Aljhelyn Piador

“My Childhope Journey”

“Ate, anong favorite mong color?”

Being in my early twenties feels like a never-ending Q&A session about life plans. However, a simple question about my favorite color from a child during my time with Childhope Ph became a personal highlight. It served as a reminder that amidst life’s hustle, there are moments of genuine connection, turning the mundanity of daily life into something warm and personal. Sabi nga nila, “It’s those little things that matter.”

My stay at Childhope was no sugar, spice, and everything nice. It had its mojo jojo moments (powerpuff girls reference ‘cause why not? hehe), demanding stretched character and patience, especially for someone who isn’t “always” fond of kids, especially the naughty ones (hehe). Yet, within those challenges lay the highlight of my year – 200 hours of a unique experience that surpassed the ordinary.

Roaming through Kalakhang Manila felt like flipping through the pages of a real-life storybook, where each child had their own tale to tell. It wasn’t merely a change of scenery; it was like exploring different chapters of children’s lives, each with its unique colors and characters, and commuting home for two hours became my time to reflect on these unique experiences.

When a co-intern asked, “Masaya ka naman?” (referring to my internship journey), my initial answer was a simple “Oo naman.” However, looking back, it was not about finding joy in the suffering of street children or reveling in their dramatic life stories worthy of an MMK or Magpakailanman episode. Instead, it was about the fulfillment derived from witnessing an organization like Childhope actively working to erase the ‘street’ in street children. Their efforts extended beyond immediate aid, focusing on sustainability and instilling values that cleansed not just the child’s skin but their lives. It’s not just about feeding and giving gifts; it’s about making a lasting impact on these kids’ lives. Indeed, Childhope was a sanctuary of hope.

During it all, I found myself cherishing the seemingly ‘“normal lang” kind of moments – the random conversations with co-interns, street educators, social workers, utility workers, and my supervisors. I’ll miss the cats, the papaya tree, the colorful vans, my staring contest with spreadsheets, and the simple act of peeling carrots. Most of all, I’ll miss the homey vibes that permeated the Childhope office, turning it into a haven of warmth and altruism—those are the things I’ll carry with me. My experience here made me appreciate my seemingly silly little life.

Childhope didn’t just shape my professional outlook; it made me appreciate the beauty in the simplicity of life and the beauty of taking part in street children’s dreams. It transformed my perspective, making me realize that fulfillment doesn’t always come from grand gestures but from the sum of small, meaningful acts of kindness and generosity.

Sabi sa isang linya sa isa sa paborito ‘kong libro na The Little Prince, “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” Ayokong mapabilang sa grown-ups na tinutukoy niya. Gusto ‘kong laging makaalala sa aking kabataan at gusto ‘kong maging bahagi ng pagkabata ng iba.

Lagi’t lagi, para sa bata!

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