Sunday, January 17, 2010


23 high school students from International School Manila(ISM) spent a whole week in Mano Amiga Academy as part of their ICARE (International Community Actively Responding to the Environment) week.

The ICARE program offers IS students an opportunity to contribute positively to the community, the environment, and to learn more about the Philippines and its culture. This year, Mano Amiga Academy was fortunate enough to be included in their roster of partner organizations.

Led by Mr. Ron Fast, together with Mr. Dale Hutchison and Mrs. Vicky Herrera (high school guidance counselor and the mom of Mano Amiga’s community development heads, Mina and Amor Herrera), the IS team arrived at the school in high spirits, very much excited and ready to work. The students were given the chance to interact with the Mano Amiga kids by being teacher assistants in class. They also helped with cleaning the school, preparing and constructing educational materials and visual aids for the teachers to use, and purchasing much-needed school supplies and equipment.

The week long program culminated with the unveiling of a new play area that was furnished by the highschoolers. The Mano Amiga students could not contain their excitement upon discovering that they now have a place to play and run around in.

Before they left, Ramon Austria, Mano Amiga’s school director, expressed the school’s gratitude for all the work and effort that they put in. “What you’ve done here is something that cannot be quantified or measured,” he said. “You all have truly left a lasting impression in these children’s hearts. This is your legacy, and just as we’ve benefited so much from what you’ve done for the school, know that you have also gained much because of your generosity.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something fishy

With the help of Living Dreams Philippines, Mano Amiga Academy students had the chance to visit the Manila Ocean park and learn about the Philippines' rich marine biodiversity.

The students, along with their volunteer Ate or Kuya for a day spent a whole afternoon observing countless fish species. The kids could not contain their excitement as they saw up close the different sea animals that they learned in class.
The boys were instantly drawn to the tanks featuring sharks and manta rays while the girls preferred admiring the colorful schools of fish. The park attendants also allowed the students to touch a live starfish and to interact with live shrimps.