In my last post, I didn’t make very clear a few important things.
One: most of the children being served by COH (Children of Hope) are from very poor–some transient–families in Manila. The preschools offer a way to get children into a clean place for a day that stimulates learning (1,200 of them!) Many other children are less fortunate, living on the streets, continuing the cycle of poverty.
Two: the teachers are Filipino women (and one man), selected by their churches to minister to the children in their neighborhoods. In addition to church plants with COH, some of the churches were formerly planted by the UCPP (Urban Church Planting Project). Many are established Filipino Foursquare Churches that are struggling.
Patty and Bryant Sabandal, along with the rest of their team, encourage evangelism and discipleship for the churches as well as education for the children. These preschools are ministry-run, as opposed to the state-run schools in the Philippines. Typically a one-room church doubles as the one preschool room.
A few teachers have teaching credentials or are working toward them, but most have about a high school education. Patty teaches the women early childhood education concepts, plus teaching methods to use with the 3-5 year-old children they serve, then supervises the schools with the rest of the COH team.
It was a thrill working with these budding teachers, and was a joy seeing them learn how to integrate play with learning!