Sofia's Winter Break...by Sofia De Los Santos
For winter break, my family and relatives all traveled to Boracay, Philippines, in total there were around 60+ of my family that traveled from several states (California, Washington, Georgia, Texas, and Indianapolis) in America and as far away as Australia. For what specific reason? In order to provide much needed medical care, dental clinic, optometry, and school building renovation. My Aunt and Uncle Grace and Marvin Stutz, were the people who planned and organized the whole trip including the medical, dental, optometry, and renovation outreach. For security reasons, there were also Marine Soldiers at the clinic at the entrance guarding and protecting the village in case anything dangerous happened. Interestingly, these very soldiers ended up getting treated in the dental clinic and had some of their teeth pulled.
Grace and Marvin sponsor a pre-K to 12th grade school in Boracay, called Mission of Love Integrated School. This school is also the home for the two ministers, Sister Mariza and Pastor Gie (gee), who oversee the school program and outreach to the local Aboriginal tribe.
Some of their students are from a village called The Ati Village. A piece of land around 2 acres, where the government has forced the Aboriginal (Ati) people to live. The native people of the island. They were given that area because businesses wanted the beach front for shops and restaurants, so the Ati people kept getting pushed farther and farther away the good parts of the beach. Where the Ati people live is so windy that you could be knocked over. They are also discriminated and treated unfairly, which lead to be seperated and keeping distance from the Ati. The students have to walk about 1-2 miles everyday to get to school.
The students live in extreme poverty, which means they very limited money to pay for food, medicine and/or school. Sister Marissa and Pastor Gie subsidized the tuition for the Ati children. They try and ask for donations so that they can pay for other needs (electricity, property, etc). Their income is from donations and a little bit of work they do on the side.
The day before my family and relatives and I began the medical dental, optometry, and renovation outreach, we went to the Ati village to meet some of the people we would be helping and set up the tables and for the designated areas.
There was 5 Areas,
-Waiting Area with Paster Mariza
-Activity Area and the opportunity to pray
-Doctor area/medical area
-Pharmacy Area (Prescribed ones only)
My 60+ relatives and my family wanted to help these people. That’s why Grace and Marvin Stutz planned out the medical, dental, optometry, and renovation outreach. On December 28, we visited Sister Marissa and Pastor Gie’s school so that later on when we came back to renovate we knew what we needed to do. The classrooms are small with mold and little ventilation, the MPR is around the size of a classroom with half break-out room at AGLA. Their kitchen (which is for home and for staff) is around 40 square feet. Seeing how the classrooms, MPR, and the rest of Sister Marissa and Pastor Gie’s home is made me realize how fortunate I am to go to a school that has more than enough space for a class in one room, does not have mold growing with students breathing it in, and has ventilation and an AC unit. In addition to that, I’m also fortunate for having an MPR that provides enough room and have a “Staff Kitchen” that is big enough where it offers a learning environment for students to do projects in.
To see Sofia's slideshow presentation, please look at