Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc.(Children's Haven- Orphanage)

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Volunteering at the Children's Haven

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on October 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (27)

The Children's Haven accommodates more than 20 volunteers per year from many countries, including Denmark, Germany, Japan, Holland, France, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, and so on.


Volunteers' Activities


Some of the possible activities volunteers can undertake at the Children's Haven include:

• Playing games, reading stories, drawing pictures and making things with the children, or simply just spending time and talking with them.

• Teaching classes and tutoring the children.

• Helping at the Children’s Haven daycare center.

• Helping with the local feeding program.

• Sharing ideas with the children on values, principles, respect, spiritual development, anti-smoking, anti-drug abuse, sex education, life skills and other topics.

• Making educational materials and toys for the children.

• Helping the house parents.

• Helping with kitchen and meal activities.

• Helping with cleaning and maintenance activities.

• Helping with administration activities.

• Helping with fundraising activities.


You can download a document with information on getting started and making the most out of your experience at the Children's Haven here.



To apply or get more information, please write to:


[email protected]


 These are some photos of the activities conducted by Local and International Interns and Volunteers.


Social Work Students, BS Education Students and BS Psychology Students required their school to acquire 1,000 hours of internship are accepted.

Foreign students could also be accepted.

ASFFPI Bank Account

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on October 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Account Name: Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc.

Bank Name: Union Bank, Cebu Maxilom Branch, Mango Ave., Cebu City

Checking Account Number: 502030001598

Swift Code: UBPHPHMM

Dollar Checking Account Number:  132760002715

Donation & kind

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on June 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Your financial donation will enable us to sustain the programs and services for the Children and youth both in Children’s Haven and those in the Kinship program. Please find in “Documents” the formulary to financial donations.

We accept any kind of food products, canned goods, new/ used clothing, bed sheets, towels, toiletries, computers/ laptop, tables and chairs, dinner wares, school supplies, etc.


If you are in Metro Cebu please call us and we can pick up your donation. Much better, you can visit our Children's Haven and personally turn-over your donation.


If you want to send donation from your country, our adress is:


ASFFPI - Children's Haven, Sitio Tugbungan, Pilipog, Cordova, Cebu 6017 Philippines.


Sponsor a Child Now:

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on June 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (1)



Children need sponsors for their elementary, high school & college education or vocational skills training:

1.  Elementary  -  PHP1,500.00/month

2.  High School  -  PHP2,500.00/month

3.  College  -  PHP5,000.00/month

Child-care center in Cordova gets aid for abandoned kids

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on May 18, 2012 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (0)

THE Children’s Haven, a residential institution owned and operated by the Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines Inc. (ASFFPI) in Cordova town, Metro Cebu, received 12 boxes of donation from the Costabella Tropical Beach Resort in Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu City.

Maria Luisa Arambulo, the general manager of the resort, sent Jonathan de la Cerna to turn over the donation to the center in sitio Tugbungan, barangay Pilipog.

The items were received by Children’s Haven executive director Martiniana Mercado.

The items included 125 pieces of bedsheets, 450 pieces of bath towels, 500 pieces of pillowcase, which were distributed to the children at the ASFFPI Center.

Children’s Haven, a non-government, child-caring institution, help abandoned, neglected and exploited children 3 years old and above become healthy, socially functional and attain higher education.

Mercado, a retired director of the Department of the Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas, thanked De la Cerna for the donation.

Mercado appealed for donation of school supplies for the elementary and high school students like paper pads, ballpens, pencils, notebooks and bags.

Kindhearted individuals may call Mercado or social worker Ligaya Maquiling during office hours at 496-7608 or text or call Mercado at cell phone numbers 0917-7267608 and 0928-4308695.



Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on May 15, 2011 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

by: sherwin_o_ochea 

  One of our bonding moments with my baby girl Mandela is our regular Saturday afternoon walk to the beach near our place. We would spend moments together watching the fisherfolks preparing their boat for fishing. Sometimes, we would catch some kids enjoying swimming in the murky cold seawater. When already bored, she would pull my hand and said, “Adto ta slide Daddy”. (“Let us go the slide Daddy”;) - referring to the children’s slide at the playground of the nearby orphanage.


