Cottolengo Filipino

Cottolengo Outreach Program – Their own amazing world

Last month our ERNI team in the Philippines experienced a memorable event. We all got united for one purpose and that is to extend our generosity and love. This year, instead of having the usual exchange gifts we came up with an idea to raise funds and give donations to our chosen charity. This program was called “Exchange your gifts to those in Need”.  

In the province of Rizal, we were able to find a home in the hill called Cottolengo Filipino, a private non-stock, non-profit religious and non-government organization, licensed and accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that supports and give assistance to abandoned, neglected, surrendered persons with disabilities.

We were welcomed with warm hugs and the sweetest smile of these 40 amazing children with different needs. Some of the kids cannot walk and those who had to be led around and guided always. Abandoned, neglected and forgotten. Harsh as it may be but that is their situation. The team felt a sudden breakdown but as we continue to interact with them, we knew that this experience will change our perspectives in life.

Talking and interacting with them was difficult, some could not utter any words and some just had too many things to say and hard to comprehend while the others had nothing to say, no movement and just confined in their own wheelchair, But there is something about them that made us feel more compassionate and have utmost eagerness to continue this simple deeds.

The children may not know it but it was through their eyes that we saw how strong they are, fighting to live and looking forward to another bright and sunny day. They showed us the meaning of appreciating life, the simplest of joys and endless happiness.

They will forget who we are or how we look like but as long as there are people who are willing to reach out to them, these special children will continue to fight for their lives and will continue to show their own unique amazing world to us.

“A child with special needs will inspire you to be a special kind of person”

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