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What a glorious dance show the students at Star of Hope Christian School in Taytay, Manila preformed on the 23rd Foundations Day. This year the celebration was extra special.  Normally the Foundation Day is held in the end of January but this year it was postponed to March 19 as we also celebrated the re-inauguration of the school Peter Ek Education Center/Star of Hope Christian School.

Under the shining sun the schoolyard was filled with hundreds of children in beautiful clothes who danced and sang. 10 year old Csyra O. Musa preformed a fantastic solo number with the song ”I want to break free”  (you can watch it on Star of Hopes facebook) which was followed by dances describing Pilipino traditions. The smallest children in Grade 1 danced “The Pearly Shell” and then students from every grade preformed different dances.
Some of the dances referred to the country’s history and culture, for example ”Bulaklakan”, a flower dance in honor to Virgin Mary, ”Banaue Rice Terraces” which symbolizes the beautiful rice terraces in the north of the Philippines. ”Ati-atihan” in which weapons and fire are included is a very old dance originating from the first settlers on the islands and ”Daklisan Festival” in which they show their appreciation to their patron of La Paz for blessing them for peace and safe voyage when fishing.

I have the best work ever.

March 16, 2012. Star of hope Haiti in cooperation with Haiti on Feet organization have funded construction of a rehabilitation Center in Hohital de la Communaute Haitien HCH for Handicaps in Haiti to have a place to do  therapy. The  inauguration ceremony of the center  is happen today. Many concerned groups took part to the inauguration:

-          Star of Hope Int. by Lennart Eriksson and Fred Thorneas

-          Star of Hope Haiti by Myrtha and Tony,

-          Haiti on Feet by Gunnar Hallgreen,

-          Hospital by HCH Board members

-          Erik Development Partners by Swedish doctors and medical technicians

-          And guests

The rehabilitation Center measures about 150 square meter with 2 rest-room, office and two exercise rooms.  

Monday 19 of March

What can I say it has been a crazy wonderful day. After years of being worried about the ownership of the land the school in Taytay is on. Now the situation is finally resolved and Star of Hope Philippines owns the land in Taytay were Star of Hope Christian School/Peter Ek Education Center is located. It was a day filled with all different kinds of emotions, remembering Peter with tears in my eyes and then joy and happiness when I saw all the children singing and dancing. I´m proud of being a Star of Hope member. Proud of knowing friends like the Ek´s who saw the need and became our miracle. Peter, a generous and engaged sponsor to Star of Hope for more than 20 years who saw the Philippines as his second home. When he passed away, way to young his wife, children and his brother and family wanted to continue his work and make an impact. For that I am thankful. Because of their generous donation the threat of losing the school when the 25 year lease expired is now over.

The Ek Family, me and Pastor Gani


The most touching moment was when Mary Ann Gomez a former sponsor child to OBH Nordica/Peter Ek and now a teacher at Taytay held a speech in honor of her sponsor Peter. There were not many dry eyes during her speech. To hear how important a sponsor can be to a child growing up is reassuring. The world is a good place and you can change it one child at a time. Today Mary Ann is herself impacting the next generation of 2500 students at Star of Hope School and since Star of Hope now owns the land it will not be over in two years it will continue to impact students for many more years to come.


Blessings to all.

Three days in a row on one of the Star of Hope's largest projects. It has been choppy few days, we had a lot planned, but Maria was hospitalized for four nights. And I feel bit down with a fever, but try to struggle on.

With very good help from the Star of Hope staff, I have taken me past the obstacles with diseases and children who fought in the examination and others who have trained for the big opening of the school hall on Monday and had some made ??anyway.

It is tough with fever in the heat. But we are pleased by all the happy focused children who struggle to the very end before school holidays start in a few weeks.

One of the 2500 fighting children is Rosehny Subaldo, 8, who attend class two. Her favorite subject is math and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, she thinks her teacher is so good. Some pictures of her below:




Note, Maria's blog from last week.

Today was a great day except for me starting to get a sore throat.  When I walked in to church it said on the wall with big letters “Knowing Christ is knowing God”

What a good start, all smiling faces with eyes filled with happiness to see me.  It felt so welcoming. When they sang the songs in Tagalog the words came back to me and I could sing along.

Julius the youth pastor sang with his beautiful voice “Who am I”. He has a voice that always touches my heart. Listening to the different testimony one was different and I think shows the difference between the countryside and city. A girl from the youth group was telling how they had been in Infanta were Star of Hope is running a school singing and meeting with the students. She wanted to take in an offering to be able to buy the children hamburgers next time they are going there. They had found out the children never had tasted hamburgers so they wanted to take them out for hamburgers.

In the afternoon I went out with my son Leon’s sponsor child Jay and some of his friends for some shopping and to eat. What a joy. It sure is much more rewarding to shop with him than my own children. I don’t have to make Jay try things on he does it with a smile and thankful eyes.

This was last week, in the evening on the 10th I got really sick and was then taken to the hospital on Monday since my throat had closed up and I was not able to breathe through my mouth and had not been drinking for 24 hours so I was dehydrated.

Today is a new day and tomorrow is the big day, re inauguration and foundation day.

 I had to spend 5 days in the hospital with IV for fluids and antibiotics. I´m glad I’m out and on my feet again. Thank you all for your prayers!



New school reforms are pouring into the Philippines. One of the new to be implemented is that all schools must also offer pre-school. Another suggestion is that the High School is extended by two years. If all this is implemented then the total of 15 years in school before any college or university. Expensive to implement, costly to families, and becomes schooling so much better?

One can understand that the school work to improve education. In a study pertaining to primary education in 2011 the Philippines was ranked as 99 nation of 138 surveyed. And only the seventh best of the nine surveyed in Southeast Asia. Only 20% of young people continuing to higher education. What many argue is that there should be invested money in improving the quality of higher education.
Today there are entire 1700 colleges and universities in the Philippines. Some people think there should be fewer but higher quality. What do these reforms for the Star of Hope, the children and families we support? I'll try to sort it out the next few weeks.


Did you know that...

18 landerYour generosity expands Star of Hope's reach to 15 countries worldwide. Thanks to you, we're making a global impact.

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Because of people like you, more than 20,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope.


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