I was told that the orphanage was built two years ago. It was actually founded by a German named Albert Schweitzer of the Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc (ASFFPI) and is known as Children's Haven. It has become not just an abode but a haven to more or less sixty (60) homeless, parentless and abandoned kids. In my several visit to the place, I took the chance to interact with the orphans by talking and playing with them. Every kid has a different sad story to tell. And their stories made me think how lucky my daughter is for having a family she can call her own. But even if they appear lacking in material provision,their young faces emanates childlike joyful spirit, genuine smile, sincere intentions and positive vibes. Everybody seems happy and doesn’t care about the world and what it can offer to them. Their friendly and welcoming gestures are manifestations of their zest for life despite of their conditions. Love and sharing abound in the place. Everybody is family and in my heart I can feel that the place is overflowing with love. No wonder my baby doesn’t want to go home everytime she lands her foot in the place.



One unforgetable experience during one of our visit made me learned about the true meaning of unselfish giving. When we went there one Saturday afternoon, I decided to bring some munchies for the kids to eat. Our way of thanking them for their goodness and hospitality. For reaching out and playing with my baby girl.



I was surprised, when in return a boy orphan handed my baby his favorite toy – a yellow plastic ball and another baby girl named Rosemarie offered her favorite blue dress. These kids had such pure and giving hearts.



I was left teary-eyed.



At first, I am compelled not to accept the items. I knew that having less in life, these things are precious to them – or means everything to them. In their world of nothingness, these items might be treasures in their eyes and taking it might be inflicting pain.



But all the while, I thought refusing would means robbing them the chance to experience the joy of giving. These items were given out of pure intentions – from the gratefulness and goodness of a child's heart. I can see the delight in their eyes when they offered it to my daughter which made me decide to graciously accept it.



That experience taught me what it means to truly give with a cheerful and grateful heart. The orphans might have understood what Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said when she exhorted “Give until it hurts”.



Dan & Cristina Visited Children's Haven

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on May 1, 2011 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (5)

