November 14 2023 Finding strength in family amidst adversity Life is hard for everyone, regardless of where and how they grew up. However, resilience comes by more easily when you have the guidance and support of a family who loves you all throughout. Dani and Abby are two of many people who grew up with us in SOS Children’s Villages and are currently living their lives and keep in touch with the family they grew up with through the good and the bad. Tireless Learning “Aren’t you tired of studying?” More often than not, Abby would hear this question from her sisters at home back when she still lived with us in SOS Children’s Villages. And every time, she would say no. Abby lived a normal and happy childhood with her siblings in SOS Children’s Villages. Though she is on the quieter and more introverted side, it didn’t stop her from having a good childhood with everyone. She learned to be a leader in the clubs she joined in the village, and she tutored the younger children whenever she came home from school. Her patience in teaching children, and her endless perseverance and love for studying is a manifestation of her dream: to be a teacher. “A course in education is my first choice, and it’s that or nothing.” She has dreamed of being a teacher since her youth and has been dead set on pursuing a teaching career even with other opportunities presented to her. Abby has faced struggles on her journey to being a teacher, from self-confidence to earning her certifications. Whenever Abby visits her home in SOS Children's Villages, she is always greeted with love and enthusiasm. But thanks to her perseverance and the support of the people around her, Abby is now working as a teacher in a nearby elementary school for 5 years and counting. As of writing this article, Abby was aiming to take her masterals in education this year. She still visits the village she grew up in from time to time, and she is always greeted by her mother and younger siblings with love and enthusiasm. Rising Again Though Dani has been living by herself for quite some time now, she never forgets to visit and keep in touch with Mama Josie every once in a while. Like Abby, Dani lived a happy childhood in SOS Children’s Villages. For her, living in the village feels closer to a family than living with her actual biological family. Mama Josie, a now retired mama in SOS Children’s Villages, treated them like her actual children. They all bonded and were taught the values they need to grow as people. Her experiences made her happy to share about her life in SOS Children’s Villages. One of the most significant highlights of her childhood is her participation in many activities in the village, and she is particularly active in sports. On afternoons, she would play volleyball with the other kids in the village. Dani also participated in other sports like basketball and table tennis, to the point that she will join almost every sports-related activity in her school’s yearly intramurals. Dani is very active in sports, and football is one of several she played in her childhood. Her immersion in sports gave birth to her dream of being a sports journalist. Dani graduated with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and worked with a government office for a time. However, after some time and consideration, Dani realized that maybe there was something else meant for her and she left. As of writing, she works as an Administrative Assistant and like many young people, is finding her way through life. Not knowing what to do with life just yet affected Dani’s confidence, yet it doesn’t stop her from carrying on with her life, and keeping in touch with her Mama Josie, who is the person closest to her. Right now, her goal is to save up money and look for other jobs in the future. Life can be challenging at times, and it may affect one’s confidence. But like Dani and Abby who has people to lean on during their hard times, every child would be able to face life so long as they know that they have a family supporting them from behind.