As you all know, the stories coming from the Philippines are terrible and heartbreaking.  The extent of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) is not yet known, but the loss of life and property is perhaps too high to even comprehend.

What you may not know is that CEP has a special relationship with our friends in the Philippines.  Mr. Emmanuel Rentoy, professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), was instrumental in establishing a CEP affiliate organization in the Philippines, and Mr. Rentoy and the UA&P student outreach and leadership organization called Catalyst recently invited me to lead a series of character development workshops there for Filipino teachers from all over the country.

Below are just a few of the photographs that were taken during my incredibly successful visit to Manila in September of this year. The people there are amazing – the teachers are good and passionate and dedicated, and they’re working hard to raise ethical and engaged citizens.

As like-minded individuals and organizations that believe in educating our youth to be good people – virtuous in thought and action and committed to serving others – please take this opportunity to model the kinds of attitudes and behaviors we wish to see in our youth.  One way we can do that is to consider donating to the Philippines relief effort, and I’ve provided below links to Red Cross and UNICEF donation websites.  Please consider donating to these or other reputable relief organizations and efforts.

If you’re wondering whether or not to get involved in this effort, please read below some comments just sent to me by Mr. Rentoy:

“It is feared that the death toll can reach up to 20,000 because the reported 10,000 now only accounts for Tacloban City. Five other major cities were equally devastated. It’s hard to get the definite numbers because much of the effort now is being concentrated on bringing food and water to hundreds and thousands of people who lost their houses and are cramped in evacuation centers.  Everyone is desperate to bring food and water to their respective families.  While aid is coming from all over, there’s just not enough at this point to cover all the affected areas.  Continue keeping us in your prayers!”

The good people of the Philippines need our help. Thank you for considering a donation.  And for keeping the Philippines people in your thoughts and prayers.

Philippines group shot resized 600

Teachers and administrators from all over the Philippines attend CEP’s 11 Principles Foundational Training.  Russ Sojourner is center middle – standing to his right is Emmanuel Rentoy.

Phillipines with Russ, Mann & other resized 600

Two of the Manila 11 Principles Training participants enjoyed the experience. 

Philippines with Russ and two women resized 600

Central office personnel fromthe Parents for Education Foundation introduce Russ Sojourner to local cuisine.