Joneric Amundson wrote -The Bridge is a program that enriches the lives of impoverished youth overseas by providing education, resources, and inspiration. We donate much needed materials and technology including computers, books, and school supplies for a more successful education. We provide medical and hygiene supplies and teach the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. And we provide free creative arts workshops including breakdancing, hip-hop and poetry to expand the appreciation and knowledge of the arts.
Each year, young adult mentors from the Bay Area and New York are carefully selected. The mentors that join the trip and teach the educational workshops are immersed in a different culture and are given the opportunity to appreciate its traditions, people and food. They are exposed to the beauty of the place, as well as the raw truth of its poverty. They learn about the world and they come back with a better perspective about their own life.
A defining moment for the program is when we visited a village in Pampanga, which is a hot spot for child trafficking. One of the children that we reached out to at this village passed away from a parasitic worm in his stomach. Due to lack of funds, his family was not able to purchase the medicine that could have saved his life. In learning this, we sponsored the de-worming project to supply all 105 children in this school with the medicine, many of whom were experiencing similar symptoms.We later learned that the worms had passed through the bodies of the children that were infected. What we’ve come to realize is that we are no longer just changing lives, we are now saving lives as well.
The Bridge will be going back to the Philippines in January 2012 to continue our mission. We will be providing resources that improve the education and health of the children.