Miguel Pereña

“A Trip of a Lifetime at ChildHope”

This year, the final component of our major curriculum required for graduation is on-the-job training. It was difficult at first to find a company suitable for my course. I searched for a while and was fortunate to discover Childhope Philippines in Paco, Manila. As a college student living in Cavite, I was faced with the decision of whether to pursue an internship with Childhope, one of the best NGOs in the Philippines, or to seek an internship that was nearer home, considering the necessary expenses and living far away from my family. I ended up taking the risk and grabbing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of interning at Childhope. On my first day, we were welcomed and oriented by Ms. Mylene and Sir Vince about facts and knowledge regarding Childhope such as its history, how they work, what they do, what its purpose is, and so on.

It was challenging at the beginning of my internship as I was still adjusting to how street educators work as well as conducting sessions in various locations throughout Manila since I am still not familiar with its places. Our first week was extremely productive because it started with an introduction tour to several locations in Manila where the sessions take place. Along with the street educators, we were also given the opportunity to meet the street families and children in their separate surroundings and hear their life experiences.

Nevertheless, with the assistance of our coworkers specifically to Ate Beverly, Ate Joy,  Ate Chelsea, Ate Riea Anne, Nanay Fe, Kuya Fidel, Kuya Matt, Kuya Carl, Tatay Rico, Ms. Jem, Ms Loida, and Ms. Mylene, we can adapt and learn how to effectively carry out our tasks. I also commend and “sobrang pasasalamat” to Sir Vince for always checking in on us and conducting consultations; this has been very helpful to us because we can easily express how we feel and as well as share our experiences of our work with him, and he also gives pieces of advice at the end of the consultations.

This internship also allows and builds me to be a flexible worker by exposing me to a broad range of tasks such as office work that includes PowerPoint presentations, feedback reports, making of flyers, printing, and donations monitoring. Also, some tasks require a lot of patience such as coin can counting as well as depositing, and sorting of donations. Other duties include intake interview with street children, documentation of pictures, assisting in cooking, and in the outreach program. Outreach programs are one of my most enjoyable activities. Because you can clearly see from watching these programs that the children are truly enjoying themselves. I am also overjoyed to witness the children laughing and smiling together. The donors who organize these activities are likewise kindhearted, providing the kids with free meals, gifts, toys, and other amenities.

As one of the interns, I am grateful for how my on-the-job training turned out. I’ve learned a lot from everyone and “sobrang mamimiss ko yung bonding with the street educators”. I am also thankful and happy for the decision I made by choosing and interning at Childhope. I can surely say that everyone here at Childhope is very generous in sharing their knowledge and skills. My perspective on street children changed and developed as well, and I learned exactly how important it is to engage and interact with them to understand them. We must not judge them based on their social standing or appearance. What matters most is that they are also human beings with goals and dreams in life.

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