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Never give up. give in. stop trying. stop believing.
It's like breathing—once you quit, your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every last gasp of hope. You can't do that. You must continue taking in even the shallowest of breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest of efforts to sustain your dreams. Don't ever, ever, ever give up. - Richelle E. Goodrich
Who We Are
In 1999, New Zealander, David Cowie, visited Eastern Samar in the Philippines. During a visit to a local hospital with Mrs Annie Ambil (the wife of the then Governor of Eastern Samar), he came across a small boy named Ruel.
Ruel’s small, emaciated body lay on a simple steel bed in this under-staffed and under-resourced facility. His face was scarred by a double cleft lip and palate, causing serious difficulty in swallowing. With his tiny body wracked with viruses and infections, Ruel was near death.
With the help of Governor Ambil and his wife, Ruel received the food supplements needed to sustain his life, whilst David raised the necessary funds for Ruel’s surgery. In a process taking years, Ruel was nurtured to health and given life-altering surgeries. Today Ruel has made a full recovery and is now a healthy growing boy!
Ruel’s story was the founding of the Ruel Foundation. Today the Ruel Foundation has helped thousands of children and their families in the Philippines, Vanuatu and the Fiji islands.
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.
Ruel Foundation’s Mission is to bring the love of Christ to some of the most impoverished children in the world, bringing them health, healing and improved quality of life. Ruel Foundation (RF) does this by seeking out overlooked children with treatable medical conditions and physical deformities. RF provides them, and their families, with free surgeries, medical care, education and the life saving message of Christ. With RF’s help, children are taken from lives of poverty and rejection and transformed into valued, loved and accepted members of society
We are staffed mainly by volunteers from around the world and we are compassionate, caring and committed people who believe that we can make a difference by our actions. Having seen the suffering of those around us, we are united by the belief that we cannot sit by and wait for someone else to fix it.
Whilst we advertise our significance in the reach and number of people helped, we see significance from their eyes. To these children and families, the Ruel Foundation will be the most significant organisation to have existed. Having had no hope, we are able to provide life changing opportunities for these kids through the generosity of like minded people who see the world as we do.
The Ruel Foundation is a fully registered Charitable Trust in New Zealand (CC11212) and the USA 501(c)3.
In 1999, New Zealander David Cowie visited Eastern Samar in the Philippines. During a visit to a local hospital with Mrs Annie Ambil (the wife of the then Governor of Eastern Samar), he came across a small boy named Ruel.
With the help of Governor Ambil and his wife, Ruel received the food supplements needed to sustain his life, whilst David raised the necessary funds for Ruel’s surgery. After struggling to get Ruel strong enough, he went through a series of surgeries to correct his cleft lip and cleft palate. Ruel made a full recovery and is now a healthy growing boy, living 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
In 2007, we established a 50 bed ‘children s crisis centre’, which cares for sufferers of child poverty, as well as children subjected to other life threatening situations, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, orphaned or abandonment.
In 2009 after many years of visiting Fiji with Mercy Ships doing dental outreaches John and Lyn Hawksworth decided Fiji needed the same service Ruel provided in the Philippines. The Foundation has now been established in Fiji to help children who are for various reasons not receiving treatment of their physical deformities. The aim of Ruel Foundation Fiji is to locate these children and to facilitate their surgical treatment.
Working with local healthcare authorities, the Ruel Foundation is building a Paediatric Centre on the island of Efrate. The purpose is to begin the process of providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to children w
The Paediatric Centre will consist of a clinic and waiting room, beds for eight children and a small apartment for staff. A central lounge area will be used for training and seminars for mothers who have children who have suffered from sexual abuse.
Opened a centre in Romblon, Philippines for intervention for children in crisis