Hello, my name is Ichiro Yanagita, retired pensioner living in Chiba, Japan.

I am currently providing educational support for five children (all in Cebu). It all started when I joined a reforestation tour in the Philippines organized by a NGO in 2016, the year I was looking for fulfillment and purpose after retirement. The tour included tree planting with local villagers and visiting schools.

When I looked into the eyes of the children who welcomed us on the tour, the word "education" suddenly flashed in my mind. I searched the Internet for what I could do to help, and I found an NGO (not EMS, sorry). It was 2017 when I found an NGO and started supporting the education of their children in Cebu (3 children at that time).

After visiting Cebu several times, participating in NGO activities and visiting the children's homes, we made a connection with EMS, and in 2019, we started to support the education of EMS children (2 children).

I was excited and hopeful that we would be able to deepen our relationship with Cebu, and I was thinking a lot about preparations and plans for this. Then pandemic hit the world.

It has been a full three years now. To be honest, I feel that Cebu has become distant from me, both physically and psychologically. I don't know what the future holds for Cebu and my relationship with it, but I am sure that if I cherish my relationship with EMS, something good will come out of it.

Ichiro Yanagita