During an extended trip through India and Southeast Asia, in 1973,
David Durrance, a schoolteacher from British Columbia, began sponsoring
a number of orphans in the Philippines to schools and universities.
Upon revisiting the Philippines in 1978, and being struck by the
disparity between the developed and underdeveloped countries, he began
some small aid projects with personal funds. In 1979 Petra Angpao, an
orphan whom David had sponsored through nursing school, graduated with
intentions of assisting others like herself. Bonded through a shared
belief that destiny had brought them together for the purpose of
helping others, David and Petra married in 1980 and together began the
task of building and developing the International Association For
Transformation (IAT) as a non-profit organization for initiating
positive change. Many friends and relatives became involved in the
child sponsorship program and in supporting the community development
work begun by the couple.
In 1996 a group of young professionals, who had been gaining leadership skills under IAT, assumed the management and operation of the program, and the Durrance family returned to Victoria, British Columbia. They still play a mentoring and monitoring role with regard to the Philippines, and maintain a personal connection with most of IAT's sponsors and supporters.
The Durrances lived in the northern Philippines for sixteen years,
expanding and nurturing the program and projects they initiated.
During this time their family grew to include four boys and two
adopted daughters. As sponsored students graduated from schools and
universities, many joined the IAT organization and worked to uplift
the conditions in their marginalized villages.
Confident that a group of young university graduates, who had
completed IAT’s sponsorship and youth leadership programs, was
ready to manage and operate IAT’s Philippines program, the
Durrances passed them the reigns of the organization in 1996 and
returned to Canada. The Philippines’ program continues to operate
under an excellent dedicated staff of Indigenous professionals
and through support, mentoring and monitoring from IAT-Canada’s
Board of Directors.
The Durrances are currently focusing their time on Petra’s daycare located at Cobble Hill BC. www.starchildcentre.ca. Montessori, Waldorf-based and outdoor education are the focus with individual garden plots for each child, and daily visits to the various animals. These outdoor activities are instilling a deep love of animals and an appreciation of, and connection with, the earth and nature. It is hoped that this generation of little ones will, upon reaching adulthood, step up to the challenge to reverse the environmental devastation, the greed of our current corporate leaders and global governments are so bent on.