I really don't know where to begin... Right now, I have mixed emotions.
When I first went to the orphanage, I saw the kids waving at me. That made me very excited to work with them. We had a little introduction on the second floor of the first house, and then we started our activities. The options were to either play sports or to make artworks. All of the men in the group played basketball and soccer with the boys. Being the only art student in the group, I chose to help the women teach the girls how to make art. I thought I'd be able to share my knowledge to my team mates and the children.
I felt a sense of responsibility when I taught them art even though I was not that successful because of the problems of cutting.
In the middle of the activity, Jana Ong, Mr. Jonathan Chandler and I were invited to go to the main house where the other kids stayed.
This is the part where I became emotionally moved. I learned so much about the current status of the institution. There are not a lot of volunteers that would help keep the security of the orphanage, but some of them stayed for a very long time. This story inspired me. They aren't doing this for money, but only to whole heartedly serve and take care of the unfortunate children. I give my deepest respect to them because not a lot of people are willing to do this.
When I went inside this second house, I saw the unfortunate truth. Even at a very young age, some of the kids were left by their parents. I honestly wanted to hug the kids one by one.
This was the youngest child I saw on the orphanage, and I don’t know what I felt that time, but I was speechless. I believe that these kids need proper care from their real parents, and they are too young to be left behind.
We went around the house to see more children. I was not brave enough to actually take a picture of the next one I saw. There were two disabled children in one room, and their story was a shocker. I felt really worried about their condition especially because one of them had a seizure before we came.
This first time experience was a real eye opener. Before, I was very negative about everything that happens to me. I thought I had the worst problems in the world, but when I learned about the situation of the orphans, I saw reality. I realized how blessed I am because I am very much privileged compared to them.
The social worker who takes care of The Philippine Outreach Centre Ministries (POCM) told me that they were orphaned largely because the parents are in jail. There are other reasons for their orphanhood such as negligence and their need of education.
I am just relived for the fact that there are people who care about the kids. They’ve been doing this wonderful work for more than 20 years. I just hope that the Philippine government cooperates with them, so they can keep up with their financial needs. All of the help mainly comes from England, and other countries. Some good hearted families are sponsoring the kids’ education and overall living, but the companies that the orphanage asked for help refused.
When we went back to the other house, we had little more time to continue making art with the children...and I was surprised that most of them knew our names perfectly. I found the inner connection with them, and I definitely felt proud that we made them happy for that one precious day.
I saw that we were successful in making the children comfortable with us. All of us were able to enjoy our time.
I noticed that everybody was exhausted, but it was all worth it.
We are planning so many things for the children before the holidays, and we are hoping that we’d be able to raise some funds to buy them gifts or cooperate with the Brent community to help the orphanage.
I am looking forward to our next journey to the orphanage to meet them all again. I am so EXCITED!
-Thanks To Ramona Kabigting for sharing the Photos! :)