I paid a visit to Bilay House again with my last visit 3 months ago. Many children welcomed my visit again, and it was good to see them. A total of 44 children live together at Bilay House, and among them are 4 high school students, 13 junior high schoolers, 18 grade school kids and 9 kindergarteners. Also, 5 adults, who call Bilay House their work place and their home, include Pastor Bilay and his wife and a total of 3 male and female caretakers/mentors. Some students will soon graduate from high school and junior high school to move onto universities and high school, respectively.
The late Emily Busch, a former Vice President of Nippon Kan who passed away this past Spring had been in charge of a scholarship fund for some of the students who would seek higher education after junior high school. However, as her effort was halted due to her sudden and unexpected departure, 2 junior high school girls from Bilay House ended up having to give up their dream to move onto high school. During this visit, I worked with the local staff to make the necessary arrangements and ensure for these young girls to be admitted to a local high school. We also decided that AHAN would offer a scholarship to sponsor a young high school graduate from Bilay House to be admitted into the university that she had aimed to study at, to make her dream come true!
While honoring and inheriting the Will of Emily Busch who had wished and worked hard for the cause, by which she had aimed at making Bilay House children’s dreams come true, all the donations from the Celebration of Life ~ Shinobu Kai ~, which Nippon Kan planned and sponsored, have been added to the Bilay House scholarship fund.
As I have done during my visits in the past, I cooked curry, a favorite of the children and the staff of Bilay House coined as “Sensei’s Cooking”. And I always eat the meal with them while discussing their educational future as well as many things about their daily lives and support activities. For the past 2 years, they have enjoyed the good yield from their 42-acre cassava (tapioca) farm. Partly to avoid monocropping and partly to continue trying out new things, they are planning to grow vegetables by organic farming. They are currently in a research and training phase under the guidance of experienced organic farmers.
Video clip(s) about Bilay House can be viewed at the following links:
Note: Permission to post these photos has been obtained.