Christmas is one of the most awaited holidays of the year. Aside from the never-ending parties and exchanging of gifts, Christmas is a holiday meant for families – we spend it with the people we love and with the people that love us. We spend days planning and plotting our vacation leaves, booking plane or ferry tickets, and even choosing the right gifts to give. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the young residents of SOS Children’s Village.
Located in Talamban, Cebu City, SOS Children’s Village is home to 55 children ranging from ages three to 12, who are either neglected or abandoned by their own families. Most of these children have been placed at the shelter from a very young age, depriving them of the concept of family and a family-spent Christmas/holidays, all of which are very essential factors in the formative years of these young children.
That is why, as part of its corporate social responsibility and its mission to constantly improve the lives of the Filipino people, Visayan Electric together with VECO Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (VEMCO) chose SOS Children’s Village as its beneficiary for this year’s Pasko sa Kabataan.
With over 50 volunteers, Visayan Electric came to SOS Children’s Village bearing gifts and goodies that were distributed for the children to enjoy. The children were also treated to a safari-themed Christmas party, a magic show, and fun-filled activities that both them and volunteers alike got to participate in and enjoy.
In her message, Ms. Florence Camillo, SOS Children’s Village Development Coordinator, expressed her deep gratitude to Visayan Electric for visiting their shelter and for spending Christmas with them, stating how beneficial the program is for the children, both emotionally and mentally, since it has been a long time that they had visitors and parties due to the pandemic.
“ This activity will make the children feel that they are important, that they are cared for, and that there are people who show genuine concern despite not being blood-related to them, which is a great build up on their character.” -Jazzel Kris Obasan SOS Children’s Village Social Worker
This activity will make the children feel that they are important, that they are cared for, and that there are people who show genuine concern despite not being blood-related to them, which is a great build up on their character.”
-Jazzel Kris Obasan
SOS Children’s Village Social Worker
“We are so pleased and overjoyed that you chose to celebrate Christmas with us here in SOS. We are so happy, and the children are very eager to celebrate together with you. We just opened our doors to visitors this year, so as you noticed, the children’s enthusiasm is so high, so, thank you,” Camillo stated.
Ms. Debie Bolhano, SOS Children’s Village Youth Mentor, also expressed her gratitude to Visayan Electric, expressing how the said activity positively impacts the children in terms of their confidence, education, and social interaction, especially having been isolated for the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Pasko sa Kabataan is an annual tradition of Visayan Electric as a way of giving back to the community.
Visayan Electric has and will always have a soft spot for the Filipino youth and children, as conveyed by its numerous programs benefiting young Cebuanos such as this, and as well as the Public Schools
Rewiring Programs and Brigada Eskwela Programs. Although Pasko sa Kabataan is a once-a-year event held by Visayan Electric, it provides a life-long positive impact to its young beneficiaries. Moreover, this year, VEMCO has also donated a check worth PhP 50,000 to SOS Children’s Village.
SOS Children’s Village Social Worker, Ms. Jazzel Kris Obasan, expressed how the Pasko sa Kabataan contributes to the holistic well-being of their shelter’s residents.
“This activity will make the children feel that they are important, that they are cared for, and that there are people who show genuine concern despite not being blood-related to them, which is a great build up on their character,” expressed Obasan.
As the program concluded, Camillo thanked everyone and wished for a long-time partnership with Visayan Electric, hoping that this would only be the first of many programs between SOS Children’s Village and Visayan Electric.
SOS Children’s Village Cebu is run by an international organization that specializes in alternative family-like care, sheltering children that do not have or are at risk of losing parental support. Unlike other shelters who only provide temporary care, SOS Children’s Village houses children permanently and prepares them for independent living in the future. Should you wish to sponsor or donate, you can visit their website: sosphilippines.org/donate.