There are moments in our lives that we can’t just forget so easily. They maybe something that made us very sad or very happy. Some made us who we are or helped us to see what is the essence of our lives. We can all experience such moments and I, together with my classmates, experienced this three months ago at an SOS Children’s Village in Manila.
We are junior Social Works students at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Part of what we do as students is to conduct group work sessions with children to help enhance their social functioning through purposeful group experiences. We are all always excited to do this because it gives us the opportunity to help and it also let us practice what we know. More than everything, these activities bring us closer to individuals who need our help, and this inspires us even more to become social workers of our country.
After weeks of searching for a partner organization, our hearts finally found SOS Children’s Village Manila. Actually, this wasn’t our first time here because way back in 2014, we visited the children here already. On a personal note, I already knew the Village Director, Raymond Rimando whom I fondly called Tito. We are both active members of a same religious group.
Tito Raymond gave us an orientation late December 2016, and our group finally started the first session with the children on January 19, 2017. Their ages ranged from 6 years old to 11 years old. Meeting the children allowed us to take note of their behaviors. We were also given a few information about their background. Still, we found it very challenging to tailor fit a program of activities that would cater to their needs. But we did manage.
In almost three months, we conducted eight weekly sessions with the children. For us, each session was a realization that our work is very much needed, especially by children who have lost parental care. We gave our best to help them and we enjoyed every moment of it. The best part was seeing the children smile as response to our help. After all the hard work, we felt a strong sense of accomplishment.
At the end of our last session, which was full of fun and laughter, we felt sad because we knew that it would take a long time before we would see the children again. But we promised that the friendship would remain forever. The moments we shared with them were truly unforgettable, and we will cherish them forever in our hearts. Given a chance, we will surely be going back to SOS Children’s Village to be with the children. We are always ready to experience fun, faith, friendship, and most important of all, love.
We like to say thanks to SOS Children’s Village Manila for allowing us to be part of the lives of their children who inspired us more to become agents of change. A big thanks as well to Tito Raymond, who helped us, allowed us and accepted us to conduct our group work sessions. Thank you also to Ma’am Paula and Ma’am Lovely, social workers at SOS Children’s Village Manila, for guiding us and inspiring us to keep loving our profession. And lastly, to the children. Your Ates and Kuyas are so honored to have served you. We all miss you and we will be going back soon. We love you all, kids!
*Contributor Joseph R. Salavarria is a third year college student at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila taking up BS Social Work.