Naomi Tomlinson, daughter of David Tomlinson Vicar of Saint John’s Shildon lives and works in Payatas, a slum built on a rubbish mountain in the Philippines. Along with colleague Roy Moore she changes lives, transforming the opportunities and aspirations of local street children. Materially unaffected by the recent typhoon Naomi continues to work day in and day out with some of the world’s poorest children. Naomi writes: The drop-in centre continues to grow from strength to strength with our numbers more than doubling in the last few months! This is a really great thing as the newer kids who are coming in are from different parts of the street we live on while we’ve retained the core kids from the old centre. The growing numbers are great. It can be a challenge as it’s such a big growth but on the whole it’s a great situation as it means we can help more kids in Payatas. With our two new teachers, administration assistant, ate Jean and the nanays working at the baon store, we have a good number of staff, though we’re still looking for a couple more. Payatas kids tend to be malnourished with a university study showing that around 80% of kids are underweight on the BMI scale. Because of this, we’ve always tried to incorporate healthy and filling meals in to the daily schedule of the centre. For some of our kids, this is the only hot, filling, and safe meal they eat that day. I say safe as many of the kids we work with often eat the condemned food that was thrown in the garbage, usually meat that is past its expiration date. We also recently heard about a new nutrition program called Mingo through a cousin of one of our board members. Mingo is made up of monggo, malunggay and rice. It is in powder form, you mix it with water and it becomes a very healthy and filling drink. You can also add oats or more solid rice and make lunch or dinner instantly healthier. The great thing about Mingo is that studies have shown that if a malnourished child drinks a cup of Mingo every day for 6 months, it’ll restore their bodies and we’ve been lucky enough to be given 50 kgs of it. So we will be giving this to our kids each day and hopefully over the next 6 months we will see them grow and get healthier. Thanks so much to Camille Genuio and her supporters for the donations! A massive thank you also to everyone else who supports us and all that we’re doing. We have lots of new and exciting projects lined up and we’re looking forward to sharing them with you! Submitted By David Tomlinson, Shildon St Johns – November 2013.