torsdag 14 april 2011

Looking back - and forward

Hills of Grace
A brief history
In my last blog I wrote that there will be a lot of hard cement in this blog before we come to the soft part – the children…
And I want to start with a quote concerning history… and it reads like this:

 is the clue to why you are here.
-and knowing why you are here…
guides you to the future
Our center at West Crame, San Juan

The Scandinavian Children´s Mission, and the operating arm, the Leto Christian Center, came to the Philippines well over 25 years ago. It was registered as a non-profit, non political, charitable and religious organization. A few years after its commencement, the work had spread from Sultan Kudarat in the south to Baguio in the north. It´s first mission vision was to reach out to the needy, especially the children.
After a limited reorganization at the end of 1990 the work was more and more concentrated to the Manila region (NCR) and also downsized. As late as 2004, the Center for Temporary Care just outside of Manila was closed down.
Since then the Mission has slowly expanded its activities by including a Pre and Elementary School, Skills Training, Awareness and Microcredit Program, Maternal and Child Health Care, Feeding Programs with compulsory teaching for mothers and a very much expanded Operation Love – a Ministry for kids between 6 to 12 years old.

But there has been something missing in our pro child activities. A place for a child to stay when he or she, for different reasons been made an orphan, or simply been abandoned by his father and mother or has a very difficult social situation.  Simply speaking creating A FAMILY, where a child will have unconditional love, security and a place to stay while growing up.

This was a vision that started to form in the heart of the Mission Leader already 2005.
It took several years before the vision materialized. Through several unexpected turn of events our paths crossed with people who shared our vision. Subsequently in February 2010, after 6 months of preparation, the Mission could finally acquire the property Villa Alcantra, that we now know as Hills of Grace.

Hills of Grace is  the name of a 20 400 square meters adventurous terrain consisting of rolling landscape, a 50 meter hill and a djungel-like ravine.
A lush greenery with more than 60 Mango trees

The main activity on this property will be the Open Heart Children´s Village where the Mission envisions to give up to 100 abandoned children a Child Friendly Space to live… on a long term basis.
But this is not all… The Mission will from this place fan out to assist malnourished children, not only in immediate neighborhood, but also to the greater north-eastern part of Manila. This will be done through well planned feeding programs where the main emphasis will be to help mothers /guardians to cope with the difficult task of bringing up the new generation… when recourses are meager.
There will also be a Maternal and Child Health Care Center where the needs of pregnant women and children under 5 will be prioritized.
View from the top of the property

The Hills of Grace has been made possible by the generous support of Biltema for the Children´s Village,  and a private supporter for the MCHC project.

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