Preparing Young Adults For Independent Living Through Skills Development
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we must spend our spare time wisely. Engaging the children and youths in various developmental activities truly brought a valuable change in how the long pandemic-caused break will be remembered in the villages.
Proactively planned and prepared for by the village directors, mothers, and social workers, these activities aim to equip the youths with practical skills that might be helpful once they leave the nest. And through the help of our SOS friends and government agencies, the tools and expertise needed to conduct the workshops were acquired ahead of schedule.
Urban farming has long been a project at the villages, and the support of the Department of Agriculture in providing tools helped sustain the ongoing workshops. Receiving new seedlings brought excitement to the youths and village co-workers. According to Uncle Donnie, the youth leader of SOS Children’s Village Manila, each new plant type added to their mini-farm brings a new learning experience to the youths. It also beautifully reminds him of how important SOS’s role is in raising productive young adults.
“Farming is very reflective of the work we do here at SOS. Each plant is unique and needs a different type of care. To ensure that it grows healthy and bears good fruit, it must be properly nurtured and securely planted. In every SOS home, we ensure that every child feels safe and happy. We focus on providing quality care so that they grow wise and ‘life ready’.” - Uncle Donnie, SOS Manila Youth Leader
Tatay Raymond, Uncle Donnie and Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar during the MOA signing last August 05.
Tatay Raymond, Uncle Donnie and Ms. Annie from BPI during the seedling turnover ceremony.
Apart from urban farming, the youths were also introduced to the skill that proved to be very much essential during this pandemic: sewing. Thanks to the sewing machines donated by our SOS friends and partners, youths and mothers are now learning how to sew face masks. Mama Wilma, one of our retired mothers at SOS Manila, volunteered to facilitate this workshop as she loves sharing her passion for sewing.
Mama Wilma teaching basic hand sewing to youths. She teaches four batches of every Tuesday and Thursday. Each batch consists of 6 participants per age group.
For Mama Wilma, learning how to sew will benefit the youths once they start living independently. Aside from its practical purpose, this can be a healthy hobby and even a source of income.
“In my observation, having one or two extra skills can come in handy especially during times like this. A lot of people have lost their jobs; but thankfully, they have other skills that help them put food on the table. Harsh as it may sound, this is the reality that awaits our youths and we can’t always watch over them. Job opportunities are scarce and the competition is overwhelming, having another job or source of income will help sustain their needs.” -Mama Wilma, Retired SOS Mother
Starting this August, youths are also taught how to bake. Our youths who learned how to bake in school have started sharing their knowledge with their peers and younger siblings. And once the pandemic is over, they hope to invite over experts that can teach advanced lessons.
All of these could not have been possible without the hard work put into by our village co-workers and mothers. They have been very supportive of the children and youths.
These photos were taken by proud tatay and village director, Tatay Raymond, during the first day of Mama Wilma’s sewing workshop.
“I couldn't be any prouder. The children and youths are eager to learn. We see a lot of potential in them. This inspires us to work harder so that one day, we can witness their dreams turn into reality. We’d also like to thank the sponsors who provided us with equipment and materials. God bless them more.”, Tatay Raymond, Village Director of SOS Manila.
As the classes begin this coming October, these workshops will be replaced by online lectures. We’re raising funds to be able to provide each home with adequate e-learning tools to support the educational needs of the children and youths. Your help can ensure that their developmental growth will not be disrupted despite the pandemic. Visit sosphilippines.org/donation to find out how you can help.