On the streets of many cities in the Philippines, children wander in search of food, shelter, and safety. Estimates suggest that there are close to 1.5 million Filipino children living on the street without any form of adult care or protection. Because of this, many children are victims of sex trafficking and exploitative labor practices, sometimes as young as 5 and 6 years old. Even when these children are rescued and placed in shelters, they need attentive loving care and professional psychological help to process and heal from the trauma they have experienced.
This is where the Sunflower Center helps.
The Mission of the Sunflower Center
The Sunflower Center is a network of ministries in the Philippines that serves children through a threefold mission:
1. Providing psychiatric care for abused and neglected children
2. Operating a halfway home that provides shelter and protection for boys
3. Working with nonprofits and governmental organizations to advocate for child welfare.
Our staff and volunteers work to support healing from past trauma and ensure that every child has a safe home by helping children reintegrate with their families or by finding new adoptive families when needed. Our mission is to bring dignity to the world’s most marginalized children — but this is only made possible through the support of our community of advocates.
Spreading the Mission: Becoming an Advocate
A supporter who works to promote the mission of an organization, even if they cannot be physically present at the ministry location. An advocate helps a cause by raising awareness, funds, and community support.
MercyWorks relies on many advocates, from all over the world, to help extend the reach of our ministries like the Sunflower Center. By becoming an advocate for MercyWorks, you will help us serve the most vulnerable members of our global society.
Here are some practical ways you can get involved and become an advocate:
Educate yourself and stay informed.
The more you understand about the cause, the stronger your advocacy will be. It is important to be well informed with the latest information, facts, and statistics, not only about the ministry itself but also with regard to the surrounding country and community.
Being knowledgeable about the ministry you support equips you with the tools you need to go out and share the mission with others. Advocating for the Sunflower Center in this way can mean spreading the truth about child labor and abuse and sharing stories about the work of the staff and volunteers and about the lives of the children saved. One easy way for you to do this is to share Johnny's story (click below) on your Facebook page!
Build a community of advocates.
A hundred voices are louder than just one. Establish a group that can come together to share the mission with a larger audience, join together in prayer, and network with the community to build support.
Help raise money.
Whether you have the ability to donate money, time, or other resources, you can help raise financial support that will enable the ministry to grow. Host a charity event and ask local businesses to be sponsors, create a crowdfunding campaign, or organize a bake sale or craft sale and donate the proceeds.
Use technology to your advantage.
Technology allows us to connect, and stay connected, with others in countless ways. Share stories and updates about the Sunflower Center on social media, start a prayer chain via email, or create an online crowdfunding campaign to help raise money.
Using Your Talents to Spread the Mission
We are called by Christ to serve the poor and marginalized members of society. There are many different ways that each of us can share in Christ’s mission on earth. We all have unique skills, talents, and resources that can be used to serve others around us, even those living on the other side of the world.
At MercyWorks, we have dedicated our lives to caring for those who are most at risk of being forgotten, and with your help, we can continue to grow our mission.
During this Easter season, we are on a mission to save 100 Filipino children from the trauma of physical and sexual abuse. Through your support, we can offer them therapeutic care, a safe place to live, and the opportunity to regain a full and vibrant life. By sharing this campaign with others, joining us in prayer, and helping raise donations, you are working with us to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth.