A month ago, I got the chance to visit some of the local facilities catering to the needs of special children and individuals with disabilities. As a part of the SPED program I was taking up, I joined the class in a day of enlightenment and reaching out. The entire day proved to be something I cannot easily forget about as images of the people I met on that day continue to encourage me and challenge me to make a difference even in the smallest ways.
The whole day trip included a visit to the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center in Labangon, Cebu City. It is the informational part of the journey as we were introduced to the different services offered by the local government as assistance for people with disabilities (pwd's). These individuals were given trainings on certain subjects and areas of work to help empower them in becoming more independent and self-reliant. Hearing impaired young ladies occupied their cosmetology room, where they are trained to give services such as manicure, pedicure and hair massages. Another room serves as the training area for future masseuses.Further down the building are those who can and are interested to handle electronics and other technical fields of study.
Next in line was the Missionaries of the Poor in Pasil, Cebu City. This residential-type facility is technically an output of the missionaries' desire to help the poorest of the poor. At the present, the facility houses a good number of children and old individuals. This place really broke my heart into pieces. Living under their roof are 10-20 little kids who have been abandoned by their parents and are presently cared for by the brothers who are running this facility. These little ones really tore into the deepest parts of me as they smiled and played with us from the confines of their cribs. It makes me wonder and watch in awe as they smile and play with us using their faces since they find it really hard to move. Most of these children were afflicted with cerebral palsy. Their little delicate bodies are twisted here and there, making me shudder thinking about the pain and discomfort they must be feeling. Within those few minutes we spent there, I made a vow to come back there and do something for those little ones. This is something me and my friends are presently working on.
To cap off the entire day of learning experience, we dropped by the Parian Drop-In Center. We donated a box of school supplies and had a short chat with their resident psychologist. It was from him that we found out how the center works and what it does for the community. Aside from housing lost, abandoned and street children, it also supports those under its care when it comes to their educational needs.
We couldn't take any pictures of these individuals and children because we might use them for bad purposes, which is just understandable.However, the images of those little kids in MOP are etched in my mind ever since. I vowed to do something for them even with my own limitations. More so, their presence made me realize how better off, luckier and more blessed I am than others. They have made me realize that I have more and that I should share what I have.
They might have special needs and do require a special kind of care and understanding. However, they are just like any one of us. They like the feeling of having someone to play with and smile with. They might find it hard to smile, but they smile to show much fun they are having. They find it hard to move, but they try to extend as much of their little arms to get to touch another individual. They are special in almost every sense of the world, but they are never different from us as humans who live, love and laugh.