(Mama Malou tutoring her children. Their family welcomed four new
children this year, a group of siblings who formerly stayed in a temporary
shelter in Valenzuela.)
At 6 years old, children usually start to attend grade
school. But for many children who live in temporary shelters, learning has to
wait until they find a new home and family. Every passing day is a reminder
that they have to eventually leave the shelter. What kind of life awaits these
children who have nowhere to go?
Temporary shelters provide immediate, short-term support. But
ultimately, it is in every child’s best interest to belong to a family. Siblings
George, Andrew, Rea, and Jacob* stayed in a temporary shelter for months after
being rescued from a neglectful home. George, the eldest sibling, has yet to
attend school at the age of 11 when they were brought to a temporary shelter
for abused and neglected children. And February this year, a few weeks before
the lockdown, the siblings found a new family in Mama Malou’s home at SOS
Children’s Village Manila.
(This photo was taken on March 2020. Scars from past wounds were still
visible on Jacob’s arms when the siblings first arrived in the village.)
The village co-workers expected to see shy children when
they heard that seven new children are going to be a part of the SOS Manila
family. But as soon as the siblings and three other children from the same
shelter first stepped foot on the village, they freely explored the surrounding.
The children greeted everyone with a smile. And soon after they settled in,
they ran towards the village playground to play with their new SOS siblings.
This academic year, the siblings have started attending
school, all at the same level. Mama Malou is giving extra focus on George. She
hopes that George may eventually catch up in a few years’
time through the Alternative Learning System.
“I don’t want my children to feel small nor inadequate.
They’re smart children, and I can see their potential. We have no results to
show yet because we’re only starting now. We’ll start with ABC today and work
until ABCs become sentences, and sentences become published theses”, said Mama
Malou, SOS mother of the House of Acceptance in SOS Children’s Village Manila.
George and his siblings were given a fresh start thanks to
the support of committed SOS friends who provide financial support for the
needs of the children. They are only a few more steps away from reaching their
(Andrew, Jacob, and Rea showing the module they completed during their
second week of school.)
Like George and his siblings, 75 more children across the
country have been given a fresh start this year despite the pandemic. True to
our promise of providing quality care for children in need, we have and will
continue to keep our doors open for vulnerable children especially during this
pandemic has pushed many families into poverty, leaving many children at risk
of abandonment and neglect. Your support will help these silent victims of this
pandemic, vulnerable children, have a home where they can eat, study, and have
a meaningful childhood.