On Sunday 24th June 2012 the Australian BBEF leadership team along with sponsors old and new, gathered to celebrate an amazing milestone for BBEF — turning 25 years old!!
People travelled far and wide to be at the event. Team members flew in from Sydney and Indonesia and sponsors travelled from as far as Kilmore and even the USA!
Whilst sadly the current Director of the program, James Lee (who is currently in London doing an MBA) was unable to attend we were lucky to have some other very special guests. The inspirational Br. Doug Walsh, founder of the program back in 1987, shared his infectious passion for helping the people of Bagong Barrio and told the story of BBEF’s early days. Thely Nguyen, sponsor of James Maravilla and Marcuz Lopez, spoke touchingly of her experience visiting her sponsor children and staying in Bagong Barrio when she travelled with the Team in 2011. And Jo Smyth, from ANZ spoke about ANZ’s involvement with the program which is massive news for BBEF and really shows just have far we’ve come. We now have our first major corporate sponsor! This has opened doors for Mary Joy Cabrera (one of our students) who is now attending a top-tier university in Manila thanks to the ANZ-BBEF scholarship.
We also had some other very special guests visit us via the World Wide Web. Thanks to modern technology and convenient time zone differences we were able to arrange a Skype call with Cora Talisayon (Program Director in Bagong Barrio) and students Mary Joy Cabrera, Kim Lester and Myka Pena and project it so that all could see.
It was a great afternoon of eating, drinking, sharing and reflecting on just how far the program has come. It really has grown tremendously and that is thanks to the generosity of all our sponsors. Thank you so much for your support over the years. The children of Bagong Barrio are truly thankful for the gift of education.
A big thank-you to everyone who attended the event and helped out in any way. You really made the afternoon and helped us celebrate our 25th Anniversary. THANK YOU!