Today marked the end of the KST ( Kabalikat sa Tahanan) Batch 22 Program.
Every Wednesday for four and a half months, facilitators and kasambahays would go to the Village function room to participate in Barangay Bel-Air's program.
The aim is to uplift and enhance the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, occupational, physical and environmental well being of each KST participant.
Before it started last June, the facilitators had to attend a 2 day recollection. We were so fortunate to have Father Dennis Paez as our recollection master. We were so energized and renewed after the experience.
The name of our group is Maalalahanin. My co-faciliator is Tita Evelyn.
When they first started attending the sessions, they seemed so shy and very reserved.
But as we got to know each other every Wednesday, I noticed that they were becoming more engaging and started smiling already.
We tried to boost their self confidence and their sense of self worth. We encouraged them to talk on the stage and share to the big group whatever was asked of them. They were hesistant and embarrassed at first but in the end, I think we succeeded in our goal.
They were taught different skills.
We had the sewing session.
Gift wrapping and recycling.
Laundry and Ironing. Ohhhhh freebies for everybody from our sponsor!
And a whole lot more!
We even had a night of games, dancing and partying!
The transformation of the participants was really amazing and a humbling experience.
I never understood the meaning of "Make a difference!" until now. I remember running for student council in college.
Hahahahaha Don't get any ideas. We were only 4 in our course and one was already running for VP, no one was left to run for course rep except for me.
Our battle cry was, " Make A Difference!"
I didn't get it at that time. But after hearing what the kasambahays had to say during the "Sino Ako Ngayon", session, I was enlightened.
I realized that we made a difference in their lives.
If before it seemed that they had no hope, now they can see the light.
If they thought so little of themselves then, now they can see their value.
We taught them that they were created in God's image and likeness. Wow!!! What could top that???!
Self doubt????? Not anymore.
They are more confident and sure of themselves without forgetting the virtue of humilty.
They used to be so ashamed because they are only domestic helpers but now they finally learned that there is dignity in work.
I am so proud of my group! I cannot call them girls because I have a very cute gay member. He is one of my favorites.
Kabalikat Sa Tahanan is open to all kinds of people with different sexual orientations. We have participants who are male, female and gay.
The program even won 2nd place as the Most Gender Responsive in 2014.
I am so glad to be a part of a program that makes a difference in the lives of the kasambahays. It did not only change them but it also changed me.
Whereas before I could not care less if they get wet on their way to the park, but last Wednesday, I was so worried it might rain hard.
They were wearing white for their graduation. I was afraid their clothes might become muddy.
I felt like a proud Mama seeing them march and come up the stage to receive their diplomas.
Some of them might not even have finished Elementary education.
But look at how proud they are now!
I am hoping that Barangay Bel-Air's Kabalikat Sa Tahanan would continue for another 21 years!
That's how old KST is!
Help me pray for the continuous success of this wonderful and life changing program.
(Thank you Barangay Bel-Air for letting me use some of your photos!)