Interview with founder of “Babies of Boracay”

 

1 .What is ” Babies of Boracay ” ?

Well , its a community , based on Boracay Island . Community that educates children aged 0-5 years old .. And helps them be prepared for for big world out there …

2 .Who runs Babies of Boracay ?

Its Chelsey Hall .. IN PERSON ( On the spot in community center )! Chelsey is a founder of Babies of Boracay ( Firther in Text called B.O.B )

3 .Who else is involved in community center -Babies of Boracay… ?

We have many volunteers .. 7 of them are moms of the children in B.O.B . I would not be able to run B.O.B with out them .. And we have people from abroad coming to help too.

Mom Monica : Helps with Accounting .

Mom Jonibi : Helping with the kids and she have a baby herself .

Anty Sheryl : Is Helping with the children .. Mostly younger ones .She is like an Antie of the village / Grandmother and always keeps calm is able to do it all … No wonder there , as she have 7 children herself .. All alreadygrown up .Some located in Manila , some in Boracay.. Now her grandchildren are in B.O.B …

Connie : Is a master of the Kitchen .She and Dina feed all the hungry stomacks . Connie have 6 children .

Genelyn ( Bing Bing ) : She is a Translator . Genelyn is one of the first families to joing B.O.B . She lives near by and works at the SPA , while her husband is earning money driving a trike ..Free time Genelyn is around B.O.B helping with all she can .

Dina : Is a Connie`s assitant .. Helping in the kitchen !

Erelyn : Is helping with the children

Oliv ( Volunteer from US ) : .. Head of education n B.O.B .,She has been living in Boracay for 3 years and working with local children a lot . She came on board In July 2014..

4 . How many Children are learning in Babies of Boracay at the moment?

Today ( The morning i was there ) its 35 children .

5 .So what happens when i turn 5 years old? ( Program is from 0 – 5 years old`s )

When children turn`s 5 , we have a celebration party . We provide 500 peso for uniform and a little certificate ! And they are off to the big school .

But no worries.. Children can always still come back B.O.B and hang out in there .. First year in big school normally children have lots of free time , so they can come for lesson time in B.O.B and just join in for a little bit !
Door is always open !

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Anty Sheryl watching after little ones in ” Babies of Boracay ” Community center .

6 .WHat is the daily routine at Babies of Boracay ?

We start at 8 AM . Thats the time when all mommies and children arrive .. Then at 10AM we start lessons / games / lunch … Detailed routine in photo on top .

7 .Whats about the meals in Babies of Boracay?

We provide one meal a day for children. For lunch we would mix it up every day . Providing rice , vegetables , soups and meet for meals . And fruits / snacks after meal .

Cowboys restaurant ( Located in station 3 ) donates baked breads (For friday snacks )and birthday cake for every child .

8 .Where do you get funds to open  Babies of Boracay and keep it running ?

We have a sponsor since the beginning . And we are getting more and more donations .. In All forms . So glad that there are people out there who want to help ..

Every time people would donate something i would personally receive donation and put it to use .. I would Show poeple what did i do with the donation ..

I would update Facebook and show people where was their donation used !

9 .How much does it take to keep Babies of Boracay running ?

Food : We can feed all the children and volunteers ( About 50 people ) for about 1000 peso a day !! Its a great price ..
Even including snacks/ fruits too . !

Of course food is not the only expenses for B.O.B , but donations helps us !

10. Whats about the building / space in the community center ?

We have one building that includes classroom , kitchen , bathrooms .

Outside we have a green house and we wanted to use a space in the front of the building , but owners did not want to rent or share land with us , so we have moved green house ( Yes our own little green house )

And will open a space for playground on the side of building in the near future .

11. Where did you get idea ?

I used to be a TV presenter before and i would visit many places because of that . I always wanted to do something . Then a Sponsor appeared ( Family friend that wants to stay annonymous ) . I ended up in Boracay still looking for the right place to start ..

12. What was Babies of Boracay  before you found it ?

Before there was a location for feeding adults and children from the church .

It was only few times a week for different ages .They had limited facilities .So i came up with idea to create a day care center / Community .

13. But what happened to a feeding station , Is it closed ?

No worries its still here .. We made a great deal .. On sundays Church have B.O.B and they have great facilitites now for feeding . And Monday to friday its for B.O.B . Both sides are happy

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Learning time !!!

14 When did B.O.B ( Babies of Boracay )started ?

Januarry 2014

15 .How was the start for you ?

At the start it was only me trying to do everything .. It was hard , then i sat down with moms and asked if they would like to volunteer . they said yes ..

