Helping Children Develop

We're here to improve education of disadvantaged young people in the Philippines.


  • Ms Linda Manlises

    Linda is Sikat’s founder. A native of Calingag, she missed out on school for two years until her elder brother earned enough money to pay for her education.

    After gaining a degree, a BSc in Business Administration, in the Philippines, Linda moved to England to earn enough money to help her younger sister become a doctor. This experience helped form her strong belief in the power of education to help people and communities.

    Upon her retirement, after working 21 years for the London School of Economics, Linda decided to use the experiences of her childhood as the principle on which to establish SIKAT and help young adults from her childhood home. She passionately believes that by helping children you are also helping a family and a community.

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  • Mr Les Pruszynski

    Les is SIKAT'S co-founder. He has studied at Cracow University, Poland and at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of North London. Besides acting as a trustee Les is responsible for website design and maintenance.

    “I decided to support SIKAT as a trustee because it is a great way to make a difference to a child's education in the Philipines.”
  • Rebecca McCormac
    “I joined SIKAT in 2010 because I thought it would be a great way to be involved in a good cause that I am passionate about. Hearing about the work SIKAT does to help children’s lives touched me. I am very proud to be a trustee and a member of this great team. It will give me the opportunity to make a greater difference to the organisation and the children it helps.”
  • Colin Liddard
    “I have long been a supporter of the Filipino community here, and Filipinos generally. Therefore, I have been concerned about the damage caused by the Typhoons that have hit the Philippines in recent years. Media attention, and consequently donor aid, have been targeted at major centres. Rural and other outlying areas have also been badly affected, but have not received the same support due to lower media coverage. SIKAT is assisting a small rural community to overcome this problem by helping to develop its educational infrastructure.”

Former Trustees

  • Mr Paul Harrison

    Paul is an enthusiastic supporter, devoting much of his energy into creating imaginative fundraising events, as well as taking up challenges himself. With a long-standing interest in helping children from deprived settings he has funded educational initiatives in both Brazil and Niger.

    “It is up to people here to help the various people over the world who lack that opportunity.”

    Paul Harrison was born one week prior to World War I l, also as a result of his birth he was always going to be an only child. The time of his birth also exempted his mother from War Work. His father was keen to mitigate any problems arising from Paul being the only one and mitigate also the shortcomings of his ability to learn.

    At eight Paul was sent away to school on the Isle of Thanet. This was partly helped by his instigation. From this he was to learn that he was very lucky and that others in this world were not.

    After Paul did his National Service, He worked as a butcher, an ambulance paramedic, with his wife running a shop and for The National Blood Service part time. All this was until February 2010.

    Now aged 71, Paul has always been sponsored a child in Brazil and Niger with World Vision. He Deist and thus have questioned World Vision as to just how they have spent their sponsors gifts. As a result of their replied, Paul still sponsoring in Niger. His view is that, Paul in particular and others in Britain are vastly better off than are many people the world over. It is thus up to us to do something about it.

  • Mr Keith Hunt
    Honorary Secretary

    Keith is a retired solicitor who was one of the first trustees of Sikat. He started volunteering when the charity was introduced to him in 2008. His knowledge as a solicitor was invaluable and was a dream come true for chairwoman Linda, who was in desperate need of the kind of advice and help that he offered.

    “I find Sikat a very good cause and very nurturing. I've been involved in other charities and would like to use my previous knowledge and experience to help and support Sikat.”
  • Mr Martin Penny
    Honorary Secretary

    As a bookstore manager for Oxfam, Martin has been a valuable contact and a crucial help and to ensure Sikat commitment to assist students and library users with text and leisure books would be a success.

    Martin’s support had been a great source of support for SIKAT. His generosity has allowed SIKAT to reach out and touch the lives of many children and young adult with warm and kindness.

    “Working for Oxfam I became very mindful of the plights faced by charities everywhere. I witnessed Linda’s perseverance in making Sikat happening. Furthermore her cause is definitely worthwhile as the benefits are all for the children’s sake.”
  • Mrs Evangeline Carpanan
    Honorary Secretary

    Evangeline (1950-2011) was born in the Philippines and had been a Sikat Trustee for three years. Well aware of the charity’s work Evangeline felt inspired to join after discovering that she shared many of the founder’s goals together with a passion for education.

    “SIKAT was introduced to me by Linda Manlises whom I have known since 1974. Her goals are so inspiring that I had no hesitation when she offered me to become a trustee in 2009.”
  • Mr Ignatius D'Cruz

    With a background in finance, Ignatius seized the opportunity to support Sikat because he has seen at first hand the effects of poverty in the Philippines whilst travelling in the area.

    “Acting as a Trustee for Sikat is helping fulfil my desire to help people who can’t take education for granted.”
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