Twenty-One for 21

I've been meaning to share these images for months and now I've finally brought myself to do that.

Over the past few years I've been involved in volunteer work for the charity organisation Gawad Kalinga in pursuit of its mission to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024. In 2016, along with my Mum and other youth members, I took part in an outreach program where we assisted in house building projects, feeding programmes and community engagement. Among the locations we visited, we spent most of our time at the GK St Joseph Village in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. Upon leaving the village, I promised myself I would return.

In January, I turned 21 and I felt it was the right time to give back to those in the village by donating 21 gifts to 21 families. 

On January 19 at the beginning of this year, my family and I travelled to Cabiao to deliver the gifts and we were welcomed with smiles and humbled greetings. The joyous nature among the people that I had remembered did not subside over the span of one year and I cannot explain how much joy I felt knowing that I had been in the presence of that positive atmosphere once again. 

It was a short visit, but I could not feel more blessed to have experienced something so amazing.

Growing up, I had come to understand my strong eagerness to help others, especially those who were deemed underprivileged or neglected. Knowing that there are so many people in this world who are belittled and subject to mistreatment, breaks my heart and I can't bare the thought of not doing anything about it.

The people of the Philippines and the people of this village are held so close to my heart and I'm eager to develop new ways of adding more value to their lives and in turn, change their lives.

To those who have supported me throughout my entire journey especially my family, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you all, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much as I have today.

 (Side note, I wouldn't have used plastic bags for the project had I fully understood the detrimental implications plastic had on the environment and health at the time)

(Side note, I wouldn't have used plastic bags for the project had I fully understood the detrimental implications plastic had on the environment and health at the time)