Quite by chance really, in 2006! My wife Jo had often talked of her times at and walking to the schools, not far from where we now stayed when in the Philippines. We decided, on a whim to visit Jo’s old schools, she hadn’t seen them for over 30 years. Jo said they hadn’t changed and, sad to say, I quite believed her. The facilities were appalling, yet the standard of teaching was excellent, and the enthusiasm from the children, absolutely fabulous. You just knew straight away, that something had to be done. When we returned to the UK after that first visit, we started to collect things we thought would be useful, and freighted them out to the Philippines in parcels.
From small beginnings, the project just gained a momentum of its own, thanks to all our friends. We had started by collecting a few things together and sending them in parcels out to the Philippines. Our friends heard about what we were doing and started contributing, first of all more goods for the school, and later with financial support too. The Project grew, as did the amount of freight we were sending out each year and the cost of doing this. Once more our friends rallied round and started to organise fund-raising events, which enable us not only to send goods out, but to start to do building works and repairs while we were out in the Philippines. With this growth came the need to formalise what we were doing legally and our little project became a registered charity (no.1148559).
On the following pages, we'll tell you a little more and the story picture books chart our progress as we increased our activities for the two local schools. There was never a plan, or a goal, never a desire to be considered as benefactors or philanthropists. It was really the generosity of our friends in England, the racers and musicians we knew who offered help in many forms. Some gave cash, others their old computer. Paper, pencils, old clothes. The Project just grew, as our dining room turned into a store cupboard. To all those that have helped with the Project, what can I say? Without you, it would never have happened. Thank you is hardly enough.