“I can’t say I came away from the trip feeling I’d had a ‘lovely’ time, it’s not a holiday; but I can come away from it saying I felt truly humbled and completely overwhelmed,” said Aimee. Aimee and her co-worker, Yat Jing, from the Royal Bank of Scotland traveled down to Bacolod City to visit ICM’s programs and hand out Box of Hope gifts to children in our programs.
Aimee shares, “My decision to participate in the trip was not because I wanted to ‘change the world’ or to try and ‘find myself’ but more out of interest, to see how other people lived, to understand how a different culture viewed ‘giving’ and to maybe make some children feel happy! After the first hour of being in Bacolod you grow to love the place.”
It’s not somewhere for the easily shocked, as we discovered when invited to look at Angelito’s house, a mere shack which he shared with his family of 9. I saw a tiny boy standing next to his baby brother dangling in a rag from the roof beside him.
Arriving back in Hong Kong after the trip is quite surreal… there you are surrounded by huge skyscrapers, flash shopping malls and people head to toe in designer clothes, when only hours before you were watching children being fed at a malnutrition centre. For the cost of one meal in a fancy restaurant, ICM are able to provide one child like Angelito a year of education. Now that’s food for thought! Through our corporate donation matching scheme I am able to partner with ICM to help 24 kids receive education. And would I do the trip again? For sure!”
Yat Jing shares, “If there is one word to describe this trip, I would say it was ENRICHING. Personally I returned to Hong Kong with a richer knowledge of International Care Ministries and Box of Hope, and a belief that indeed it is a privilege to help. I had an extremely rich life experience.
Bacolod houses the second largest slum in The Philippines. It was heart-wrenching to witness before our very own eyes a young boy, 8 years old living in a shack with no walls: totally exposed to the rain and sun. Angelito lives with his family of 9 adjacent to a stinky and polluted swamp. He and his little brother were left unsupervised at the shack when we visited. Both his mum and dad were working, leaving the two babies suspended in hammocks all day. I noticed Angelito had a lovely disposition.
It dawned on me that despite being poor, the ICM recipients we met were happy, courteous and carried themselves. It is sad to see how underprivileged some are in this world. I was convicted of how important and pertinent education is to eradicating poverty. Early education to children and livelihood education to adults are equally important. Every one of us deserves a chance to perform when given the opportunity.
I was shocked to learn from ICM that only HKD280 per month can sponsor so many kids in Bacolod from early education to high school! I salute the International Care Ministries staff who have such big hearts and passion.