Drop-in centre, nominations, football and general craziness!
The last few weeks (as normal) have been so random, unpredictable and full of laughter with some tears mixed it (which of course I’m not going to dwell on or talk about).
The drop-in centre has been getting slowly busier and busier. There are now lots more children coming in who are working children along side our football kids this makes for between 20 – 30 kids a day! A lot of kids indeed! We are, as before, giving them basic education, watching movies, playing games and cooking dinner for them. I’m excited to see how much the centre is growing in such a short space of time, how word of mouth is getting around and how we are slowly gaining the respect and building relationships with the neighbours and others in Payatas. The challenge we are currently facing is making sure we have enough people to run the centre, supervise and help the kids. We are planning in the next month to employ a social worker who will enable us to figure out what is happening with the children professionally and find the best long-term solution for them to give them the best chance at life. Following that perhaps we will employ another member of staff to help with the supervising and teaching of the children. For now that all depends on the right opportunity and the right funding.
The next exciting thing that has happened in the last few weeks is my nomination to win ‘charity women of the year’ in the UK. I was nominated several months ago by a women I knew from my dad’s church (for those that don’t know, my dad is a vicar) and I remember at the time being very touched that someone thought highly enough of me to nominate me for such an award but at the same time thinking that nothing would really come from it as I am still young. However, the other day I got messaged from my mum telling me I had been shortlisted for the award and had to go for an interview in London on the 18th of April. I was so shocked and walked around in a kind of surreal bubble for the evening. Also that evening the Azkals won a big game and made it to the semi finals of the AFC challenge cup, that evening was full of happiness! After the amazement had worn of it was time to figure out if I could get back to the UK in time for the interview and if I was able to, who would be able to look after the house. After a few days I was able to sort flights and also organise someone to look after the house for the time I would be away as Roy would also be away for a holiday in the UK at this point. I am still shocked by being shortlisted and in some ways still don’t think I deserve as I know how many amazing women there are in the UK who have also done amazing things for charity and so I feel truly truly honored and touched and surprised to have been shortlisted and I’m so grateful to all those people who have and do believe in me and support me! I’m also so thankful to all those who I work with both here and in the UK and to the amazing kids I’m lucky enough to work with. I couldn’t have been shortlisted for this award without you all and I will do my best in the interview for the kids and everyone involved!
This month has also been a month of tournaments for the kids. Every Sunday apart from 1 this month the kids have had tournaments, 2 friendlies and 1 competitive. The friendlies went well and the kids learnt lots from them, both about playing style and about interacting with other teams. The competitive tournament both teams came fourth and all the teams played well especially considering the dust and heat!
Also, speaking of tournaments, there was also today (April 1) called the FEFA – Palami tournament on the artificial turf in Manila. It was for any adult who wanted to play and some of my friends joined as they are all football fans and most of them also play for fun to. It was so much fun to watch people who you normally cheer along side in the crowd or who are normally organising games actually play. It was very fun and congrats to everyone who played and organised it 🙂
So, as the title of this blog may suggest and as you may have just read, things have been busy and at times a touch crazy. It’s funny the way things work out sometimes, when unexpected stresses or joys come along. I was watching a film before and in it (as I’m sure many people have heard) they say ‘the bad days make the good days better’ and that is really true! The good times this month (which have really been a fair few) have really been amazing and now it’s time for April and with a visit back to the UK and what could be the most important interview of my life to date coming up, it is sure to be an interesting month!