Posted by Michael Redding on Feb 22, 2023

Werribee Rotary Club raised $10,000 and was awarded a District 9800 Foundation Overseas Grant of $5,000 to work in partnership with the local Cabanatuan City Rotary Club to provide classroom equipment at the Bahay Ni San Jose Orphanage, near San Antonia in the Philippines.     

The four Dominican Sisters of St Joseph who run the orphanage school are thrilled that these disadvantaged children will have an enhanced learning and educational experiences in a wonderful new school.  

The Orphanage cares for 52 children up to the age of 13 years. The children are abandoned, unwanted, from troubled homes or with mild physical, mental or hearing disabilities.     

During 2022, the impressive 8 classroom school building was built at the orphanage, entirely through donations. The school provides for children from kindergarten to Grade 6, but there were no funds to purchase equipment.  With the funds provided by Rotary, 10 new computers; an air conditioner; 3 large TV sets; wall fans; blackboards; clocks; and tables and chairs for students and teachers were provided for all 8 classrooms.  

The Sisters have since been able to employ additional teachers, and their longer-term aim is to increase opportunities in the lives of the children.  

In November 2022. Rotarians Michael Redding (Werribee) and Lorry Rowe (Flemington Kensington), attended a meeting of Cabanatuan Rotary Club. Michael and President Arnold S. Domingo signed a Sister Club Agreement for their two clubs.  

Michael and Lorry travelled 30 km to the Orphanage to meet the students and see their new classroom equipment. Two days later Cabanatuan City Rotarians joined them at the school for an official project completion ceremony.  

At a recent club meeting, Werribee President Ian Hovey, welcomed Rik Vilda, Past President of the Cabanatuan City Rotary. Rik and Ian exchanged banners and expressed appreciation for the great contribution provided by each Club. Ian added “Our Rotary friendship has been cemented formally, by us joining together as Sister Clubs. In the future our two Clubs may have an opportunity to work together on another project in the Philippines.”