Last Saturday, I went on my first outreach program at the Sarnelli Center for Street Children. We gathered as a group to plan out what we are going to do with the street children. We decided that since it is our first meeting we would like to get to know one another. At this point, I was very nervous as to what is going to happen because I have never went to a program wherein we are the ones planning the activities.
We were welcomed in the Sarnelli Center by, Ate Net, the person in charge. She gave us a brief history of their facility and their goal. She said that each one of the boys in this facility have grown in the streets and most have been a part of a syndicate and are used to a different lifestyle as compared to the ones that they are experiencing right now. They often follow the saying “survival of the fittest.”. After knowing this, I felt driven to get to know the boys more and find out their own stories. Again, we met as a group and decided to have a short introduction. We each shared our names and something that we like to do. To my surprise, they are still very similar to us. They like music, dancing, basketball and drawing. I felt really comfortable after the sharing because I knew that we had common interests. Our first game was “the boat is sinking.” The main purpose of the game was so that the boys will not be afraid of us and will be willing to approach us. I liked the idea that were are doing this to bond with each other. Our next activity was a relay. I noticed in this activity that the boys can be very sneaky and mischievous. Most of them got frustrated when their team did not win. After this relay, we split into two groups. One group for those who want to draw and another to just relax. After this we decided it was time to eat, the moment the boys saw we were bringing out coke and burgers they started to run towards the place we were setting up. We managed to calm them down and give each one of them food. However, there are some that are greedy and get more than what is allotted for them. I couldn’t blame them since they used to live in a way that they fight for their food. After this we said our goodbyes and left the Center.
I learned that I can extend my patience if I try hard enough because there were some kids that were really naughty and annoying. I also learned that life as a poor person can be really difficult and can force one to do unpleasant things just to survive. Finally, I learned that despite our difference in background and education we still are the same and should be treated the same. I am curious to see what is in store for us next week.