Using Music to Promote Education for the Poor
August 14, 2019

Dear friends and family,

Welcome to the latest edition of IT Tender's newsletter. May you be inspired by these updates and stories of the transformation happening here in our community in Manila, Philippines.

Using Music to Promote Education for the Poor
Research shows that the first five years of life are a time of enormous growth in linguistic, conceptual, and social competence. Widely accepted studies from Harvard University reveal that the brain is most flexible, or “plastic,” early in life to accommodate a wide range of environments and interactions, but as the maturing brain becomes more specialized to assume more complex functions, it is less capable of reorganizing and adapting to new or unexpected challenges. This is why the first few years of life are so crucial for development. We should thus "feed" young brains with as much knowledge (factual and experiential) as possible.

Preschools or daycare centers are integral in nurturing the linguistic, conceptual and social competence of young minds. The reality in Manila is that the government cannot provide free preschools for each urban poor community. However, they want to work with us to bring quality preschool education to those poor communities beyond their current capacity. By partenering with both the local government and also a successful chain of private preschools, we've developed an excellent, UNICEF-approved curriculum and budgeted everything we need to re-launch our daycare in September with the highest quality of materials, lessons and resources that will empower and prepare toddlers from the slums for elementary school.

This is where YOU come in. On August 31st, we are holding an epic benefit concert with part of the proceeds supporting the launch of our daycare center in September! Proceeds will provide for the preschool books, classroom equipment, classroom renovations and more. Each ticket costs just $20!

If you can't attend this amazing show with a world-class Filipino choir performing in Manila on August 31st, don't fret. We'll send a street-involved youth from our community in your place to enjoy this enriching concert.

We still need to raise another $2,410 for the set-up of our new daycare for the urban poor. You can help us reach that goal. Donors in Canada & the USA can click here to give. Donors in the UK can click here to give, while donors in the Philippines can email John Coffey at for info on how to give.

Thank you for your support!

"Wumba" Kids Camp

In partnership with WMB Church in Ontario, we were able to run our second annual "Wumba Camp" for 60 children and youth from IT Tender.  For three days and two nights, the campers enjoyed lessons, crafts, games and more. Also, for the past few months, IT Tender has been graced with the volunteerism of a British, short-term visitor named Samantha (or "Sam" for short). Sam's first activity upon arriving in Manila was to assist us in running the camp. Talk about diving in head first! She took the time to write this article about the camp...

"Before I left England for four months to volunteer with IT Tender in the Philippines, I was delighted to learn that I would have the opportunity to join the IT Tender summer kids camp.

Following my arrival to the Philippines, I had around two days to settle and recover from jet lag, and then it was off to camp. The children’s energy and excitement about going to camp made any feelings of tiredness that I may have had vanish.

I have the upmost praise for the youth volunteers at the camp. The youth were amazing with the younger children and were a key part to the overall success of the camp, whether they were cabin leaders, helping the children with activities or on the cooking team. I am sure that they enjoyed the camp as well.

It was clear that all the children and youth were exceptionally excited about swimming at the camp, as the site had various natural spring water swimming areas. The children at the camp are all from the city of Metro Manila so the opportunity to swim was an incredible experience from them.

The activities at the camp included making beaded bracelets, decorating crowns and playing games. On the last night of the camp a banquet/party was held, for which the children dressed up, awards were given, as well as lots of singing and dancing took place! It was a really special evening.  

were various moments that stood out to me over the few days of camp. One personal highlight was having the opportunity to teach some of the children to swim, or at least to float/be less fearful of water.

Thank you (on behalf of the children) and well done to everyone who was involved with the kids camp. To anyone that sponsors any of these children, I can assure you that they got so much from it, and I have no doubt that it was an  unforgettable experience for them.

As the school year is about to start in the Philippines (and IT Tender focuses on education), I would urge you to consider sponsoring a child if you do not already do this (by emailing If you already do, thank you, and please share information about sponsoring a child with your friends and family. We want to change individual lives and communities together for the better - we are blessed to bless others. Thank you for reading."

To see more pictures and stories from the kids camp, click here to see an article from John & Jam's blog "The Coffey Press".

Other Happenings at IT Tender

Recently, a family and their friends generously offered their time and talents to help the children of IT Tender paint a mural on the outside of our drop-in center. They also provided food, games and activities for the children. This was all in honor of a compassionate young man who passed away in his teens, but he would have been 18 years old on the day of this party. We celebrated in Ben's honor because Ben loved to reach out to the needy and marginalized. We want to thank Ben's parents Glennda & George, their family, and all of Ben's friends and schoolmates who came to bring joy to the children and to paint this mural in Ben's memory.

This summer we also invited the local fire department to teach our staff and youth volunteers what to do in case of a fire at Tender or at home. This was particularly impactful for many of our youth who lost their homes two years ago when the Napacor community was destroyed by a fire. We are truly grateful for the time and wisdom shared by the brave firefighters who visited out center.

Over the last year, we've been particularly grateful for the volunteerism of a Filipino teacher named Grace. Grace provides English tutorials for a small group of children at IT Tender, and soon she will be teaching at our daycare in September. Grace and her partner Keith recently treated Grace's tutorial students on a fun outing to an interactive museum called "Art in Island". Thank you Grace and Keith for all you do to support and encourage the children!

Take care, and thank you for all your support and prayers.

- The IT Tender Family