Irish has a very special visit with an INA supporter
The vehicle pulled up just outside the main gate to the school. The guard sauntered out in the morning heat, and checked up on who the visitors were to his school. We were just outside of Laguna in the Philippines.
Once identified as the team from International Needs Australia, the gate was pushed back and a smile came across the face of our guard.
We were here today for a very special meeting. Malcolm Wilton, an INA supporter, was going to meet Irish, the little girl he and his wife Anita support through INA ChildLink.
Gathered in the staff room was teacher Anne from the school, and Irish’s mother, Irene. It was a warm meeting place, with temperatures around 33c and 80% humidity.
We waited a few minutes, with a little uncertainty as to what the proper protocols were, but then l was introduced to teacher Anne who coordinated the grade 3-year levels of which Irish was a part of.
As all the official hand shaking was going on, l turned to the door, and Irish was there to greet me with a special hand shake. She took my hand, and touched her forehead with it, which is a Filipino tradition called “mano po”. It is a greeting of respect and welcome.
Pictured: Malcolm receiving a token of appreciation from Irish.
She passed me a greeting card. Inside it said:
"Good Day. I just want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to be one of your sponsor (sic). I’m so bless and grateful having a second parents in you. It’s been blissful for me because of the help from your family. I and my family will always include your family in our prayer, God bless!
Thank you so much, love Irish."
We sat for a while in the staff room with family and INA staff. Through a translator, I asked about her family, if Irish liked coming to school, and what she enjoys doing on a weekend. The reply came back through a Tagalog translation, that she has a brother, Cedric, she loves coming to school and being with her friends in class and that on the weekend she helps her mum around the house.
It was a very special time. We left Irish with a small Koala pencil case (complete with pencils) and some hair ties, as small gifts to remember the visitor from Australia; a world away, but helping to make a world of difference.
YOU too can become a ChildLink supporter. By clicking the DONATE icon in the top right hand corner of our website, you can welcome another member into your family. Do it today!