Around the busy streets of Metro Manila, beggars and scavengers are scattered around using toxic substances out of curiosity. Those were the things that Undel used to do before he entered the DSWD Haven for Children (HFC) 6 years ago. He grew in a chaotic environment where quarrels and riots are just normal. Undel witnessed a group of children murdering a child, being sacked, and thrown in the river. It was a very traumatic experience for him.

Undel was admitted to the Center for begging and scavenging. Although he was being taken good care of in the Center, Undel unwillingly brought his trauma with him. To get him through the hardships he experienced, the Social Workers and other HFC staff helped and guided him through his rehabilitation and trauma.

Improvements were seen on him. Undel is now one of HFC’s trusted residents and he never attempted to leave the Center. Undel never wanted to leave the Center for he values the trust, love, and care that HFC gives him, who he treats as family.

Undel entered Jose Fabella Memorial School—Haven for Children in Grade 1.  From being a reserved boy, he turned into one of the idolized resident in the center. Undel was elected as a Coordinator and President under the Therapeutic Community Program, because of his confidence and good leadership. He was also assigned to regulate and maintain peace among his co-residents. Undel discovered so many things he thought he could not do, such as basketball, volleyball, and touch rugby, among others. He is very determined and committed that made him the captain of touch rugby to compete outside the Center. He was also awarded as the Most Valuable Player in playing Volleyball during the HFC Sportsfest 2018.

Slowly but surely, Undel is finally reaching his dreams. He officially graduated from Elementary (Grade 1 – Grade 6) last March 2019. When asked about his secret, he said “Perseverance and working hard” are the keys he used to succeed in his studies. He refused to take the Alternative Learning System (ALS) because for him, he wanted to experience each level through his hard work.

Undel’s ultimate goal is to finish gain a college degree because he wanted to secure his future. In his message to the other residents, he said, “You need to persevere in order to achieve your dreams. I know it is hard to stay in the center because we miss our parents and siblings, but we need to endure it for our future. Aside from that, we need to listen to our guardians (HFC staff) so that we can become the better people we thought we could never be.” Undel stated.

Haven for Children is a residential care facility that caters to street children ages 7 to 13 years old who are recovering from substance abuse. It aims to provide therapeutic and rehabilitative services to boys, gearing them towards their holistic recovery and development through the multi-disciplinary approach, commitment and teamwork of different professionals. To know more about Haven for Children, you may call at 807-1591 or you can send a letter at ###