Nippon Kan Vice President Visits the AHAN Mindanao Learning Center, Illigan, Philippines  


Nov 4-7, 2011

Nippon Kan Vice President and AHAN International Program Director, Emily Busch traveled to Illigan City, Mindanao in the Philippines to meet with AHAN Mindanao Coordinator Ava Yancha and her students at the AHAN Mindanao Learning Center. It was a short visit, but with a core group of very enthusiastic students and genuine friends a lot was accomplished.

Meal Service for Badjao

Nov 5th, 2011

Large Meal service for the Badjao.

Large Meal service for the Badjao.

Ava Yancha has participated in Instructor training at Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver for three semesters and during her training in Denver worked with Homma Kancho and volunteers serving monthly meals to the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission.

Implementing her training in Denver, Ava and her students rose well before dawn on November 5th to begin preparing a monthly meal for the Bajaou people. The Badjao people live in desperate conditions on the very outskirts of Illigan, barely surviving by what they can scavenge. After preparations were completed, the meal was transported by “Jimmy” jeeps to the shanty areas inhabited by the Bajaou. The meal was received with overwhelming excitement as throngs of villagers crowded close to share the meal.

It was gratifying to see the smiles and saddening to know that it would be another month before these men, women and children would see a meal anywhere close in value to the one that was shared this day.

To help with future meal service operations, AHAN helped purchase buckets, large wheeled containers, peelers and other essential tools.

Santiago School –Lego celebration

Nov 5th, 2011


After finishing the Bajao tribe meal service, Emily Sensei, Ava Sensei, AHAN Mindanao students and volunteers headed to the Barangay Santiago Tibanga School where a day of celebration had been planned. This community survives as scavengers as well and is extremely poor, but did have a one-room schoolhouse and teacher to call their own.

Inside the school, AHAN Mindanao volunteers quickly set up a meal service for the children, parents and relatives and EVERYONE enjoyed the meal wholeheartedly.

 Enjoying a special meal!

From Nippon Kan AHAN Headquarters in Denver, Emily brought a large collection of Lego donated by the Denver community. Lego we have discovered is the perfect toy as it can be used over and over again and challenges creativity and teamwork at the same time. To the delight of all the children present, the Lego were brought out with a promise to return the next day to see what the children had made.

 Donated Lego from AHAN

On the following day AHAN Mindanao staff returned to find an amazing collection of houses, cars, animals and other creations built by the children of Santiago. Proud smiles could be found all around as everyone showed off what they had made that day; all by themselves…


Written by
Emily Busch
Nippon Kan Vice President
AHAN International Program Director


This Lego campaign is now an on-going project at Nippon Kan Headquarters and will continue to be used in other AHAN Learning Centers in Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar and other countries. If anyone has an old Lego set they wish to donate to this cause, we would be happy to receive them! Old or incomplete sets are fine!

Please send or bring to Nippon Kan General Headquarters 1365 Osage Street Denver, Colorado 80204

Include your name and contact information please.