Press Release


8 February 2018


Students from Sholing, Southampton are continuing a long association with The Philippines which started in 2008 when a group of students from Grove Park Business and Enterprise College travelled to the country to build a playground for deprived children in Tondo, Manila, one of the poorest areas anywhere in The Philippines.

Further groups from The Sholing Technology College (TSTC) followed in their footsteps in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 each team embarking on ambitious projects to improve the quality of life for the dumpsite and warehouse communities living in desperate conditions in the Tondo district of Manila on the north shore of Manila Bay.

The 2016 project focused on two projects, the first at the Philippine Christian Foundation (PCF) school at Paradise Heights in the shadow of the infamous Smokey Mountain dumpsite in Manila, and the second in Tacloban and Tolosa on the island of Leyte where the team built two separate playgrounds for local children, donated by Playdale Playgrounds of Cumbria, painted two ambitious wall murals and assisted with feeding programmes for the local community.

On 8th November 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan, a category 5 storm locally known as Yolanda, swept across the Central Philippine Islands. More than 6,000 people were killed and more than half a million people were made homeless.

The worst hit area was Tacloban City, a coastal town of 200,000 people and provincial capital of the island of Leyte. Most of Tacloban City and the surrounding area is very low lying, and although devastating winds of up to 170mph hit the region, the greatest devastation was a storm surge which produced a wall of water twelve metres high,destroying all but the most substantial buildings. Ocean going ships were picked up like small toys and deposited hundreds of metres inland by the force of the surge.

The 2018 team, all ex students of TSTC, will travel to the Philippines at Easter next year to continue the work in Tacloban and Tolosa, started by the 2016 team last year. From their base at the Kids International Ministries-The Lighthouse near Palo Bridge, Tacloban, the team will run summer activities for children at elementary schools in the surrounding area and help to run feeding programmes in the local community.

The team will also undertake a house building project which will provide much needed accommodation for families still living in temporary shelters since the 2013 typhoon. Each unit will cost in the region of $4,000 US and the team is fundraising to pay for three units.The houses will be of block work construction on a 25 sq m floor area (5m x 5m) and using local lumber for roof trusses covered with corrugated GI roof sheeting, a massive improvement to the structures which were erected in the aftermath of the typhoon to provide temporary shelter to displaced families.

The team is also working closely with the Hedge End based Purple Community Fund (formerly the Philippine Community Fund), founded more than ten years ago by British national, Jane Walker MBE and a shared 40ft container was loaded at the end of November.

Storage facilities for donations including toys, tools, school stationery, health products, sports kit and sports equipment were generously provided by Ready Steady Store at Eastleigh, where the container was loaded.

The container, which was donated by APL also contained more than two thousand “Gift of Joy” shoeboxes collected by Rotary groups around the South of England plus donations from the charities School in a Bag and Literacy in a Box and arrived in The Philippines in late January where the contents were distributed to communities in Cainta and Tondo in Manila, and in Tacloban and Tolosa on the island of Leyte.

In addition to raising the funds to cover their personal contributions, the team is also committed to raising in the region of £15,000 to cover the cost of their projects in The Philippines and have been engaged on a number of fundraising events including two Race Nights, a Quiz Night, a Grand Christmas Draw and a Charity Golf Day hosted by The Skylark Golf and Country Club in Whiteley, Fareham.

On Friday 9th February the team will complete their fundraising with a glittering Charity Ball which is also being hosted by The Skylark Golf and Country Club who have generously adopted the project as their chosen charity this year.

This brings a spectacular end to the fundraising activities of the 2018 team.

This Project will take 25 young people with 6 staff, 7,000 miles around the world to make a difference to the lives of extremely disadvantaged children, and their families.

They learn from each other, they learn about each other, and above all they learn about themselves. The experience also teaches everyone to put others before themselves and these projects have made a life changing impact on all who take part.

You can’t change the world, but you can change someone’s world

For details of our past projects in the Philippines go to

or more information about the 2018 Project, contact the Project Leader, Dave Berry, telephone 07780 987522 or by e-mail at