We were very glad to have the Batang Pinangga Youth Ambassadors (YA) with us. Three weeks just came flying away and then they had to leave. On it’s 6th year now, and yet the Ambassadors’ program always brings in a new and great experience during each visit.
For the children in batang pinangga, every day was exciting and fun and they got more attention. When they open their eyes in the morning, the YA was already there in their bed waiting for them. Or they waited for them to come to wake them up. In the evenings,
the YAs were there to say good night. There was so much going on around during the day: running around, walking to school, holding hands, cuddling and laughing, sitting side by side, doing tasks together, and so much more.
Many of our children suffered abuse and neglect. With the YAs, the children got so much care and attention, and the children showed so much need for that. The time with the YAs were like medicine and the children got the very exact dose. It was time for healing.
For few days after the goodbyes, after saying their prayers before meals, they added “et smakelok” together. They smiled, and felt satisfied. The word-the sound of the Dutch word-was a remembrance, like a souvenir that brings fond memories. Like the five thousand pictures that we have of the visit.
I browsed through the pictures. Colorful, happy, living pictures. The things that the ambassadors were doing: here in batang pinangga, there at the garbage area, here in the primary school, there in the secondary school, here in the community. It seemed like I was looking at a movie. They were surreal. And if we want to feel good, we go back and see the thousands of souvenirs.
We truly honor our Youth Ambassadors for overcoming the world of difference, young yet very brave, crossing more than six thousand miles, away from their own families, from the familiar and comfortable, to help us in our work for the children.
The Young Ambassadors worked hard. A year of fund-raising in Holland. Three weeks in the Philippines to help the abused, abandoned and neglected children. They did not chose to go elsewhere for their summer vacation, to enjoy by themselves. They have chosen to be help care for the poor children, to be touched by the children’s life stories, to get involved.
Our dear Ambassadors, all of what you do helps us give a child victim of abuse a chance to look for the future, and to feel happy Now. Your visit makes it happen. As you settled back in Holland, we wish you success in your schooling and in your future pursuits, and here we are, very glad that you have been part of the batang pinangga family.
-Butch Carpintero, Executive Director