Name of Missionary: John Coffey
Title: Team Leader of IT Tender
Name of Ministry: IT Tender
Nature of Ministry: Education for Street Children & Youth
IT Tender empowers children in Metro Manila, Philippines to become educated and responsible leaders in their community.
The ministry specialises in education for “street children” and their families. Programmes range from early childhood and pre-school, through to tutoring for out-of-school youth preparing for high school equivalency exams.
Runaways and children addicted to solvents also find welcome and community here, along with food, hygiene care and mentoring. The goal is that children and families become Christ-centred, responsible and self-sustaining.
You can join our cause through prayer. We believe that pray makes a difference in everything we do.
- IT Tender asks for continued prayer for the health and well being of our staff and their families.
- Please also pray for transformation in the community, as children and youth accept Christ, find hope and complete their education to discover a brighter future.
- IT Tender also needs prayer for the long term plans of establishing a K-12 school.
There are many ways you can give of your resources and time to support IT Tender. IT Tender is praying primarily for monthly financial support for the operational costs of our programmes and drop-in center. The ministry is also praying for old/used laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras.
Volunteers are also welcome to come and experience short or long-term missions with IT Tender through iTeams (International Teams UK). These volunteers would be assisting in our various children and youth programmes.
One example of how lives are being changed through our programmes is a boy named Jericho.
Jericho is 12 years old and lives with his family in the Napacor community in Manila. Napacor is named after an electricity supplier because the shanties there have been built around one of their active electricity towers. Approximately 70 families live in Napacor, located directly behind the IT Tender drop-in center and have no water or electricity. Despite their living conditions, Jericho told IT Tender’s social worker that he is happy with his family life because his parents are still together and they don’t fight.
Jericho has been part of the Night Life Children’s programme since it started in 2013. The Night Life programme runs once a week and allows children living in local squatter communities to come to the drop-in center and use the hygiene facilities, learn that they are loved by God and enjoy a hot, healthy meal.
The IT Tender team was aware that Jericho wasn’t attending school and regularly saw him begging on local jeepneys (Filipino public transport). Unlike most other children who ask for money on jeeps, Jericho would sing and we mean really sing! IT Tender staff discourage the children, including Jericho, from begging, but as Jericho explained to us, he begs because this way he can buy himself new clothes that his family might otherwise not be able to afford.
The goal of the Night Life programme, along with giving children a safe place to come once a week and help with some of their physical needs, is to refer them onto our Sponsor-A-Child Now (SACN) programme. Despite public schools being free, the cost of the uniform, supplies, transportation and lunches mean a lot of parents simply cannot afford to send their children regularly to school. Hence many children, like Jericho drop out of the education system and beg or scavenge to help financially support their families. SACN gives these children the opportunity to return to school and take part in extracurricular activities run by IT Tender such as educational field trips and family retreats. Most importantly, SACN gives children hope and the opportunity for a better future.
By God’s grace, at the start of 2015, IT Tender found a new sponsor and Jericho is now enrolled in grade 6, regularly attending classes and no longer begging. He wants to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. Jericho is a quiet student but assures us he has lots of friends in his class. He will be graduating from elementary school in April but his sponsorship will continue, so that as long as he is committed, Jericho will be able to complete his studies and graduate from High School.
In his own words Jericho told us, “I am grateful because I am chosen to be a sponsor child. I hope I will learn so much from you and the programme. May God bless you.”
Please pray for Jericho – that he will continue to thrive at school, be able to develop his singing voice and be a positive role model within his family, school and community over the coming years.