Give a person a golden lamp with a genie in it, and he would think “Oh no! I’ve only got three wishes to make!” He would then go into a frantic dilemma of deciding which wishes he desires most because he only has three opportunities to get exactly what he wants. Most people would wish for extravagant or nearly impossible things, but three children Jericho, Michelle and Shaan were content with only one: to be chefs even for just a day.
These children were able to fulfill their lifelong dreams because of the generosity of the only wish granting non-profit organization in the Philippines, the Make a Wish Foundation. This international foundation was established in the Philippines in 1999, and since then has granted over seven hundred wishes around the country. Make a Wish aims to spread joy and hope to children with life-threatening diseases by granting their most avid wish.
Culinaire, the school’s first culinary organization, referred by Ms. Ana of the OSCS (Office of Student and Career Services) teamed up with the Make a Wish foundation in order to grant the wishes of these three children. The children are faced with the terminal disease of cancer. Jericho, 17, has bone cancer while Michelle, 14, and Shaan, 5, have leukemia. Since they all wished to be chefs for even just a day, Culinaire came up with recipes according to each child’s preferences. Jericho wanted anything with chicken, so the dish that he got was Chicken Skewered in Lemon Grass. Michelle wanted any entrée from the Korean cuisine, so she got Chap Chae, which was a stir fried Korean cellophane noodle while Shaan wanted carrot cupcakes. Culinaire made sure the dishes that they were going to teach the kids were cancer-friendly. They tweaked the recipe, and found healthy alternatives to various ingredients such that it followed the food restrictions for the children due to their condition. In addition, Culinaire made sure that the recipes were easy to do for the kids even at home.
When the children and their parents arrived, the parents were toured around the premises of Enderun Colleges while the children dressed up to cook. The children were given their own caps and jackets; their own chef’s outfit, which they were able to keep. Anyone who was there with them in the kitchen of 101 would see the gleam in their eyes as they entered the kitchen proper. No doubt that all of them were very excited to learn the personalized recipes Culinaire had prepared for them. Shaan was shy and wouldn’t take off her mask at first, but after a while she warmed up to the people, and started talking to them. Upon finishing their individual dishes, they of course, indulged and shared the food with their families. The school gave each of the children certificates, and in turn, the foundation presented a plaque to Enderun and Culinaire members.
The magic did not stop the moment they finished cooking their dishes and ate them, rather they each got to bring home a little bit of that spark through personalized cookbooks and chef uniforms.
These kids were content with just one wish, and it would probably be the same wish they would ask for if given a magic golden lamp. Now Stop. And think. What would you wish for?
If you want to volunteer for the Make a Wish foundation and help other terminally ill children or just simply want to know more about this non-profit organization check out their website: http://www.makeawish.org.ph/