Summer in the Philippines usually covers the months of April to June. It is during this time that Filipinos go back to their provinces for vacation or children go into summer sports programs. It was during this time that Transcom Cares decided to spend time with the neglected in society – the less fortunate children, and the neglected elderly.
In April, we went to Tuloy Foundation, a non-profit organization that “provides residential care services for children and youth”. The foundation offers an alternative to life in the streets. At the foundation, the children chose to give up the life in the streets to have a home, a second family, and an education. They also learn to play football and rugby. At the Tuloy village the children get the opportunity to embrace a life of discipline, and to work on their potential to one day become a productive member of the society.
This was a momentous experience as it was Transcom Cares’ first in playing football. All the 26 volunteers were in for a fun day, they even had a chance to be a part of a team and compete with each other. All in all, the scorching heat of the sun could not take away the enjoyment that everyone had that day.
In May, we visited Anawim, a small facility for poor and abandoned elderly people who had been left to roam the streets. The foundation served as a home and a sanctuary for the neglected elderly.
Our day started out with the “getting-to-know phase”. One volunteer or two were assigned to an elder to listen to life stories. This was followed by a simple but delicious meal shared by everyone. To cap it off, our volunteers serenaded the residents with classical Filipino songs and offered roses for them. This gesture from our 45 volunteers was a timely gift as it was also Mother’s Day.
The last stop for summer was in June at Concordia Children’s Services. This place take care of neglected and abandoned children, and the urban poor children deficient of opportunities to safer homes and decent life. The organization provide educational assistance, character-building activities, and skills training. Our 14 volunteers, some of whom were fresh from their shift, fed the children and played with them.
While many other people vacationed and engaged in athletic activities, Transcom Cares reached out to those who needed some love and warmth. It was touching to see the kids and the elderly beam with joy at welcoming us and our gifts for them. Our summer of service left us not only with precious memories, but also taught us extraordinary lessons as well.