It is a custom in the Philippines that students have a graduation ceremony when they move from Kinder to Grade School. On a Friday in May, the children at the Family Care Center, held their yearly graduation.  They had prepared a week to put the program together. The mothers and siblings had taken the morning off to see their child participate in the ceremony. While waiting for everyone to arrive, the children were busy preparing their hair and practicing their dance moves.

In the background is Nida, the teacher, together with the 4 Danish interns and Marie, who is the overseer of the Family Care Center. The children are excitedly waiting for the program to start so they can receive their rewards. To the right is Katherine Canillo from Norway, who lives in Cebu City together with her family and is a volunteer with Rise Above. Thank you Katherine.

These children have been chosen from very poor families, to be given a chance to study, and having had 2 years at the Rise Above Daycare center is an opportunity that is greatly appreciated by their parents. Without this opportunity, most of these children would never be able to go to school, because the parents can simply not affording the school materials and uniforms.

The teacher, Nida, giving the final instructions

At little past 10 am, the ceremony started with everyone singing the national anthem. This was then followed by dance numbers and singing by the children. The children, led by teacher Nida, were then called up by names and given rewards, in the form of ribbons, for best in math, arts, the most polite, helpful etc.

The dance performance

Some of the children entertained the others with dance and song

The children were awarded

Out of the sixteen children, there were six who graduated this year. There were five boys and one girl. When the children received their diploma, you could see that they were proud.

The graduates were given a diploma

The graduates were given a diploma

The Danish interns had spent time shopping and cooking for the occasion, and there was plenty of food for everyone. Thank you to Anne-Sofie, Christina, Mathilde and Christina. (Yes, there are two of them with the same name 🙂 )

If you would like to sponsor a child’s education, please visit Rise Above’s homepage:  for further information.

Written by: Kathrine Canillo


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