New Romblon building currently being built

Romblon Filled to Capacity but New Build on Track

August 21, 2023 Pauline Curtis-Smith Comments Off

I recently returned from my trip to the Philippines with a renewed drive to see our Romblon building project completed! Sadly, the need for a caring home for children in crisis is great in Romblon, and our current children’s home is bursting at the seams. With our second building on the same site almost complete, now we look towards the funding needed to fit-out and accommodate the children.

To get to our Romblon Children’s Home it’s quite a trip! On arriving in Manila, you’ll drive 2 to 3 hours to Batangas Port, then board a ferry for a nine-hour trip. Romblon is an island of beautiful beaches and some of the best marble quarries in the world. Sadly, it’s also an island with many problems, hence the desperate need for Ruel Foundation to base a children’s home here back in 2016.

The First Romblon Children’s Home

We began by renting a house in Romblon, but by the middle of 2022 the house was full and the rent kept going up. This meant we could not accept any more children and were struggling to pay the rent. This was a great concern for us because there was so much need on the island.

One day we were asked if we would take in a 5-year-old girl (Miss M). She was being horribly abused by two men related to her family and she desperately needed to get out. We were beyond capacity in the current Romblon house and it was this moment that we realised something more had to be done.

Pauline and Michaela who was rescued from an abusive home
Pauline and Miss M shortly after arriving at Romblon Children’s Home

Purchasing a Property

We decided to step out and start looking for a property that we could purchase. It wasn’t long before we were able to find the perfect property!

Four bedrooms, fully fenced with a section adjoining, ideal for expansion – perfect for our situation! It needed quite a bit of work to be done including painting, fixing the gutters, and adding an extension to provide a dining room.

Amazingly, due to the generosity of many people, we were able to purchase the property freehold! We immediately began accepting more children in need.

Within six months however, we were full again!

This time, we were fortunate that we had enough land to expand, so we started fundraising to build a second building. Again, due to the generosity of many kind-hearted people, we managed to raise the finances needed to fund this additional building!

beginning stages of the new romblon childrens home philippines
Progress photos of the new building at Romblon
childrens home romblon almost complete

Currently we’re halfway through the build and it’s coming along well. However, now we’re faced with the challenge of equipping and furnishing the building.

From paint, showers, beds, mattresses, wardrobes, bedding; there is still so much needed before we can house more children here. More children also means hiring more staff and a second social worker.

So, once again we are appealing to the generosity of donors to enable us to complete the project and help more children.

Once complete, the new building will be able to house an additional 20 children, as well as an office, staff room and a guest room for volunteers.

Already we have children waiting, in desperate need of our help. Just last week our team picked up three children who had been abandoned by their parents. We managed to squeeze them in but we’re now full to overflowing!

How You Can Help

1) One-off donation to help fit out and equip the building so it will be ready to accept more children

2) Sponsor a child in our Romblon Children’s Home

From as little as $50 per month, you will be helping rescue a child in crisis; from abandonment, abuse, neglect, the death of parents or severe malnourishment.

The cost of education, care, food, medicine, counselling and lodging is ongoing, which is why we value the ongoing commitment of our sponsors to keep our children’s home functioning.

Child sponsors have the privilege of watching their sponsor child grow and flourish through regular updates. Through this they’re able to measure the huge impact they’re making in these children’s lives.

Every time I return to the Philippines I witness the difference that care, safety and security has on the lives of these dear children. I’m so grateful to our faithful donors who have partnered with us on this journey.