Every child has a dream that s/he hopes to become a reality someday. They have a vision where they created every piece of life experience in order to build a certain image of whom they will be in the future. These pieces of experiences led Roland Plaza to be a successful man in his chosen career – boxing. A former resident of Haven for Children, one of the 12 Centers and Residential Care Facilities of DSWD NCR.

Roland’s story began on the streets of Quezon City where he spent his days with his friends thinking about how to survive on their everyday life. They practiced begging but found out that a little amount of money can be generated from it which paved way for him to commit acts he is not proud of.

While doing his routine to outweigh others, Roland was incidentally caught by the police who taught him not to do the act of stealing again. Upon walking on the boulevards of Muntinlupa City, Roland saw from afar a place where children are happily playing inside.

Roland was enlightened when he decided to be part of Haven for Children Center (HFC).

During his stay at HFC, Roland learned to be a productive individual. He participated in activities which enhances his skills, such as candle and soap making, creating laces made with beads and crystals. Roland also loves to cook for his housemates in the Center. He decided to be a kitchen helper in the Center, where he gains trust from his friends and administrators in the Center. He also joined different contests to boost his self-confidence and talents, such as entering a dance group where they perform in every outreach program that the Center conducts.

While inside the Center, an opportunity knocks when Roland was invited to enroll and study in Jose Fabella Memorial School of HFC. He started as a grade 2 student and eventually, took a chance to take the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) and successfully passed the examination. Roland accelerated to Junior High School (Grade 7) and transferred to Pangarap Foundation to continue his academic journey.

Throughout his stay in the foundation especially during his spare time, Roland learns to do boxing as a hobby and made it as a part-time job which continuously supports his educational needs as a high school student.

“Boxing helps me to be more confident of myself; I feel I am at my best every time I am doing what I love, and that is boxing,” he exclaimed.

Another opportunity knocks on Roland’s door when he was given a chance to take the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Program, which is offered to selected students of the foundation. With perseverance and hard work, Roland was able to pass the high school level through the ALS program.

Today, Roland is pursuing his boxing career and following his dream to be a professional boxer champion like his idol in this field, Senator Manny Pacquiao. Most of his fights were televised on-air particularly on People’s Television Network (PTV4). Each day of watching his own recorded fights, Roland learns a lot about himself. He was able to see the areas for improvement which led him to enhance his tactics and strategies for his upcoming fights in boxing arena.

As a former resident of the Center, Roland hoped that every child in HFC will be working hard to fulfill their dreams in life. He shared that even he was once lost in life, the HFC gave him direction that led to where he is now. He is very grateful to the staff of the Center who treated him like a family.

“The love and care they have for me when I was at the Center are the motivations that I always bring on my every fight,” he enthused.

Haven for children is a Residential Care Facility that caters male street children ages 7 to 13 years old who are recovering from substance abuse. It aims to provide therapeutic and rehabilitative services to boys geared towards holistic recovery and development through a multi-disciplinary approach, commitment, and teamwork of different professionals. ###

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