provide the monthly budget on my own I would without hesitation because I have seen the fine work they do and I know these young men will one day contribute to making the Philippines and the world a better place to live.

  2. Bruce says:

    Thank you for your well phrased words. And yes, I wish we could find an easy avenue to get donations for the home. The boys are great and deserve all the chances for a full, happy and productive life.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I can’t wait to get home!!!

    A Dabawenyo in America

  4. Nice post again. Lets hope that the poorest dont have to suffer more cause of the economic downturn we are now seeing around the world.

    Bruce, do you know know why the video doesnt work for me when i try to play it?

    • Bruce says:

      I will look into the video problem. The first was on YouTube but then moved ot Google Video.
      If you want, go to Google Videos and search for Field of Dreams.
      I will email you if I find a solution and/or give you links.

  5. Anthony says:

    Looking forward to helping Bruce now and when i arrive. please send info.

    • Bruce says:

      When you arrive we will drive up there so you can meet them. What they really need is a corporate Endowment.
      I have 3 articles about my trips there, look under Catagories Charity. The video links are not working but if you go to Google Video and search “Field of Dreams Philippines” I am sure you will find them.
      Thanks for caring and I look foward to meeting you.

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