Cake sales, calendars and boxes of preloved items – The SCC Rugby Academy tries to play a small part in supporting the Cararoo Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation which supports children in Manila by sponsoring them through education.
The Academy’s link started when SCC Growlers regularly played at the Manila 10s and Cararoo children cheered them on. When asked if they had any kit they could spare the Growlers and The Academy started sending preloved rugby gear. The story went from there and, thanks to the continued generosity of parents and Growlers, we help to support the Cararoo kids’ Christmas party every year. Thank you!
As part of their school service award SCC Academy coach and former player Blair, and U19s Academy player Tom arranged a trip to visit the children sponsored by the Cararoo Foundation.
Here’s their story
“Our trip to Cararoo Foundation consisted of a Rugby and English camp. On the first day we travelled to the Cararoo school in Merville, a suburb of Manila. The living conditions shocked us and demonstrated just how poverty ridden the village and homes truly are. As we came out of the alley way we found ourselves next to a stream of sewage filled with rubbish, apparently this is normal when it rains.
However, as we arrived at the Cararoo school we were greeted by 29 of the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen. Seeing these children so happy was a truly humbling experience and it made us realise just how much we take for granted and how fortunate we are. For these children fun comes without money and the kids got pleasure out of the smallest of acts, such as help and assistance.
The children were extremely grateful for every little bit of help given to them and they all carried themselves with great respect. It was great to see the older children helping out the younger ones. It was clear to see the love that the kids had for school and learning environment. Their command of English was much better than we had expected with every student being able to speak fluently.
After break time the children taught us a dance to one of their favourite songs, and they taught us some Filipino games such as Tumbang Preso where you throw your shoe at a can and get points for it.
The children turned up on a Jeepney, which is a hybrid between a school bus and a Jeep. They arrived wearing boots, trainers and shirts that had been donated by SCC Academy and SCC Growlers. As there is not much opportunity to access fields on a regular basis, due to costs, it was a real treat. From the first whistle to the final whistle they didn’t stop running round, smiling and taking part in a whole host of activities such as capture the flag, bullrush and skills and drills. The most challenging part of the weekend was actually getting them off the field, but once they heard the rumours of McDonalds being delivered they were quick to leave.
Seeing these children living in such poor conditions was really eye-opening for me. They have nothing, yet no matter what was happening they were constantly smiling. A special moment for me came during the rugby camp. We had handed out their new shirts and the children had the biggest, beaming smiles on their faces. They then proceeded to run out onto the field where they picked up every single rugby ball and started passing in their groups leaving no one out. This really showed me the sense of community that Cararoo has helped to implement. There were some really special children that were a joy to be around, who could light up anyone’s day with their infectious happiness.
Finally, I just want to say a big thanks to Arlene, Ian and the rest of the Cararoo team. What these guys do is truly incredible and inspiring. To the wonderful kids at Cararoo, keep smiling because you are truly amazing and I’ve been so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet you all. Keep working hard and believing in yourselves, there is lots of great things heading your way. And finally thank you so much for letting me into your lives briefly. I hope I have made a difference and helped in some way. I hope to see you all again very soon.
I was looking forward to visiting Cararoo as SCC have been supporting this charity for a number of years. On the first day we were greeted by the Cararoo staff. We were taken to the canteen, where the children are given meals before and after school, this was where we conducted our English lesson.
I was particularly moved hearing the responses to the question “What do you like about Cararoo?” Whilst the answers were all different, they share the same theme: genuine gratitude for the work that everyone at the charity does for each of the children and their families.
On our journey to the airport our feelings were ambivalent: whilst we felt happy to have provided some enjoyment and support for the children, we know that there is more that needs to be done. The work that Cararoo Foundation do is crucial to everyone in the village and the fact that children are given access to primary/college education and a job to provide for their families is something they can be very proud of.
Cararoo needs support and we are keen to raise awareness in Singapore and inspire more generous donations or support.
I am very grateful that I was able to visit and help as well as experience the daily lives of all those involved in the charity and it is certainly something I would like to do again.
What is the Cararoo Foundation?
Cararoo sponsors chosen children through their education, after school activities and provides free meals, giving them a chance at a good job and future.
Cararoo is entirely dependent on donations from companies and individuals. Given the kind-hearted nature and drive and determination of these young children we urge you to reach into your pocket and help give these children the opportunity they so rightly deserve by donating at:
We asked a student to write a few sentences on why they liked Cararoo – one student wrote the following :
Cararoo, you’ve taught us to dream and take every chance that comes our way and the work you do for us is second to none. THANK YOU.
Blair and Tom
SCC Rugby Academy