For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you
invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
The name Tahanan Ng Kabataan means "House of Youth" but it is often simply refered to as Tahanan Boys Jail.
Run by the local authorities, Tahanan comprises a fenced and barbed wire gated compound with a very basic accomodation block where anything up to 80 boys ranging from about 8 to 17 years sleep either on the concrete floors or crammed into some bare wooden bunks in two cells, divided according to their ages. The boys receive 3 meals a day, mainly comprising rice and a few vegetables that they grow in the yard.
Some of the boys have committed criminal offences ranging literally from petty theft to murder but others have just been brought here for "their own safety" because they have no family or have been sleeping rough in the city.
The ministry to the residents at Tahanan is really an extension of Lifenet Children's Foundation's work with Street Children because many of the children living on the streets end up here at some point., often for breach of curfew laws.
"Boys Town" is a hostel for boys from age 7 to 17 who have nowhere else to live. Whilst they are free to come and go, and are not locked in as they would be at Tahanan, the facilities are quite poor and the buildings delapidated. There is little money for improvements, or even to provide proper medical care for the children who live there.
We are pleased to have been able to support this work financially. Some of our volunteers have been able to visit both of these centres to see the work first hand and occasionally to assist with drama sketches, teaching sessions and talks with the boys and providing some basic medical care, dressing cuts and infected mosquito bites.
Tahanan gate with Christmas decorations!
1 to 1 therapy with disabled inmate
Dressing infected wounds and bites
Kitchen lunch queue
Playing basketball with young inmates at Tahanan Ng Kabataan Jail.