So now 7 moms are volunteering and on fridays we have little donations for them as a apppreceations for their help .

And we would do team dinners from time to time .. So we all could talk and enjoy .

16 . How do you deal with cultural differences ?

One story i remember from beginning , that show me the difference :

So we wanted to have a toy at the beginning .. I remember that in England i would be making ” Music shakers ” from rice + Plastic bottles and play with them , so one day i asked mommies to help me to prepare materials for them .

Later on arrived to make them ..When i arrived ..

All table was with shells and mommies told me : We dont play with rice , its food .. Shells are ok ..

I never even thought about it this way .
Learn every day something new !

17 . Can i come to volunteer ?

Yes !
We have volunteers coming here form time to time .. There is no fee for volunteering ( I dont believe in paying for helping )

If someone wants to help : Volunteer hours are from 10 AM to 3 PM ( Please arrange before hand )
We want all the volunteers to respect children and not to smell like Alcohol or cigarettes .

18 . Do you provide accommodation for volunteers ?

All volunteers can choose if they want to have their own place or if they want to rent a place in a volunteer house that we have .

It costs 20000 Peso a month and includes Food (Breakfast in the house and lunch in B.O.B ) , fast Internet and a cleaning services . The house is huge and only 5 min from B.O.B .. With private entrance to the beach !

 

19 . Any future plans ?

We are looking to make a game – Called IWOOD ( Copyright of B.O.B ) . We would sell it online and use profit to expand and develop B.O.B .

Other thing we are planning to have is a Saturdays workshop for Mommies to educate them about topics they want to know about . Like family planning , for example .

3d and the most exciting one is … Open a B.O.B 2 .

20 .Why did you choose Boracay to open B.O.B?

Boracay is so commercial and have so many visitors every year.. Boracay have an amazing exposure , that helps raising funds for BOB .

21 . Can anyone come and bring their child to learn in B.O.B?

Yes . (Aged 0-5 years old )

We have just a registration process every year in early September .
All parents must submit a forms signed ( That they allow children to be in B.O.B ) , Boracay clearance and a copies of ID`s .

But over all its First come , First served bases .

We have a capacity of 35 . And if some children would not come for 2 weeks to attend classes ,next child from waiting list could take their spot .

22. Are all the children in B.O.B from Boracay ?

No .
Some children have have lost their parent is Typhoons (in Takliban) and have been adopted and brought to Boracay .

23 . Is BOB open all year around ?

No , We open in April until July ..
And Re-open in September .

24 . Do al children have the same hours for classes ? ( Even the little ones ?)

No Children aged 1-3 years old finish their classes at 1 pm .
Other children aged 3-5 stay until 3 Pm .

 

25 . Do you see a big change in Children ..?

Yes .. I hear stories of children asking parents to wash hands before eating at home .. Or have a prayer time .. They learn so fast .

26 . What if i have a birthday ?

If a child have a birthday , they will get a birthday cake and a little gift from ” Birthday box

 

I arrived to Babies of Boracay just before 10 AM .. There were about 40 people in the room with open windows and sun shining in .

Children were curious they were trying to have a glimpse on my computer .. They looked happy and in peace. B.O.B provides a safe space ..Perfect environment for children to learn .They started their daily routine with a structured learning .
Chelsey got all children in circle and started talking ..

” .. 1…2…3… Eyes … On Me ..” : She said while pointing at eyes .. Children clearly understood .

“.. Can we be a quiet like a mouse ? “She whispered . all children whispered with her ..

.”. Can we loud like alion ?” She said loudly .. And all the children made a ROURRROUR lion sounds .

Then they wrote n a board in English and started answering questions ..

.
– What day is it ???
– Whats the weather today like ?
-How are we feeling today ?
Then all of them would found answers as a group .

 

Fom there they would sing a “7 days in a weeks” song ..And learn shapes …Children looked excited when Chelsey was singing and clapped hands ..Some of them would giggle lough loudly .
Even the little ones would not take their eyes of Chelsey and Genelyn .

Its all about repetition … Chelsey added while passing by with one of the children in her hand …

I guess for parent is easier .. You have a nice , clean , safe space to bring your children !

Babies of Boracay…..its a lovely place to be …

Find out more about Babies of Boracay in :

( More infor about Babies of Boracay )http://www.wheninmanila.com/babies-of-boracay-b-o-b-boracays-best-secret/
( Facebook for babies of Boracay )https://www.facebook.com/pages/Babies-of-Boracay/181548078714810

Babies of Boracay homepage .  http://www.babiesofboracay.com/

To help all you can volunteer or nonate … More info in Homepage .

 

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