1) To help unsponsored children while they are awaiting sponsorship 

2) An emergency fund during calamities 

3) For community infrastructure such as toilets to help kids stay healthy.

Every year since we started helping sea-dwelling children, we’ve received unexpected news that a Badjao child has become fatally ill or has died. In a community of approximately 220 children, such deaths are always familiar while at the same time always startling. Moreover, sometimes they catch us financially unprepared to assist the family through the emergency or bereavement. 

We are continually on the lookout for new child sponsors to cover basic education and nutritional needs for each child. However, approximately half the children we help daily do not have a monthly sponsor, so, we cover their expenses through our general fund. This fund has been sustained by sporadic donations which, though always welcome, are unreliable. 

When Louella, a ten-year old child, died last year, it was particularly devastating for me—she was one of the children I had gotten to know well after her father had died in an unfortunate fishing accident. Not long after his death, Louella succumbed to acute meningitis and, just a few days later, died herself. We had no fund to tap into to meet her medical or burial expenses. The same was true of five-year old Pia who drowned one night a couple of years earlier.

Louella’s tragic death has spurred us to prepare for the accidents and inevitable unexpected life events that strike our vulnerable community. We want to be able to comfort and help the children and their families, not only during happy routine days of school and activities, but to be prepared when tragedies strike as well. To this end, we are setting up an emergency fund to assist more children like Louella through sudden illness, accident, or death and to fill the gap when there isn’t enough child sponsorship income to meet a child’s basic educational expenses.

Here’s where you come in. I’m writing to ask for your ongoing support of an emergency fund. Our goal is to raise $36,000 each year, which could be achieved by thirty individuals giving $100 each month. Or a church or civic organization to pledge for one month — $3000. Will you consider being a monthly partner to Louella’s Fund?