I’m a Web and Field Coordinator for a non-government organization.
Basically, I go around places and provinces checking on children we support, visiting orphanages bringing them their allowances, be on the call whenever there is an emergency, I take pictures put it on the website (except the pictures we take in the orphanages) and do a written report to every single one of them. Over all I’m the person who makes sure that everything is ok and yeah I’m the girl who always have the camera.
Its my first year as the WFD. I was they’re volunteer for almost 11 years, I’m a Teacher by profession but when the school I was teaching in closed down I got no choice but to look for another job, until a call to my Dad came from the organization, (my dad is the Vice president of the Board) asking him if there is any chance that I can grab the position permanently. With a lot of prayers and talk with the family and my bestfriend, I accepted the offer. Primarily, because I’m ALREADY doing the job I just need the title. Second, the travelling I will do because of the job and I LOVE TRAVELLING! So since August 2016 I have been travelling as the org’s WFD.
So on with the story, on May 23, 2017 the President of the Philippines declared Martial Law in Marawi because of the terrorist Maute group. Soldiers were sent including a friend of mine and an Uncle. A lot of police and soldiers have been wounded and died. Terrorists won’t stop bombing and shooting anyone even the civilians. Innocent people getting shot at, pulled out of their houses, their houses are then burned and lost almost everything they own. Being put on covered courts and other places to live temporarily. Not sure if they have a house or a life to come back to.
And then there’s the children.
Some lost families, homes and some of them lost their hopes
And this is where the title will enter.
On the 20th of June 2017, 7:03 pm. A group of children from Marawi City, 108 children to be exact was delivered to our main office to be delivered to 4 different orphanages in Cavite and Laguna. I was then pulled from my niece’s birthday for an emergency meeting. The meeting was about how will we cater the children we got.
The thing is not all of them are put there to be adopted. They were sent to us so they can stay on a safe and healthy environment. Most of them are to be given to their relatives near the area after they were checked up for wounds, sickness and their emotional state. Which made my heart ache a little. They’re kids they are not supposed to be undergoing this kind of ordeal.
Before i entered the room they were first put in, I told myself that whatever I will see in there, I must not show weakness. They need support and the care we can give them. I prepared myself but no preparation is good enough for the sight I saw. 108 children all sitting in one corner of the room all poorly dressed and crying. They were all talking to each other in a different language. As i stood at the door looking at them (some looked up), I saw how some of them are wearing clothes too small for them and some too long for them. They all look hungry and haven’t slept for like a week or so. Hairs disheveled, crumpled clothes, few belongings in small or plastic bags. Some are barefoot and blistered. I couldn’t stand it anymore so I slowly closed the door then ran to the nearest bathroom. Ignoring the people calling me, ran straight to a cubicle and cried my eyes and heart out.
All i can think about is why them? Why does the children have to suffer? Their futures were bright. Their families had plans for them. They have dreams and now they feel like they were going to be sent to prison. One kid even told me that, they feel like they are going to be sent away and be experimented on.
How did that even entered his mind, I may never know. I don’t think i would even want to know.
They looked at me like im planning to do something bad to them. I didn’t even get a chance to assure that they’re safe with me because i was a coward and ran off. It broke my heart.
I kinda get used to helping other children get adopted for almost 11 years now. Everytime a kid get rejected it makes my heart ache. Now i got 108 children to comfort, 108 children to assure that they are in safe hands. 93 children anticipating to live with their relatives and 15 children to be put on adoption. Praying that a family will take them.
I love my job. I really do. Im one of those people who truly enjoys their jobs. Except this time, its breaking my heart. I can feel myself starting to tear up thinking about them and that i can’t really truly help them. Except to make sure that they are safe, healthy and happy while they’re with us.
After I cried everything out. I went back to the room and explained what will happen while we make sure that they are good to go. The 93 children who are not up for adoption will be staying in one of the facility in a province called Pampanga. 4 hours away from the main office. (Im here now, as i write this blog) They are going to be checked up, evaluated and counseled. The 15 children will be divided into 3 groups and will be staying in 3 of the orphanages that is near the main office that I work in when im not in the field and so I can check on them regularly.
Before I started volunteering 10 years ago, I was told to never get attached to a kid and I said don’t worry I won’t. I was young and naive then. I was 17 and rebellious. I didn’t get attached to anyone even the staff, but as I grew older I then realized that I do get attached to everyone whether im aware of it or not. Especially to the children. I cry when they get adopted and i cry harder when they get rejected.
Then i saw the 108 children and something clicked inside me. I felt like it is my personal obligation to make sure that these children will find happiness. That they won’t be crying again when they’re with me. I know its impossible but I’ll try. I’ll give my 100% just to try to make them feel at home while they’re with us.
Is that hard to ask?
For them to be happy.
I plan to succeed!
I really do love my job, but for some reason the past 4 months of my work have been really hard for my heart. Out of 50 kids that have been viewed last May only 5 were adopted. Its crashing my freaking heart. Like literally, I had to hide for a good 30 minutes before I can face a child to tell them that they had to wait for them to be adopted. That’s the hardest part. I even told my soldier friend that I wish I can adopt them all.
Now, when I saw the 108 I felt my heart got shattered, like in a million pieces. I even asked my Dad to come pick me up. Which, for the record have never happened before. But my Dad, my sweet Dad gave me one of his famous line.
“Love, you were put there because no one else can. God saw that, that’s why you’re there.”
He said he won’t pick me up. That I should pick up my chin, put my smile on and go out there with my “overly bubbly attitude” he was so proud of. He then said he loves me and turned off the call. Then that’s what I did, I even put on some lipstick then went out to meet the children.
I escorted them to their temporary houses with a lot of hugs and kisses, promising to visit them as much as possible. I made them feel as at home as possible before I left them.
In my mind I keep repeating what my Dad said. I was put there for a reason. They knew I can do this. Im the only person from the office present there at that time because 2 of my workmates weren’t able to come. I then realized that my Dad was right. What if I wasn’t available, what if I was able to convince my Dad to come pick me up. Who would comfort the children then? Who would explain to them why they were with us? Who would then make them happy even for just a little while.
So yes, my Dad was right.
I was put there for a reason.
I was the one who will do the job.
Yes, it may break my heart but at least i can be a help to the children who needs love.