Hi My Name Is Dave...

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It’s been quite a while and many of you have been asking how it’s going down here in the Philippines. I am now quite settled in and am learning the local dialect, Bisaya. The Central Visayas is the most beautiful part of the Philippines in my oponion, and Bisaya is the 2nd largest language, next to Tagalog, the national language. Initially, I had really hoped the 400 years of Spanish rule would’ve had more influence on the language, but not so. Counting, telling time and a few other words are the only things the same as Spanish. The rest is all new to me, and learning it is a slow process. Especially at age 37. 😉

As most of you know, I was feeding street kids on a regular basis for the first 7-8 months. The problem is, that everyone is hungry and it’s really hard to tell who is most hungry. A kid who eats two good meal per day will be very hungry, but so will the kid who hasn’t eaten anything all day, but doesn’t want to go back home, if he even has a home. Then you have the street vendor’s kids who have are poor, but have an okay life. Do I feed them? How about the 20 year old who hasn’t eaten much for days? Why hasn’t he eaten? Drugs, laziness, can’t find work? It’s really hard to help when it’s just me and everyone wants something for free. Also, what is the long term gain for these people, or God’s kingdom? For this reason, I have stopped feeding the kids and have been praying that Jesus would show me a more effective way. – I think I’ve found it.

As school winds down in the US, here in the Philippines the kids are just coming off summer break. School resumes in June each year and I now have 6 street children asking me to send them to school. What’s crazy is that if they don’t get enrolled in the first two weeks, they have to wait until the next year. Goofy system, I know. Although school is free down here, they must wear a uniform and also have notebooks, pens, and money for additional expenses and a daily meal. Most of them don’t have shoes or a book bag, nor money to eat one good meal per day. Especially if they’re going to school and are no longer able to work parking motorcycles, or collecting tin cans, cardboard, etc.

One of the street kids I want to help is Kenneth. He’s 14 and has won awards in school in previous years. You can just tell he’s a really bright kid, but hardships come along and he has to miss two years of school…if he ever even gets to go back at all. I’m convinced this kid, as well as the five others, will actually make a difference in their life and the lives of those around them if they can just get an education and break the cycle.

Financially, I could probably swing it, but I would really like to have others involved in this. I think $20 to get them started and then maybe $10/mo thereafter, per kid, would do it. Ideally, you could even get in contact with the teacher. They have access to email and most are crazy about facebook, etc., but the kids won’t have access of course. You could hear about their progress through their teachers and know first hand how they are doing. I know without a doubt it’s the most effective way to make a difference down here. For those of us who are Christian, it’s really cool, because Christianity is still taught in the public schools here.

If there is extra money left over, I can easily talk with the teachers at the 3 different schools. According to one of my friends down here, they have students who are very bright, but very poor and have extremely urgent financial needs like fees to pay, books and supplies to buy, and are on the verge of being expelled. It’s also hard to get good grades when you are so hungry. Maybe all you had for breakfast was a small dried fish, nothing for lunch and maybe more dried fish and a little rice for dinner. Times are really tough for many families, especially those who weren’t able to graduate high school or have a relative overseas sending money back home. Teachers down here make pretty good money, ($15+/day) and many of them do what they can to help the really serious students, out of their own personal funds. I feel confident that the money would be spend wisely.

For a poor family to change their course, they must have a kid that graduates school and ultimately becomes a “degree holder”, by going to trade school or college. One kid graduating from college can make $15/day, which means the family can survive and even prosper. Two kids graduating and getting a job overseas could mean a new house and many more kids going to school.

If you really want to make a difference in a third world country, but are mistrusting because of the scams on TV. You know me and can trust that I will make sure 100% of your money goes to getting kids educated. Lastly, if you know someone you think would want to help, please forward this email to them so I can help get these kids back into school again. Either way, just email me back at dave@davetrosdahl.com and we can come up with a plan.

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God bless!

Dave Trosdahl

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