The ARK Project started as a small personal project of one of the members of HAPI (Humanist Alliance Philippines, International) in 2016. It was called “The ARK Project” because it was inspired by the movies Pay It Forward and Evan Almighty. ARK Stands for Act of Random Kindness and the idea behind it is that, “An act of kindness can make a ripple that can change the world.” Recipients of this project are also encouraged to “pay forward” the kindness that they received during the events.
ARK has been doing 2 events every year:
- Opening of the school year (Started 2017)
The ARK Project gets a list of children before the start of the school year and coordinates with the schools and what their full requirements are. The organizers coordinate with their friends and families to provide all of the school requirements of the children for that school year.
- Christmas – Gift Giving (Started 2016)
During the holiday season, organizers also gets a list of less fortunate children by coordinating with teachers who know the children well. The teachers are asked to recommend children who are poor and has shown good behavior in school. Each child is asked to make a card and put their wishes in those cards for Christmas.
To date, ARK has been able to reach out to 175 children and will add 35 more before this year ends. ARK was able to accomplish this by sourcing through the community. Most of the people who participated are from the middle class families and it’s really amazing how big things can be accomplished when it is done through the collective effort of the community. Members of HAPI also helped not only financially but also by providing manpower for one of its events. ARK aims to do more every year and hopefully this will be replicated in different communities in the Philippines.
Here’s a short video prepared by the ARK team that showcases their accomplishments:
One of the highlights of ARK is the shoes that were asked by and given to a girl who was unable to walk because of acute rheumatoid arthritis. This was to inspire her to walk as she was also about to get medical treatment for her condition. Now, she is able to walk and use those shoes.
Next is a boy who had difficulty seeing because of a genetic disorder that affected his eyes. He and his male siblings all have bad vision. Through HAPI and ARK’s help, a pair of glasses was provided so that he can see his surroundings and his future better.
ARK also provided for a set of insulin shots for a girl whose family was struggling with providing her needed medication. Lastly, ARK was also able to manage to secure some medical sponsorship like monthly health check ups for some of the kids.
Finally, a quote from the person who spearheaded The ARK Project:
“Humanism begins with kindness. Invest in people’s dreams and theirs hopes because that may encourage them to move forward to achieve bigger things.”