by dan.kronstal on May 2nd, 2011

Our ride to the Busuanga airport got us there in plenty of time. The extra hour and a half we had was more than enough to get acquainted with the tiny departures “lounge”, and was long enough for the stifling heat to lose its charm. The flight was smooth enough, and we landed well ahead of schedule, thanks to an early departure. We got our bags, and were on our way. The drive from the airport to the community of Cordova, where we had booked our accomodation, took a little over half an hour. On our way, the driver was asking about our plans, and mentioned an island called Malapascua, which is north of the island of Cebu, and is known as the “little Boracay of Cebu”. I took some of the ample free time during the drive to check our Lonely Planet guide, which made it sound like a secluded island paradise. Like every island paradise, it’s a little lessaccessible though, and Christina was sounding pretty unimpressed by the forecasted 8 hour travel time, first via gravel road along the coast to the port town of Maya, then second via ferry from Maya to Malapascua. Maybe next time. Our drive took us through a lot of “real”, authentic township, where we could watch the demographics change from block to block. In one you might see a restaurant where Christina and I would be comfortable having dinner, and in the next would be a dirty cluster of people cooking over an uncovered fire and under a simple tin roof. Most of the scenary fell somewhere in the middle, naturally. It was a neighbourhood composed almost exclusively of establishments of the later type into which our taxi finally turned. The last hundred yards were on a dirt road lined with hanging lamps and trees before we appeared at the reception desk of Alta Garden Resort. Checking in was a breeze. They brought us juice and welcomed us with shell necklaces as gifts while we took care of the paperwork, then carried our bags to the room. We followed the bags, walking along the garden path which wound past trees and pools, and presently branched onto the smaller trail that lead to the building in which our room was located. The room was large and clean, with a four-post bed, tv, and back door to a slim porch. Once we had unpacked our bags and gotten settled in we decided to have a snack at the hotel restaurant. I had chili and fries, and Christina had congee. We found the food to be somewhat average, and decided that tomorrow we would try and find something further abroad. By the time we headed back it was well into evening, and the temperature had fallen considerably (not that it was “cool”, per se, but no longer stifling). Also enjoying this mild evening were a large number of toads sharing the path back to our room. They caught me off guard, and when one jumped out from under a leaf and landed on my foot I did a jump of my own, and blew out the toe-strap on one of my sandles. I had just broken them in, so was pretty disappointed. We spent the remainder of the evening resting and planning our next activities. The front desk had shown us a few different options for tours, one of which was a local community tour, which included a visit to a neighbouring orphanage with affiliations to the resort. We were immediately interested in visiting the orphanage, and made plans to check it out. In the morning we asked for a taxi to take us into Cebu City. They told us that the taxi would come in 20 minutes, and would we like a tour of the resort while we wait? We said that would be fine, so they showed us around the grounds, which were much larger than expected. In addition to the pool and gardens there was a computer room, exercise room, dorms for group visits, and facilities for conferences. Monkey Monkey Also, there was the smallest zoo ever. Exhibits: 1. Monkeys. They used to have a snake, but it died. Also part of the tour, the owner of the resort has a jewelery company, and we got a “tour” of the available merch. Walking out to the resorts gazebo, at the end of a long bridge which crossed over the buildings of the neighbors, we “met” some of the local children who were waving at us from below. Our guide told us that they were from the orphanage next door to the resort. Once we had our look around we returned to the desk, which informed us that our cab had been waiting for us for a half hour. This was a drive almost as long as that from the airport, with painful stretches spent just waiting in traffic. I was amused to observe an example of the communal nature of the people here during the longest of these stops, where we waited for our turn to cross the bridge from this island onto the main island, and Cebu City. We were holding position next to a jeepny, when between us came a motorcyclist, who paused remove his helmet, extract a cigarette, and hold it out to the jeepny driver to light for him before he continued threading between vehicles on his way to the front of the pack. Maybe it’s a banal incident, but it underscores the general friendly and helpful nature of pretty much all the people here – even in this, a large city. Our drive brought us to Ayala Mall, which is one of the larger shopping centers here near the center of town. While we took a walk around the mall I kept an eye open for some replacement sandles, and Christina browsed the clothing racks. She had better success than did I, as all the clothes here are built to fit her size, and none of the footwear will fit mine. We took a break for lunch at one of the restaurants arranged around the outdoor courtyard. From the selection of italian, mexican, american, and local cuisine we selected one that offered authentic filipino fare. Incidentally, one of those items on offer was sinigang, a favorite soup of Christina’s, which she has been hankering after every time we sit down to eat. The restaurant was packed (a good sign), and I was the only non-asian in the place (also a good sign), and we got one of the last tables, way in the back. Christina ordered her soup (good for two), and I ordered chicken pandan, which is chunks of meat wrapped in pandan leafs. It was a very good meal, and recharged us for one last peek in the mall to see if I could find some sandles. I settled on a pair that was only slightly too small, but came with an equally small price tag (p139, just over $3CAD). I was interested in trying to find our way back to the hotel by way of the ferry that connects the main land with Mactan island, where the hotel is located. Christina wasn’t in the mood for any extra running around, however, so we got a cab instead. Back at the hotel we jumped into the pool to cool off and relax. We had a drink, did some reading and some journalling, and generally enjoyed the good atmosphere. The only mar on the afternoon was that in the morning we had, prior to leaving, requested that our laundry be picked up for cleaning; it had not, so we needed to repeat our request, and had now lost nearly a whole day in getting our clothes back. Returning to the room to change after our swim, we noticed that our laundry was still sitting there, and had to bring it up with the staff again. We were disinclined to leave, so ate dinner at the hotel. Christina had a very nice spaghetti, and I ordered pizza (though it came out folded in half like a calzone, and wasn’t quite up to par with La Sirenetta). We had asked the front desk about visiting the orphanage, and had been told that tomorrow would be the day to do it, so were looking forward to that, though we didn’t get very much information about what we might be able to DO there, as far as volunteering. Our third day in Cordova was accidentally relaxing. We had high hopes for visiting the orphanage, as