During the recent Spring Break, TCIS sent three international teams of Middle and High School students to serve in locations around Asia. These trips are some of the most memorable for students and a prime example of efforts to "cultivate internationally-minded learners who lead in purposeful change."
Today, we will highlight the third of these three teams – those who traveled to Manila, Philippines.
Our partnership with Kids International Ministries started through a TCIS family introduction. Where many organizations develop around a cause or issue, this ministry center began when a foreign family teaching locally asked, "Can't we do more to help?" That family left their teaching job and began to organize their local community in Manila, addressing the many needs in that community; from there, moving into the surrounding communities – mobilizing direct support, and connecting the communities to support each other.
Working out of the central volunteer center, TCIS teams join the work in the ministry center and with the local church. The opportunities for student involvement are varied and ever-changing, depending on what is happening when we visit. Teams generally engage in education with local schools, childcare in the local children's home, assisting at local food distribution sites, maintenance and cleanup, and construction. Teams have also, in the past, been involved with literacy programs, assisting doctors in basic medical care, and sports programs.
The LASA Manila Trip is a slightly different trip as it is for Grade 8 Students only. The ministry center is well set up for organized hosting and experienced in receiving many volunteer teams throughout the year. The ministry center is also good about connecting a team's talents and abilities with the needs in their community.
For many grade 8 students, this is the first time they come face-to-face with the issues and conditions presented on the trip. The focus is to make it a positive and life-changing experience, helping students understand and process what they see. This is often a pivotal point in their lives as they learn their capacity for doing good for others.