Meet Christian. An 11-year old 6th grader from Taguig. He and his whole family was displaced by the floods, living in an evacuation center for around a week now. He remains cheerful and energetic despite the dreary conditions he has to deal with. Supporting the project of ate Pia Cayetano to set up mother and child friendly areas in evacuation centers (also to keep the kids entertained imbis na mag-swimming sila sa baha!), I went along to a series of storytelling sessions to show the children their new play area.
|An idea you can do in a center near you: Mother-and-child friendly play areas|
where kids can read and play and moms can breastfeed their babies.
Christian was like an eager beaver who kept on volunteering and knew many of the answers to our questions.
Christian, top one ka ba sa klase mo?
(scratches his head) Opo.
Wow, good job!
(insert high five here)
Ano gusto mo maging paglaki mo?
(with a big smile) Opo.
(thinking this in my head) This is the first time I've heard a boy say he wants to be a chef. If not the usual doctor or lawyer, its engineer or artista (seriously), or even pulis at bumbero. But chef? Kakaibang aspiration, kakaibang point of view. May future tong batang to.
Gusto ko paglaki mo may restaurant kang sarili mo ah!
Christian is just one kid in a center with hundreds of kids. One center in a barangay with over 50 centers. One barangay in a city with over a hundred barangays. One city out of so many cities affected by the floods.
Do you want Christian to have a better future? Are you rooting for him to reach his dreams of becoming a chef?
Kayang kaya mong tumulong sa pangarap ni Christian, o sa pangarap ng napakarami pang batang Pinoy. Not just now that we're hit by this tragic flood, but beyond that. Whether it be to aid them in this time of emergency, or beyond, whether it be in terms of education, health, sanitation, the fight against violence.
So remember Christian, and the hundreds of thousands like him. These are the faces we see in calamities, and they're faces of HOPE.