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“Masaya po ako dahil ngayon ko lang ulit naramdamang bata ako.” I am happy because I get to experience being a child again.
– Dina, 10 years old
Dina and her siblings during their admission to the institution
Dina, together with her siblings Jessa, 9 years old, Lila, 8 years old, Daniel, 4 years old, and Ria, 2 years old, were admitted to the institution in September 2021. The siblings’ parents, Riza, 33 years old, and Edwin, 43 years old, separated a year ago due to constant conflict with each other which often led to fights that were witnessed by the children. In May 2021, Riza left the siblings under the care of Edwin when the couple had a violent fight. Since their father had to work, he left the siblings at home and asked a neighbor to check on them every once in a while.
Dina, being the eldest, had to be responsible for her three (3) sisters and one (1) brother. She acted as the mother and father to them especially that their youngest was only 2 years old. Their parents sometimes sent money through their neighbor but sometimes, the children did not have complete meals since the money provided by their parents was very limited.
One day, Ria got sick and Dina did not know what to do so she agreed when they were invited by an adult male neighbor to sleep in his house during the night. Being still a child and since their house did not have an electricity, she agreed to the invitation and brought her brother and sisters with the thought that it was out of their neighbor’s good intention. However, the said neighbor took advantage of her vulnerability and raped her repeatedly on that night. At 10 years old, Dina could not fight even if she wanted to. She was frightened for herself and her siblings since she was threatened not to tell anyone about the abuse or he would hurt them.
The siblings during their weekend bonding.
When they left the perpetrator’s house, with much courage, Dina reported to the Barangay. They were removed from the area and the alleged perpetrator was apprehended. The Barangay Official brought them to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office for assistance. The said office then referred the children to the institution and they were admitted under Hospicio de San Jose’s SANCTUARY for victim-survivors of abuse and exploitation.
Dina attending to a Psychoeducation Session with children her age.
The siblings have been provided with their basic needs, shelter, food, clothing, medication, and educational assistance. Dina, and her sisters, Jessa and Lila, underwent Psychological Screening and are undergoing regular Psychotherapy Sessions. They have also been attending to the Psychoeducation sessions done by the social workers weekly as part of their healing and recovery. While protection and recovery program is provided to victim-survivors, awareness raising activities and Psychoeducation for families and communities are also done.
The abuse could have been prevented if the parents were there to protect them, however, in their absence, the siblings’ welfare was put at risk. Dina and her siblings are just some of many victims of different forms of abuse inflicted against children and many of them are still out there, in communities, suffering, and waiting for a helping hand to rescue them. Be part of our endeavour to provide a safer place for these children, donate, and help us continue and improve our programs and services for Dina and many other child victim-survivors of abuse and exploitation.
Your donations will be used for the renovation of the SANCTUARY Center in order to accommodate more victim-survivors. We had been receiving referrals however, we could not yet accommodate more given the limited space. Your generosity will help us respond to the continuously growing need for protection and recovery program for these children. The perpetrators continue to victimize, thus we should also continue with our mission, until all children are safe.
There is a growing need to protect children from abuse and sexual exploitation. Please support our mission.
Prior to Transitory Home, Ramon and Linda and their five children in their makeshift pushcart they call home.
Ramon and his wife, Linda, have five little children, Angela, Andrea, Rica, Lovely and Jane, ages 14, 12, 10, 9, and 7 years old. The family used to be street dwellers. They particularly stayed in Lawton Area near Luneta Park. They had a makeshift pushcart where their clothes and other belongings were kept. In the lower part of the pushcart was a space where the children slept. While in the street, they had to be very vigilant and avoided both child kidnappers and the government’s rescue operations as they did not want to be separated from their children. During rainy season, they had to transfer from one vacant area to another to keep themselves, or at least the children, dry. Whenever there was an opportunity, Ramon worked as a barker for jeepney passengers in Lawton and earned 50 to 100 pesos daily while Linda sometimes worked as a janitress. When there was no work available, they scavenged and sold scrap materials from the street. In order to have food, whenever there was no income, they begged on the streets or attended different feeding activities around Metro Manila.
Lovely and Jane playing with their neighbor in the safe haven of the Transitory Home instead of the dangerous city streets.
In 2018, they learned about Hospicio de San Jose’s Food for Life-Feeding and Formation. They availed of the said service regularly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The service provides breakfast to 150 homeless individuals and families, thereafter, Spiritual and Values Formation were done and then lunch was served at noontime. In the evening, they would return to the institution to avail of the Food for Life Night Shelter where 80 homeless individuals were provided with food and toiletries and accommodated for an overnight stay. Ramon would stay in the lower area along with other male homeless individuals while Linda and the children stayed in the mezzanine area.
In August 2018, the family was one of the 5 families who availed of the Food for Life Transitory Home, a temporary housing project aimed at preparing and equipping families with skills for eventual transfer to government housing projects or for independent living. While in the Transitory Home, the family occupied an apartment type family room. Ramon underwent TESDA’s Scaffold Erection and Masonry Training. He is now working as a mason in the institution earning 500 pesos daily. Linda completed Training in Housekeeping however, due to the COVID 19 situation and since they have small kids, she could not work outside the community.
Housing Units at the Transitory Homes
Ramon and Linda and their five children at the Transitory Home
Linda and Ramon consider the institution as blessing sent by God to help them. Linda used to cry while telling her family’s story, and she was just grateful that they no longer find rainy days as scary as when they were still in the street; they are now slowly starting anew. Their five children are all enrolled in the nearby primary school as Grade 6, Grade 4, Grade 3, and Grade1 pupils.
The family is just one of 9 families who are currently sheltered in the Transitory Home. Each family has their own story, a story far from the common misconception that homelessness was their fault. With the help of the institution, these families were able to leave the streets. However, Ramon and Linda’s family is far from being totally ready to be independent, they need a more sustainable source of income, and the children needs assistance so they could continue studying; they still need your help. Also, many other families are out there struggling and praying that someday, they too, will find better homes other than the street; be an answer to their prayers.
Cost to Sponsor a Family
Five housing units are targeted for building so it can be occupied by more families. To complete this, each unit would cost 200 thousand pesos.
Your generosity will help us continue providing temporary housing to homeless families.
"Oh! how happy the man of means who uses his wealth and his life for the greater glory of God, from whom he has received them!"
— St. Vincent de Paul
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