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Chief Executive of IDS Patrick Doyle highlights the work the company have been doing to raise this profile of this impressive organisation

In February, the board of International Diplomatic Supplies (IDS) for our Dubai office tasked me with identifying a charity that the company could support. Several of our team in Dubai are from the Philippines so I decided to look there. After some time, our Dubai Managing Director came into my office and I had tears running down my face. Concerned, he asked what was wrong, so I passed him my laptop and soon he also had something in his eye.

Gentle Hands is an orphanage in Manila, started by a caring Canadian couple and now run by their daughter. UNICEF estimates there are 1.8 million abandoned and neglected children in the Philippines. Many live on the streets without help. They face a short life of poverty, hunger, sickness and abuse, both physical and sexual. Gentle Hands endeavours to provide family centred care for some of those children, where medical, social, psychological and educational needs are addressed. Some of the children are deaf and cannot speak, so all of the children are taught sign language so that everyone can communicate with each other. There are little babies, toddlers and children of all ages.

IDS have helped to fund the homeschooling programme for these children found on the streets: ‘The Foundlings,’ as they are known. Some don’t know their own name or speak any language because no one taught them; largely they have known nothing but pain and hurt in their tiny lives. As well as funding, IDS offered our team two weeks paid leave to volunteer at Gentle Hands in Manila, and throughout the summer, nine members of our staff visited the orphanage, and more wanted to go. They worked with the children, teaching, playing and caring, hopefully revealing some beautiful smiles on their faces.

Each of the volunteers have described their time at Gentle Hands as life changing. We will continue to support this wonderful charity both financially and with volunteer support.

If you would like to help Gentle Hands you can contact Nathan.Wheeley@gentlehands.org

or visit their website www.gentlehandsorphanages.com




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