The second shipment of shoes arrived recently from the Hong Kong Marzo family after another successful school collection. The collections are quickly expanding and spreading to other schools in Hong Kong thanks to their joint efforts. If you missed the story behind SOS and the shoe donations you can find more info here: http://siargaosurf.com/save-our-soles-consuelo/
After the completion of a new cement tourist road in Siargao, local kids have been quick to pick up their new found passion, skateboarding. Featured in the picture above the ‘PangPang’ skateboarder boys. Pang Pang is a small subdivision in the town of General Luna and these local kids can be found cruising up and down the road sharing between them 2 skateboards which have be generously left by visiting tourists. Prior to the latest SOS shipment they were skating barefoot or in flip-flops, not ideal footwear for a cement road boardsport! The boys were stoked to get their new footwear – and eager to help others on the island, one of the boys, WaWa, suggested we could donate some shoes to Siargao’s orphanage – A Thousand Smiles.A Thousand Smiles Children’s Home
A Thousand Smiles is home to 28 children from a range of backgrounds. Although the home is a great support for them they still lack many basics including shoes. Again like the previous donation in Consuelo we gathered shoes sizes by a simple outline drawing of the childrens feet.
The children at the orphanage despite being extremely shy, expressed sincere gratitude for the donations and were intrigued as to where and who the shoes came from. Each one of the children passed on many thanks to all of the previous owners of the shoes!
After feedback from the previous donations we were told it would be a great idea if we could also include books in the shipment from Hong Kong. And so we sorted through some 200 books a selection of suitable reads for the orphanage. Children in Siargao and the Philippines in general speak excellent English and so the books were very well received and we heard kids reading aloud as soon as we distributed the books.
One of the helpers from the orphanage now plans to dedicate one night per week to a ‘book night’ where the children will all spend time reading and sharing stories.
Next on the agenda was the adult sized shoes. Siargao has a developing tourism industry at present and so there are many construction sites in progress. The local construction workers almost never wear shoes and do there manual work in flip flops often walking over wood with nails and sharp rubble. After asking a several workers why they didn’t wear shoes their reason was because they simply can’t afford any. Hardly surprising when the average salary for a laborer here is $6US/day. We thought it would be a great idea to provide shoes to some of these workers and hopefully help prevent any unnecessary accidents.
Whilst taking the picture of the construction guys wearing their new shoes the towns trash collection service passed by. Seeing the construction workers all kitted out in new shoes they asked for a piece of the action – suggesting their work was a lot harder, more dangerous and smellier than the construction workers! We also gave some shoes to the trash collectors.
Thanks again to the Marzo family and everyone in Hong Kong for the donations, the generosity is much appreciated here!