Life Expectancy: 71.6 years
GDP: US$1845 per capita
45.0% earn less than US$2 per day
PHI09 - The Cappuccino Club
Training / Education, Orphans & Vulnerable Children
$3,000 - $7,999
The Cappuccino Club aims not only to place squatter children into university but also to provide a mentoring programme through the context of the local church. Their desire is to develop young men and women of influence from within some of the most impoverished environments imaginable and to see these young leaders grow up to become agents of change in their communities and beyond.
The name 'Cappuccino Club' came about because for the same price as a cappuccino a day a Filipino student can attend university.
History Of Partnership
Mark and Valerie Smith are New Zealanders who lived in the Philippines from 1990 until 2002. For the last five years of their stay they lived in a squatter community in the provincial town of Baliuag, approximately one hour north of Metro Manila. Living amongst some of the poorest people in Asia allowed them the opportunity to express the love of Christ in some very tangible ways. During their time there they established a high school sponsorship programme that provided high school education for more than 20 deserving children. They envisioned that such a programme would go some way to alleviating poverty by providing better employment opportunities for the graduates.
However when they made their first return visit to this community in April 2008 they were saddened to see these bright children, having graduated from high school, still working in the open markets selling fish or worse still, working as bar girls in night clubs. It soon became apparent that high school education alone, although extremely beneficial, did little to alleviate multi-generational poverty in the home.
Mark and Valerie had always desired to make a lasting difference in the lives of these gracious and needy people. It distressed them greatly to see brilliant children living under the curse of poverty usually through no fault of their own. They determined that day to do something tangible to help these children have the same opportunities that they would want their own children to have.
From that resolve The Cappuccino Club was born and in June 2008 two students were funded to university. Both Lorenzo (four year degree in Christian Ministry) and Joanna Marie (Bachelor in Secondary Education) excelled academically through the course of the year and also developed in character. They are willingly serving their fellow squatters in a way that is transforming the greater community.
In September 2008 Mark and Valerie approached Bright Hope World with a view to us partnering with them in this venture.
Filipino squatter children who have graduated from high school and who have an aptitude and a desire to study further are the direct beneficiaries however this partnership will also have a flow on effect to their families and communities. The full impact of this investment in a student's life may not be fully realized for many years to come.
What We Like About The Partnership
Mark and Valerie have lived amongst these people and know firsthand the difficulties and struggles they face. They have a genuine love for these people and a desire to help them lift themselves above the extreme poverty they are living in. What also attracted us to this partnership is the fact that they are not just wanting to place squatter children into university but they are also providing a mentoring programme through the local church. People will get alongside these students and help them grow in other areas of their life, particularly spiritually.
Mark and Valerie Smith.
Mark and Valerie currently live in Tauranga, New Zealand. They have two children John and Yunika who were adopted in the Philippines in July 2001. Naturally John and Yunika share their parents' love for the Philippines and its people. Mark is currently serving as a pastor at a church in Tauranga called LIFEzone. Valerie is involved in a ladies ministry that reaches out to the greater community through craftwork and social interaction, she is also a relief worker for a local childcare facility. However, should this ministry expand significantly to involve dozens of students and many local churches then there may be the need for them to commit more time to the work in the Philippines in years to come.
Mark and Valerie have always felt drawn to the plight of the poor and needy and gain inspiration from the life of Jesus and his compulsion to minister to the voiceless and vanishing people of his day. They are challenged by the weight of Scripture that demands a "Christian" response to the curse of poverty. A verse that motivates them in this ministry is Proverbs 28v27 "He who gives to the poor will lack nothing but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses." They believe that all of God's people are duty-bound to serve the needs of the impoverished in some capacity.
Other People Involved
The Filipino church leaders who will be overseeing this programme are: Dino Tienzo, an elder from Justinville Community Church, Patrick del Prado, an elder from Agape Community Christian Fellowship and Pastor Rey Cervantes from Bahay ng Pagasa Community Church. Under their leadership the programme will be administered and the students will enter into a regular mentoring programme to develop them as men and women of integrity and influence both in the local church and out into the greater community.
Vision And Annual Strategy
The aims of the Cappuccino Club are:
- to provide better employment opportunities for Filipino poor
- to serve to alleviate multi-generational poverty amongst impoverished families
- to develop future leaders through education, mentoring and transformation
The strategy involves:
- providing university level education to Filipino young adults who would otherwise, due to financial constraints, be unable to pursue tertiary level studies. In 2009 this will involve ten students with a view to increasing this to 50-100 in subsequent years.
- moulding the candidates into influential people of integrity through a contextualized mentoring programme, in order that they might be developed as leaders in their immediate communities and beyond
Candidate Selection Criteria
Academic considerations: The tertiary course to be studied must not exceed the academic ability of the candidate in question. A suitable course must be found that is most suited to the academic ability and ambition of the candidate.
Ethical considerations: The candidate has shown in the past a good work ethic, discipline and self-motivation and has a genuine desire to further their education and assist their family out of multi-generational poverty.
Financial considerations: The candidate must be incapable of meeting the costs for university level education due to their impoverished circumstances.
For more information see The Cappuccino Club website
Bright Hope World has currently committed to sponsor three students through university. However there is huge potential to grow this partnership and if more funding can be found the aim is to sponsor 50-100 students.
Anna Rose B Rotor
At 21 years of age Anna is the second eldest of four children in her family, her father is deceased. Her mother works as a sales lady and brings home the equivalent of about NZ$50 a week. Anna has attended Sunday school since she was eleven years old. She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 14 and actively involved herself in different activities of the church. To date, she is a growing, maturing faithful Christian. She is currently involved in teaching children; she is a patient and kind teacher. She is faithful in visiting other church members and in leading Bible studies. She is actively participating in the youth group of the church; serving as a secretary in their organization. Anna wishes to study a Bachelor in Elementary (Primary) Education.
