I had a fulfilling Saturday afternoon last Oct 15. I spent it with some of the street children in Manila. Instead of just staying at home, watching TV and wasting my time away, I went out and met these kids.
I signed up for Accenture’s volunteer program for teaching street children, partnering with ChildHope Asia Philippines and now I have a wonderful chance to reach out to these often neglected and misunderstood members of our society.
Prior to our immersion in the field, the staff of ChildHope Asia Philippines oriented us about the organization, their advocacy, and their activities.
One of the children shares that he wants to be a football player or a policeman someday so that he can help his family. He said that he will only be able to achieve his dreams if he can finish his studies.Kuya Christian tells them a story of a man who was able to achieve his dream because he had confidence in himself. And he shared to them inspiring stories of Henry Sy, Isko Moreno, and Manny Pacquiao. Simple, poor men who believed in their dreams, worked hard, and are now successful. He encouraged them that someday, they can also be like them.
We also went to another site, a park in Manila to observe another group of street children. When we arrived, kuya PeeWee, one of CHAP’s teachers, introduced as to the children and they all flocked to us para mag mano. On the picture below, the children are watching a short film on the mobile classroom of CHAP – a part of their values formation.
I really admire the people behind ChildHope Asia Philippines. Its organizers, staff, and volunteers are all working together to help make a difference in these children’s lives. Some of us may get easily irritated by these kids begging on the streets or in jeepneys and consider them as eye sores but if you really try to see beyond what your eyes could see, you’d discover that these are just children, hungry for the society’s love and acceptance. As the song goes, "I believe that the children are our future, teach them well, and let them lead the way… Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride…"