philippines: tree of life school

Hope for the Children


The light of Christ’s love shines from the top of a hill on the island of Cebu, near Bogo City. In a place of poverty, where the difficulties of agricultural living are often made tougher by volcanic rock and the tropical storms of the South Pacific, there is a little school that cheerfully welcomes 100 kids on a weekly basis. Tree of Life is a place of joyful learning where the poorest of the area’s children can come for extra education in order to enable them with the academic tools to help them escape from poverty.

Classes meet every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Well qualified teachers come to help students get ahead in their academic pursuits. Lunch is provided, so these energetic kids don’t go home hungry either. The eagerness and joy of these kids and their families is demonstrated again on Sunday as they fill the chairs of the church that meets at the top of that same hill on Cebu.

Tree of Life does not only help these children academically, we also provide groceries and rice at the end of each month to help their families focus on pursuits other than obtaining food supplies. 

Our trusted friends and long time ministry partners Salma Perocho and Gemma Cabarles show a clear love for these kids in need, and work tirelessly to make Tree of Life run well. 

Salma, who lives a few hours away in Cebu City, has worked on numerous projects with Body & Soul Ministries for many years in the Philippines. She is a trusted asset who provides administrative leadership for the school and assists in the meeting of Tree of Life’s every need to assure its continuing excellence.

Gemma Cabarles lives just next to the school and is the director of Tree of Life. A mother of two bright young daughters, Gemma has shown her love for education in her own family. The children at the school are treated with that same encouraging, but challenging love to help them reach their fullest potential. Body & Soul is proud to work with these two ladies and their staff of teachers at Tree of Life.


The beautiful children in this poor area are eager to learn and thankful for the what we provide for them.