By Katrina Hallare, Field and Emergency Communications Specialist
World Vision sponsored child Mark Louie and several residents of Albay, a province in the Philippines, share how World Vision has made a big impact and helped them uplift their lives during a call with World Vision supporters from Canada.
Eighteen-year-old Mark Louie used to be a shy kid. Now, he is now confident in facing a crowd, all thanks to the child leadership trainings conducted by World Vision.
“World Vision has helped me intrinsically because first, Mark Louie always leads. When I was introduced to World Vision, I attended trainings and seminars, of which the topics are on leadership, and those have helped me to boost how I lead in school, at home, in our community, also here in our village,” says Mark Louie, who has been a sponsored child for six years now.
Mark Louie’s mom, Winnie, is a homemaker. Thanks to World Vision, she is also able to make a living in the comfort of their home through a sari-sari (sundry) store.
“When we first came here, I started working as a household helper while Mark Louie started school. I was a helper for six years. When I got sick, I decided to stop working as a helper and started selling and cooking until World Vision helped me with livelihood assistance, that’s why I am focusing on this right now such until when I can still do it,” she shares during the online meet.
Mark Louie and Winnie’s stories are one of those how World Vision has uplifted the lives of the people in their community in Albay — one of World Vision’s 28 area programs in the Philippines. Aside from child sponsorship, one aspect that the program in Albay focuses on is child protection.
Like Mark Louie, 18-year-old Monna Marie is a youth leader in the community. She serves as a facilitator for group discussions on trainings tackling child protection, billed the Child Protection Minimum Requirement training.
“[These help] increased awareness among the youth who experience or are aware of child abuse cases. They now know where to complain and to approach a person they can trust,” Monna Marie says of these trainings.
Even the local officials of the community have benefitted from World Vision’s interventions, too, such as the case of Mona, a village secretary who handles the violence against women (VAWC) help desk.
“Because of World Vision’s trainings on child protection, we learned more about the process on proper handling and the referral mechanism of VAWC cases,” Mona says. “Even the youth became more aware of their rights.”
Village chief Samson can also attest to World Vision’s help in their area. “The child protection training is helpful in our community in identifying cases that our local Child Protection Council needs to address. Because of the training, we have put up reporting and referral pathways in every street so people would know where to report child abuse cases,” Samson says.
With these interventions, Mark Louie expresses his gratitude for World Vision’s supporters’ help.
“I want to say thank you. Thank you because I got to know you and found you. And my gratitude is not just for me but for all of the children that you have helped, as well as to the families that you have helped,” he says.