By Agnes, an EJK orphan
I am *Agnes. I’m already 17-years old, and we are a brood of 5 brothers and sisters, aged 14-years old; 12-years old; 9-years old; and, 7-years old. We are 5 siblings in my grandmother’s care.
Before, we were a happy family because we had both our parents.
They were loving and caring to us their children.
But when President Duterte came to power, that’s when all our dreams in life were shattered, and I never imagined that something as bad as that would happen to us.
I was 11-years old when my papa was shot on February 6, 2017.
He had just been visiting one of his good friend’s wake, and even when he had his hands up in the air, the police still fired at him.
I was so hurt by what they did to my papa even if I was so young at the time.
And my papa died just like that without getting the chance to get back together again with my mama.
My parents had been separated for two years.
Sometimes, I thought I should just stop going to school because I felt that I had been through so many difficult challenges in life.
I was also grateful to my grandmother who never abandoned us.
I was 11-years old when my papa was shot on February 6, 2017. He had just been visiting one of his good friend’s wake, and even when he had his hands up in the air, the police still fired at him.
Sometimes, when I see her crying by herself, I feel discouraged.
Especially when August 13, 2017 came around.
That was when my uncle was also shot.
More children were placed under my grandmother’s care, which made me wonder, “Did God curse us?”
This was my question before.
Now we are twelve children in my grandmother’s charge.
Finding joy again
There was a time I didn’t even know what to do anymore; I also wanted to find a job, but my grandmother stopped me.
She had been looking for someone who could help us with everything that we had gone through; this was when she found Program Paghilom.
She felt the care and concern of Fr. Flavie for our family as she underwent psycho-spiritual interventions with the program.
I was grade 5 when my papa was shot.
Now I am in grade 9, and Fr. Flavie has never stopped looking after what we need, especially when it came to our educational needs, especially that of my cousins.
Every month, we receive an allowance from the program.
Ever since Fr. Flavie started taking care of us, we’ve never gone hungry again.
He has given us so much help, especially during the pandemic.
The Program has been bearing the responsibilities that should’ve been my parents’.
Fr. Flavie is now like a father to us and he never thinks twice about helping us.
Now we are so happy because we’ve regained the joy we lost for so long and are now living out our dreams.
Now I am studying, and I don’t worry about anything except to focus on my academics.
I pray that we will not waste all the love and support we’ve been given.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.