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The reflections of the enlightened CICL

Life is like a candle. Darkness enfolded a child when life hit him hard and lost any sight of the light at a young age.

Jose, not his real name, was a victim of inhospitable circumstances. His parents lived separately with his mother who shouldered the sole parental responsibility over four children in the family while his father sent them money to support them financially.

Moreover, he was confronted with a life changing event after his father’s death in 2009. His mother pulled the ends together by exploring alternative livelihood activities for their daily sustenance including the payment for their school expenses.

According to Jose, from being a household manager, his mom attended trainings in cosmetics and caregiving, hence, she worked as part-time on call beautician and caregiver thereafter.

In the absence of his mother, Jose’s eldest sibling replaced his mother. But according to him, it was not enough.

He admitted that they had more time to engage with their peers due to limited adult’s supervision.

Jose discovered the life without boundaries. A life where he can decide on his own without his parents’ reprimand.

Soon, Jose engaged with friends who introduced him to different vices.

“I cut classes. I learned how to smoke and drink alcohol while my older brother got into illegal drugs,” he said.

Jose became unstoppable. In 2015, Jose who was in third year high school decided to steal a motorcycle parked in his school because he wanted to have his own service; something that his mom cannot afford.

However, his world crumbled down when he was apprehended the same year. He violated the Anti-Fencing Law and was admitted at DSWD’s Regional Rehabilitation for Youth (RRCY) in Sorsogon City for his suspended sentence and directed him to undergo rehabilitation instead of full blown court trial.

After his three-year stay at RRCY, he was discharged out of the facility and was integrated to his family.

At RRCY, a residential institution that provides protection, care, treatment and rehabilitation to abused and exploited boys below 18 years of age, Jose received the following from DSWD: social services, home life services, educational services, health services, psychological services, spiritual enrichment services, productivity program and socio-cultural and recreational services.

After all those years, the most valuable lesson he learned is that life is important.

Jose described life like a candle. Its light may end in an instant if not taken care of.

But the people who gave them the opportunity to live a reformed life kept the light burning and its continuing illumination serves a source of inspiration to those who were lost in the darkness.

According to U.S. President John F. Kennedy: “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future”.

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