|'Santa Fredo' gives a child his Christmas presents|
A FILIPINO journalist has played “Santa” to some 200 unfortunate children at a day-care facility in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Port Moresby-based Alfredo P Hernandez (Batch ’65) distributed two sets of Christmas hampers (bags of goodies) to each of the beneficiaries of Tembari Children’s Care (TCC), a day care facility for unfortunate, orphans and abandoned children.
A community-based organization (CBO), Tembasri is located at a settlement on the outskirts of the city.
The gift-giving was held on Saturday, December 17, at a small party which Hernandez organized for the children.
It was the second time that he played “Santa” to the children, who fondly called him “Santa Fredo”. The first occasion was during Christmas of 2010.
Hernandez said that after distributing their gifts last Christmas, he promised the Tembari children he would be back this Christmas as “Santa Fredo”.
“I made good my promise and gave them a lot of goodies,” he said, referring to the presents he raised from donations sent by corporate and individual sponsors.
“They were the same donors I had last year,” Hernandez said.
|Part of Tembari's 200 beneficiary children who are abandoned, unfortunate and orphans.|
He said he also gave away Christmas hampers to TCC’s 10 volunteer mothers.
“They are our workhorses at the facility, cooking daily meals for the kids and looking after their other needs.”
Hernandez said that the Christmas hamper party was held in cooperation with the city’s biggest supermarket, the RH Hypermart, which donated foodstuff and a separate set of Christmas gifts for the children.
The supermarket had sent about 20 staff – most of them Filipinos – who helped in making the day for the children “especial”.
The Filipino employees engaged the children in parlor games, dancing and singing Christmas carols.
Appreciating the supermarket’s gesture, the Tembari kids performed two sing-sing (village dances), to the delight of the Filipino visitors.
Hernandez started working as volunteer for the Tembari children in December of 2009 when their number was only 78.
Now, the facility’s beneficiary children has grown in number to 200, composed of 100 preschoolers and 79 attending elementary and primary schools. The rest are non-school age children.
Hernandez said his self-appointed job for the children is “to look for food, money and services for them”, coordinating with foundations and corporate and individual donors.
He maintains a website www.tembari.blogspot.com where he posts updates on the activities of the Tembari children.