planned, discovered that, being Sunday, the children were all out in the community and would not be back until five o’clock. This information came out very slowly, over the course of the entire morning, and many requests made to different hotel staff. Dan at the pool Dan at the pool I would have been choked, except that the time spent waiting was spent poolside, and it’s hard to complain about that. Eventually we did get escorted over by one of the young gentlemen on staff, who led us through the rustic dirt streets just beyond the resort walls, and along the river. Being obvious tourists, we did get a few funny looks from the local folks, but the kids swimming in the river were pretty happy to see us. They were yelling “HI!!” and waving like maniacs, then jumping and laughing when we waved back. We rounded a bend and were there. The orphanage consists of a small playground and four buildings; one dorm for boys, and one for girls, and office building, and the directors residence. They were not expecting us at all, but the director invited us in and gave us a tour of the buildings, and “introduced” a number of the children. The introductions were more like attaching a name to some little one who had attached to us. They were completely uninhibited about grabbing our hands or legs and following us along – or dragging us off to see something. I was pleased to see how happy and healthy the kids all looked. They had the enthusiasm and joy of the very young, and were greatly entertained by teaching me numbers, and some other words in Visayan (the local Tagalog dialect). We did not want to impose on the director to fit us into her evening plans, so made arrangements with her to return the following morning with a snack of hamburgers. She had suggested this as a snack to us, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to whip up 45 hamburgers, so we solicited the input from our guide. He took us back out the way we had entered, then we passed the resort and continued walking through the town to a hamburger stand that he was confident could hook us up. We walked for blocks, and I loved it. It’s hard to describe the feeling of authenticity I got. Whatever it is, it’s what I’m looking for, and it’s kind of annoying that it’s right here, but we won’t be staying long enough to get a piece of it. The hamburger stand was just that. A glorified cardboard box with a grill on one side and a guy inside who not only could get us 45 hamburgers and juice for 9AM, but would deliver them to the resort. Perfect. Back at the resort we asked about our laundry, and were told that it was not ready yet, but would be ready first thing in the morning. We were checking out in the morning, so informed the front desk that we would be visiting the orphanage again and would need our clothes before then. “Yes ma’am sir”. In the morning our clothes were not ready, so we recycled our wardrobes for a second time. Shortly after breakfast our hamburgers arrived, so we collected them and carried them over to the orphanage. Just as we were leaving we saw our laundry emerge, at last, and had them leave it in the room. On our way we had the same chorus of “HI!!” from the kids in the river (maybe the same kids as last time… who can tell?) and upon our arrival were a bit tickled that some of the kids remembered our names. Kids waiting for the show Kids waiting for the show Well, Christina’s name anyway. She had a crowd of young girls around her almost instantly. They took our hands and lead us into the large meeting area at the entry of the office building. We set down our bags of food and checked in with the director, who gave us each a gift – a necklace for Christina and a bracelet for me. She led us back out and oversaw as the kids began to gather for a presentation. This took a little time, so while we waited one of the girls produced a tiny, 4-string guitar from somewhere and they taught me to play a song, to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb. Teaching Dan to play guitar Teaching Dan to play guitar They had participated in a talent show recently, so had a couple of routines ready to go. Once everyone had gathered we pulled up a couple of chairs. Up first was a hip-hop dance number to a montage of contemporary music, performed by a group of the older boys. I don’t know much about hip-hop dancing, but could tell right away that they had put in enough practice to throw down a good routine. The second performance was more all-inclusive. The whole assemply sang a song in Visayan. Christina told me afterword that the director was translating for her, and that the song was for the parents and families of the children. A plea to not abandon or forget about them, that lent a retrospective poignancy to their enthusiasm. The director next spoke about the history of the orphanage and the story of how they interact with the community. Dance! Dance! She asked if we would like to address the group, so I got up and said a few words about how honored we are to meet them all, and how happy we were with their presentation. After all the talking we started handing out the burgers and juice (I had to run back to the hotel for supplies when we ran out of juice). Once everyone had been fed we hung out chatting with the director and having fun with the kids. They got a kick out of the digital camera, and wanted to be both models and photographers, so we posed for a lot of pictures. Picture time Picture time The little girls told Christina that she looked like Angel Locsin (tv/film actress), which (by my count) is the fourth or fifth time that people have randomly complimented her on her attractiveness since arriving in the Philippines. I’ve had no such admiration, and usually find myself the subject of a raised eyebrow immediately afterword. They noticed that I was sweating a lot, so tried fanning me with little papers. When that didn’t work they brought out a fan and put it right in front of my face. They started wiping the sweat off of my neck with their hands, then when I didn’t bite, they just started poking my face and playing with my beard. Pulling the beard Pulling the beard After a while we spoke to the director in her office, and got some more information about practical and financial needs of the orphanage, and different ways to get involved. At this time of writing we haven’t decided what to do about those options, but we both really like what the organization is doing, and want to participate. For the philonthropic in our readership, more information about this orphanage can be found at: After we said our farewells to everyone and made our way back to our room it was time to re-fold all of our clothes and pack up. We checked out and had them ring us up a cab to move on to Alpa City Suites, our next hotel. I had taken only a passing glance at the listing Christina had selected for our stop in Mandaue, losing interest once noticing a room-rate well within tolerances. We pulled up to a very new looking building and while one uniformed attendant opened the cab door another was already grabbing our bags from the back. We checked in, and though we didn’t get any “welcome juice” we could tell right away that these guys were pro’s. We followed the porter with our bags up to our 7th floor room. It is very clean and modern, roomy, HUGE bed – maybe bigger than king… IS there bigger than king? Christina was thrilled! We had our lunch and dinner both at the hotel restaurant, which was excellent, and booked a tour for tomorrow which will take us around the historical sights of the area. It will be nice to see more of the (ample) history here, but I’m looking forward to moving on to Bohol.

