In 1999, David Cowie, a New Zealander, was visiting Eastern Samar in the Philippines. While visiting a hospital with Mrs Annie Ambil (the wife of the then governor of Eastern Samar) he came across a small boy, named Ruel. His small emaciated body lay on a simple steel bed in this under-staffed and under-resourced facility. Ruel's face was scarred by a double cleft lip and palate which meant he had a great deal of difficulty swallowing.
Ruel was near death with his tiny body wracked with viruses and infections. Ruel represents hundreds of thousands of forgotten and unwanted children dying in isolated villages and towns in developing nations where medical help is actually within reach. With the help of Governor Ambil and his wife, Ruel received the necessary food supplements needed to sustain his life while David raised the necessary funds for Ruel’s surgery. After years of struggle to get Ruel strong enough, he went through a series of surgeries to correct his cleft lip and palate. Ruel is now a healthy, growing boy in the care of the Catholic Sisters in his hometown.
Determined to address the needs of these forgotten children, David Cowie established the Ruel Foundation in 2000 encouraging individuals, churches, corporations, schools and small businesses to adopt the medical needs of a child living in poverty with a serious deformity. Children's Sunday School classes and several primary schools have already adopted children and made a real difference in their lives. This New Zealand and USA based charity now provides life-changing surgeries and care for dozens of children in their own developing nations at a fraction of the cost that would be incurred in a developed nation.
Ruel Foundation representatives search for children in the isolated villages primarily in the Philippine Islands. Hospitals, doctors and surgeons cooperate to overcome fear, corruption and ignorance, providing medical care at the lowest possible cost. The Ruel Foundation provides the funding for the child's surgery along with the cost of travel and accomodation for the child and a parent. When the child is fully recovered, he or she is rehabilitated back to their village. The foundation also operates a home for children in life threatening situations, where they are cared for until they can be sent back to their famililies or put up for adoption.
Each month this faith-based organisation sponsors children who are all in desperate need of surgery and care. We invite you to participate with us in changing the life of just one small child by helping to sponsor them in their hour of need.
David Cowie, Executive Director
David with Ruel
Our namesake, Ruel