Visit to SewAID Philippines August 2016

Report from our Visit to Sewaid Gingoog Mindanao Philippines August 7th to 12th
After an interesting day in Manila with Days for Girls and Rotary (please see separate report) we were to fly to Cagayan de Oro at 3 pm on the Monday. After huge delays due to bad weather we finally got away at 9pm after a 6 hour wait at the airport – not much fun.
We were travelling with a Rotary team from the Rotary Club of Burwood in Sydney. On arrival at the Cagayan de Oro ( CDO) airport the Rotary team climbed aboard a bus which then drove them 4 hours to Gingoog. I am sure they were tired when they arrived. Sandra and I were picked up by Maggie and Roy from our Sewaid and we dove into CDO (1 hour) and stayed overnight at the very nice LUXE Hotel. In the morning we attended a Conference for ACTVET. Maggie is a founding member of this organisation which is an association of vocational education executives. It was a very good conference and Sandra and I were made honorary members. The guest speaker was Peter Lavina the Press Secretary for the new President Duterte,
After lunch we drove onto Gingoog ( 3 hours ) and checked into our not so nice Mountain Air Hotel – the only hotel in Gingoog.
The next couple of days were spent visiting sites and having discussions with Maggie re the building of a prospective new vocational school for Sewaid. At the same time the Rotary team were visiting schools and checking out Rotary’s Days for Girls distribution and Educational programs. We were fortunate to catch some of these, and especially a spectacular event at Medina High where 1,200 girls took part in the program and some 250 DFG kits were given out on the day !
On Thursday afternoon the Rotary Team visited our Sewaid and we showed then around the workshop and one of the sewers gave a small sewing demonstration making a DFG shield in about 5 minutes flat! Then some of our sewing ladies gave a little talk on what Sewaid has been to them followed by our lovely Maggie who said a few words about how the ladies had progressed in their lives since Sewaid. Then some of the SewAid ladies preformed a little entertaining “ dance”, and then they put on a very nice afternoon tea out in the yard. Altogether I feel sure the Rotarians enjoyed their visit to Sewaid.
Friday 12th Maggie and Roy ran us to Butuan ( 1 ½ hours ) where we caught a flight to Manila, Bangkok and then Yangon in Myanmar.
The Rotary team left on the following Monday after returning to CDO for a one overnight stay there.
Sewaid Report
The Gingoog Sewaid is still doing extremely well. They sew almost anything and even made shirts, skirts and pants for some of the Rotary team members. They also made all the lovey DFG vests that the team wore throughout their visit. Sewaid makes all the DFG kits for the DFG program there ,and while we there we also got an order for 500 kits from Samaritans Purse which came thru DFG USA.
We are also now taking on vocational training for adults and year 12 students. The last class that finished in May was 32 but the new one starting in September will be 75 !! So we need that new building. There is still much to work out re the new building but we can do this until after Maggie gets back from a couple of months stay in the USA with her sister in law.
More detail can be found on our website under news and Philippines.
Tony Castley