Young and hopeful
ESSENCE - Liagaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - August 11, 2018 - 12:00am

It could be time and opportunities lost for our young to fully maximize their potentials when difficult circumstances come their way. At a young age, they have come face to face with the harsh circumstances and so they need our uncompromising help.

 

The Fellowship for Organizing Endeavors, Inc. or FORGE, through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has given the opportunity for our young individuals to express and hope. The shelter’s goal is to rescue sexually-exploited and high-risk children under eighteen and facilitate their reintegration into their respective families and communities.

Last August 4 to 5, 2018 was truly another significant personal encounter with a group of disadvantaged children as I shared my time with them in a theater and dance workshop at the VICTO National Cooperative Federation, Beverly Hills, Lahug, Cebu City. Twelve dynamic girls and boys gathered and shared their harrowing experiences in the hands of strangers and even their immediate family members.

I have provided them with scores of avenues through activities that allowed them to express their concealed and pent-up emotions. And what is encouraging as a facilitator of this entire process is that they still express their aspirations and dreams in life, that someday they can be good brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

Full of vigor and hope —this is how I describe these young individuals whose immediate family members and their environment may not have provided them with the much-needed attention, love and care. For two days I had the opportunity to know their stories, stories of despair, abandonment, and hope.

The boys and girls came for what I call an artistic therapy where they were able to express what they feel in a series of activities that were meant to elicit and use their own experiences in a theatrical presentation.

They are able to talk through feelings of confusion, abandonment, anger, and shame. Letting them safely express their hopes and fears.

The entire experience has provided me with valuable lessons: Every child deserves a loving family. Fears can stop one from pursuing dreams in life. Intervention from well-intentioned organizations and individuals is more than ever essential. Every saved child has a bright future. And every bright future is one success story. One successful family is a source of inspiration for a community.

I would like to express my profound gratitude to Ms. April Marie M. Antenor, the project head, Atty. Ruth Restauro, the executive director of FORGE, Inc., and to the men and women of FORGE, for allowing these young boys and girls to experience love and care, and to hope that the bright future is theirs.

UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
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