We are a family from Switzerland with a 5-year old son, Elischa, and a one and half year old daughter, Jolina. We took the chance this spring to visit Hanspeter’s sister and her family in the Philippines for three months, before Elischa has to go to kindergarten in summer. For about a month we joined the work of Sparrow Foundation and gained a great insight of its work among the poor in Calapan.
During this time we were able to experience mainly two areas of the work of SF, the scholarship program and the medical help it offers to the community of one of the districts in Calapan. Visiting families of the sponsored scholars, talking to their teachers, buying school supplies together with the kids in busy town stores were some of many highlights within the scholarship program.
The medical help had two different aspects for us – often rewarding and even more frustration. Seeing the fast progress in the healing of a sick baby after taking her to the doctor belongs to the first. On the other hand, looking after a young man, father of one of the supported scholars and suffering from tuberculosis, was frustrating. He was lying in a ward with other TB patients. The conditions in that ward are very poor, lacking everything needed for recovery. Only after several attempts and three days of consulting different doctors and hospitals were we able to place him in a better hospital. But keeping in mind that the public health care in the Philippines is really bad, every even so small progress is a success.
We had an excellent time with the Pijper family and we want to thank them for the confidence they placed in us. We would not want to miss this time with them.
Verena & Hanspeter Fahrni with Elischa and Jolina