Caring for Children
To my shame and embarrassment, I was clueless about this advocacy.
I didn't realize that that there are almost 200 youth advocates for children under the aegis of Youth for Safety (Y4S), one of the major programs of Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN), also a registered NGO.
Y4S has the vision to free Filipino children from sexual abuse and exploitation through youth advocates.
No. These Y4S youth advocates are being equipped by PCMN to be effective in various areas through training—writing is one of the skills they need "to be able to lead, advocate and communicate."
Ensconced in a safe and peaceful world of writing, I had some kind of blinders for raw and edgy programs.
But one day, after uploading to FB my photos in a recent creative writing workshop, I received a cryptic message from someone I had not met. Fe, national director of PCMN, wrote, “I wish you could conduct your creative writing workshop for PCMN youth.”
I got curious and later found out that the PCMN youth (Y4S), volunteers from various evangelical churches, are trained peer mentors and advocates against child sexual abuse.
This cut right through my middle. My impression of millennials made a u-turn. A “no” was not an option.
The workshop was then scheduled by Garicel, Y4S’s program coordinator. Simultaneously, I informed Hiyas, my publisher of children's books, and they sent over copies of different titles to be given away to each of the attendees.
On D-day, I was blessed to have worked with 20 young men and women—ages 16 to 24—from various parts of the country, in one room, for one whole day.
It was a spirited session, from opening to closing. As I watched the youth passionately write and share their magnum opus, I prayed that more millennials be stirred to care for disadvantaged children in whatever manner or form.
The day was long, but so was the fun. The immense joy hauled in by grace bunked in my heart long after the day was over.