Archive for the ‘Card making – Dennis and Marites’ Category


April 13, 2010

Author: Elisabet Hansen

Dennis and Marites (28 and 26 years old) are multi handicapped and are totally dependent on someone to care for them. When their mother was alive, it was her full time job to care for them, but when she passed away in June of 2009, it was very difficult for them because she had been Dennis’ hands and feet and was the one to see to that they were able to go to school and receive a high school education.

Marites, Mrs. Lazarte and Dennis at the little school for Special Children at Vicente Sotto Hospital. They were brought to school in an ambulance every day. Here they received a monetary gift from one of our friends in Switzerland. They were so thankful!

When she was gone, reality hit, and Marites found herself now in a situation where she feels responsible to support their little family as the father is old and sick and has no work. She now does the cooking and cleaning and is very happy that we offered to help them get started with a little business of making greeting cards out of recycled paper. Here are photos from my archive and when we recently took Marites out shopping for materials for the cards, and her visit to her former school. Please do consider giving a donation to help this little team, so that their business can get off the ground. You can help them get a better life, and hopefully they can make enough money that they can hire someone who will be able to care for them.

When we would do puppet shows at the Vicente Sotto hospital, Marites helped to translate to Visayan, the local language.

Elisabet and Marie together with Constancia, Dennis and Marites mother outside their house. The aunt owns the little "sari-sari" store at the corner of the house.

At the funeral. The mother had never complained about being sick, so when she finally was admitted to hospital, there was nothing the doctors could do, and she died after just a few days in the hospital. It was a shock for them as the mother was only in her mid fifties.

Marites told us that when their mother was with them, she never thought about household chores or what to cook, as the mother always took care of everything. Now she does the laundry by hand for the 3 of them, and one day when we dropped in for a visit, she was ironing and folding the clothes. It just looked perfect!

We had decided that we would help Dennis and Marites start a greeting card business, so Marie and Elisabet took her to SM mall to help her chose instructional books and materials.

She chose different kinds of hobby articles that could be used, and was so excited about the future prospects.

When visiting Lorna, the owner of “Grillin’ and Chillin’ ” lodging house, we saw stacks of A4 instructional booklets in “Windows 2000”, and asked what she was planning on doing with them as they were outdated. “Do you want them?” she asked. “You can take them all. It’s my pleasure to help you in your charity work.” So we loaded several big boxes into our van, and brought the paper to Marites’ house. They were so happy, as they now had the paper to start making the cards.

Marites sent us an SMS telling us that she had made Valentine's cards, and wanted to show them to us. She had already lined up buyers of the cards. Abi admired the beautiful cards.

Dennis is severely handicapped and cannot do anything by himself other than reading, writing and painting. Here he proudly shows us one of Marites' cards.

One day Marites sent me an SMS that read: “Good evening ma’am. How are you? I just want to let you know that I earned 300 pesos (about $5.50) because of the cards…how can I give this money to you ma’am?” I told her to please keep them for her needs. She answered: “Thank you ma’am..don’t worry ma’am. I will use this money to buy more materials. I love you too.”

As you can imagine, messages like this just show their integrity, and it warms our hearts and spurs us on to help them even more!

Elisabet printed out an instruction booklet on "How to make paper" from the internet, and explained to Marites, but Marites said she would need to see how it's done.

Gabriel made silk screens for Marites so she can make the paper. Here Gabriel and Marie are visiting Dennis and Marites bringing the silkscreens and a blender, so that she wouldn't have to grind all the paper pulp by hand as it's heavy work.

Marie arranged for Marites to visit a school for special children in Basak, Cebu City, where the children make paper. Teacher Cora had prepared everything, so it became a day with lots of fun and good instruction in how to recycle paper into card stock.

It was an emotional visit at the school as she remembered how her mother would take them to school and stay with them every day.

Classmates helped by cutting paper into small pieces.

She learned how to grind the paper into pulp using a mortar.

They made the paper into fine pulp.

Putting the pulp onto the silk screen.

The silk screens were placed in the sun to dry the paper.

Marites and Marie inspecting the recycled paper.

We visited some friends of ours who own a dye business, and they supplied Marites with many different colour dye, and Marites is experimenting with the card making and designs.

We’ll update you when Dennis and Marites have produced their first cards made from recyclable paper. We are excited about this project, and they are eager to get a production started.

If you want to donate to this project, here is the banking information in Cebu:

Rise Above Foundation Cebu, Inc.
Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI)
SM Branch
6000, Cebu City
Account No. 9131-0050-64

Or you can write us if you have questions on how you can get involved in this project.

See you later!