Where It All Began

Meet Ruel

In 1999, New Zealander, David Cowie, visited Eastern Samar in the Philippines. During a visit to a local hospital with Mrs Annie Ambil (the wife of the then Governor of Eastern Samar), he came across a small boy named Ruel.

Ruel’s small, emaciated body lay on a simple steel bed in this under-staffed and under-resourced facility. His face was scarred by a double cleft lip and palate, causing serious difficulty in swallowing. With his tiny body wracked with viruses and infections, Ruel was near death.

With the help of Governor Ambil and his wife, Ruel received the food supplements needed to sustain his life, whilst David raised the necessary funds for Ruel’s surgery.

In a process taking years, Ruel was nurtured to health and given life-altering surgeries. Today Ruel has made a full recovery and is now a healthy growing boy!

Ruel’s story was the founding of the Ruel Foundation. Today the Ruel Foundation has helped thousands of children and their families in the Philippines.

Ruel represents hundreds of thousands of forgotten and unwanted children dying in isolated villages and towns in developing nations, where medical help is actually within reach.

Our Vision​

Bringing healing, love, hope and a future to children in crisis.

Our Mission​

To provide a loving home to infants and children in crisis situations where they have been malnourished, orphaned, abused or abandoned.

To provide free operations to children with cleft lip or palates. 

children at ruel foundation

Ruel Foundation brings the love of Christ to some of the most impoverished children in the Philippines, bringing them health, healing and improved quality of life.

We are team are compassionate, caring and committed people who believe that we can make a difference by our actions. 

Each of our children have their own unique story; they come to us beautifully broken. Through love and care they are made whole again; prepared to be reunited with their extended family or start a new life with their “forever family”.

The Ruel Foundation is a fully registered Charitable Trust in New Zealand (CC11212) and the USA 501(c)3.


Changing Childrens' Lives

Together We Can Make a Difference

With the generous help of our donors the Ruel Foundation has helped change the lives of hundreds of children in the Philippines.



Cleft Palate Surgeries



Children Sponsored

together we can make a difference. Hands in a circle

What We Do

How We Make a Difference

pauline hugging children at Ruel

Rescuing Children

We provide children in crisis, who are orphaned, abused or abandoned, with a loving, safe home and education.

cleft palate surgeries

Free Surgeries

We provide cleft lip, cleft palate & other life changing surgeries for children in desperate need at no cost whatsoever to the patient.

pauline giving a food parcel to a woman during their community outreach

Community Outreach

We provide food parcels and emergency relief to poverty-stricken tribal areas, and assist in natural disasters.

See the impact we're making in the lives of children in the Philippines


What People Have Said After Visiting Ruel

  • As a family we travelled with our 2 girls to Ruel to meet and welcome our son into our family. We are so grateful for the experience we had at Ruel and the warm welcome we received. It is evident that the children are loved and cared for by a team of dedicated staff in a clean and caring environment.

    mcCrystal family adopting Nathan
    McCrystal Family
  • My name is Daniel Molina. I had the privilege of traveling with a small group from Texas to the Philippines to assist at the Ruel Foundation. This was my first mission trip and an experience that I find hard to put into words. I often say it was one of the best and worst things that I have ever done.

    Daniel Molina