Anna Rose lives with her mother and three siblings. Her father died when she was only six years old, since then her mother supports the family alone. Due to their lack of money, Anna’s mother couldn’t afford to let her go to college, so Anna decided to find a job to earn money for the family.
Anna’s Personal Testimony: I started to attend our church when I was in grade 5. I was invited by my older sister because they were the first to attend Sunday school back then. By the time I was an intermediate student, our teacher shared with us the life of Jesus Christ, about what He has done for us, how He saved us from our sins. That day, I prayed with my teacher to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I was too young then so I didn’t exactly take it by heart though I really believe in it. As time went by, I found myself not really committed in the church and I was content to continue that way. But a few years after, something happened to me that made me realize what is really happening to my life. I realized that it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Then I remembered Jesus Christ, about what He has done for me. At that point in time, I prayed to God and for the second time, by myself, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Since then, many things have changed. I’m not saying that I’m perfect because nobody is. But one thing is for sure, God accepted and loved me not because of who I am but for who He is. Now, I am used by God there teaching Sunday school and in some other church activities.
Anna’s Dreams for the Future: I really want to be a teacher and when I graduate I’m planning to teach in public schools to reach more kids for God and also my co-teachers too. I also am praying and wanting to help my other brother to study in college. We also plan to take housing loans for us to have our own house, God willing. If our church would have its own Christian school, I will teach there.
Lorelee L Dugenia
Lorelee is a 29 year old solo mum of daughter Micah Joy. Lorelee and her daughter live off a love gift given to her from the church for assisting in their school. Lorelee has been a member of the church since she was a high school student. Coming from a broken family and having a mother who was mentally ill, she became very dependent on the church for emotional and spiritual support. It was her grandmother, who was a Christian who introduced her to the church and who supported Lorelee and her mother thru her pension. When the grandmother died, she was forced to raise her ill mother and younger brother. When her mother died, her brother became mentally ill too.
This tragedy perhaps caused her to draw closer to fellowship where she finds comfort and strength. Presently, we can say that she is continuously maturing in her faith as shown by her consistent commitment in the ministry and her good testimony. Lorelee is a people person, gifted in music and arts, and has a pleasing personality. She works and blends well with all other members in the church, in the school, or in camps. She has a desire to excel in everything she does and has been a consistent honor student in the short term Bible School in Emmaus Bible Camp. She has been in the teaching ministry for a long time but she still hopes to further her studies. She wants to be a licensed teacher someday.
Lorelee’s Personal Testimony: Life is tough! But instead of dwelling on the negative side of my situation, I learned to focus on the good side of life. Like a flower under the rain, I must steadfastly fight despite the trials of life. My life is a “not so good” kind of life, but I believe God has His purpose on allowing things to happen, may it be good or bad. God molds me to how He wants me to be. It’s good to know that I am not alone, God taught me to endure.
With God, the pains in life made me strong. The sadness turned into joy and worries into hopes. In life we must not regret, for things all work together for good. Yes, I did fall but managed to stand up; almost gave up but continued the fight! It’s the wonderful grace of Jesus and His unfailing love caused me to continue my journey to victory! Indeed, as prophet Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. His compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” To God always be the glory!
Lorelee’s Dreams for the Future: I want to take up a Degree in Elementary or Secondary Education. As of this time, the only thing that comes to my mind is to finish a degree course preferably a course in education, be able to take the Licensure Exam for Teachers and become a licensed teacher. This is so I can be part in continuing God’s ministry through Emmaus Learning Centre effectively.
Since I am engaged in the teaching ministry, I want to be more equipped in handling my students and in lending a hand to them when it comes to molding them academically, physically, ethically, and with God’s grace spiritually. I want to be a blessing to others and to serve more in my ministry. Another thing is that, it is my wishful desire to play the piano and eventually be able to take part in church and school activities.
Joshua Rio G Cruz
In 2007 Joshua was able to attend an evangelistic concert held at the chapel. After a week, he attended the church youth fellowship and was able to hear the Gospel. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. From then on, we saw how God slowly changed his life. He is actively involved in the different areas of ministry in the church. He is an officer in the church youth organization and is also leading Bible studies. As an officer in the youth group, he represents the church in the provincial youth fellowship’s meetings and planning activities. He is the church guitarist and also acts as master of ceremonies during Sunday services and prayer meetings.
He works with passion and his love for the Lord can be seen as he works seriously without complaints. Presently, he is living apart from his family. His parents have separated and he considers his mother as guardian ut because of financial difficulties his mother could no longer support him. He decided to work for one of the families in the church. He desires to further his studies in order to support his family.
Joshua’s Personal Testimony: When I was in grade 5 my parents separated. I came with my mother and my youngest sister. My other two siblings were in my father’s care. Unfortunately, my mother cannot continue to support me to study in college so, as of now, I’m working to earn some money and I live on my own.
When I was in my fourth year at high school, it was in February when I first stepped inside the church. At first, I wasn’t interested in the church and the things about the Bible. They held a concert at Cavite Christian Fellowship and I was invited there with my friend. A week after the concert, I was invited again to have some fellowship with some young people from the church. The Elder there told me about the way to salvation and that is how I started attending church. After 3 months, I was baptized (June 7, 2007) and I started to join a ministry in the church.
Joshua’s Dreams for the Future: I want to grow spiritually as a Christian and know God deeply. I want to be His servant and serve in His church. I want to finish my studies, find a stable job here in the Philippines, and support my family.
How Can I Help?
We currently have no financial donor for this partnership so if you are interested in funding one or more student please contact us.