Children's Haven with Friends from Ang Lingkod Ng Panginoon Mactan

Posted by Martiniana D. Mercado on November 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Last weekend, instead of the usual routine of strolling around the malls and wasting money (hehehe!), I spent my entire Sunday afternoon with the little angels of Children???s Haven in Pilipog, Cordova. A friend of mine is a member of ???Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon - Mactan??? and one of their outreach programs for this month is to visit an orphanage in Cebu. It was actually the birthday of one of the members and she celebrated it uniquely by spending it with the children :)The orphanage is situated right next to one of Mactan's luxurious resorts, the Alta Cebu Village Garden Resort.Here are pics of their houses. One of them is called the ???Berlin House???. The orphanage is actually founded by a German named Albert Schweitzer of the Albert Schweitzer Familienwerk Foundation Philippines, Inc (ASFFM). It is currently managed by ASFFM Social Worker, Ms. Martiniana D. Mercado. As of this writing, the orphanage has a total of 58 kids, two of whom are in the college level.Here???s a pic of their mini playground with the slides. This is where the little kids play during their break time.Here are the kids listening to their ALNP "kuya".A little close-up to those who were listening intently, heheheh! :)And to those who were quite not, LOL!This one's taken at one of the parlor games. This kid brings her comb everywhere, LOL!A one-on-one with the kids. They get shy when we ask them questions :)But got their guts back when it was time for snacks! :)Mmmmmm!!! Savoring every bite :)The ALNP ates and kuyas sharing the celebrant's cake with the kids who were also celebrating their birthdays on the month of November.As a way of saying "thank you", the kids prepared a little presentation for us and I must say, they are really talented!!The guys dancing to the tune of "Nobody" :)Finally, it was already dark when our party ended. ASFFPI Executive Director, Mrs. Martiniana D. Mercado gave the closing remarks :)It was indeed a heartwarming experience to share our time with those little angels. It made us all realize that the greatest joys in life are not found in superficial stash of material wealth, but in simplicity and innocence, like those of the little children. :)



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