Michael made the decision to try to live back with his parents and siblings in a year. He continued with his studies in a new school. He found new friends. They lived in a small rented house, with very minimal provision. At least they had a television set. He cared for his three younger siblings while his mother was out daily to earn some money. He was happy to play basketball in his neighborhood.
His father was jobless and stayed home to do the cooking and the laundry and fixing things at home. But mostly they have to wait for Mama to bring food. Many times food was not on time. It was always this way. One time his mother arrived really late in the night, and they just waited hungry till she came.
But Michael finished the school year with honors and good conduct. He was very proud to outdo the other students. But somehow he said he missed his BP family. It was like he had his feet in two places. One going home, and the other one left in BP. He loved to be with his family and helped care for his younger siblings. But it was not easy. For example, they did not have their own water connection and had to ask from the neighbor. He would say, “Ate, can I borrow some water?”, to which the neighbor said yes. Michael would fill in as many containers as possible. He was eager to let the neighbor borrow anything from them, too, like a lighter or a pail. But Michael worried that what if the neighbor needed to borrow something that he cannot give then it would be a shame to borrow water again. He was smiling while telling this.
Michael is a smart boy born to a poor family, with parents having no capacity to raise a dozen children. Michael is the 7th child, rescued by Batang Pinangga since 2014, together with his four siblings. Before their rescue, these children were sick and malnourished. In BP they have the chance to be healthy, be in school, and be cared for all the time.
Michael is growing up to be caring and unselfish. His younger siblings look up to him for comfort, and especially for fun. This 14-year old boy has big dreams, that someday he finishes school and can provide for his needs, and for his family. That is the future.
But for today, Michael returns to BP. He will finish school, learn skills, enjoy life, and not to worry about food or water supply. His feet are now in one place, and that’s where he should be.