For 22 weeks every Wednesday, the facilitators and the girls, with a few boys, would all go to the Bel-Air function room to attend the sessions.
KST means Kabalikat Sa Tahanan, a project of Barangay Bel-Air which started 22 years ago. The aim of the program is to help the participants realize their potential and have a more meaningful relationship with God.
Before KST Batch 23-2016 started, the facilitators attended a 2 day recollection to prepare us spiritually so that we could be in a position to guide the participants.
I was so afraid to fall asleep during the recollection! It already happened one time!
The recollection then was held at Mandarin Hotel. We had to leave early so that meant, I had to wake up earlier than usual!
After the morning prayer, Bishop Mylo said to close our eyes and pray for 30 minutes on our own while the blessed sacrament was exposed. After a few moments into meditation, while sitting upright, Mona and Tita Linda Floro (who passed on recently), elbowed me at the same time because I started snoring!
So, ever since, I have been trying so hard not to fall asleep during our yearly recollection. Oh, boy! That was so hard! My mind tends to wander during homily and that is only 10 minutes during mass, so imagine 2 days worth of homilies!!!!
My eyes really felt so heavy but I fought the urge to fall asleep and I won! I think I learned the art of falling asleep with my eyes open!
Hmmm.... I wonder what was so funny during the sharing?
It was also a chance for us to get to know each other. My KST partner this year is Pudgy.
Launching Day with Capitana Nene, the Kagawad Members and some of the facilitators.
When I first met the girls, they seemed so shy and quiet. I could hardly hear them when they speak.
They barely talked to each other.
But after a few sessions, they became friends.
I am so amazed by the fact that I saw them bloom right before my eyes! Hahahaha Cliche-ish? But true.
Week after week, you would notice that they would start believing in themselves. Whereas before there were probably doubts in their minds on what they are capable of doing.
When you show the girls and let them feel that you believe in them, that they can handle whatever challenge life throws at them, they begin to have self-confidence.
When they discover who they really are, their inherent nature comes out.
They had skills training like table setting, napkin folding, sewing, flower arranging, gift wrapping, etc. etc., to showcase their artistic side. (One of the girls even won 1st prize in flower arranging.)
Sure, skills are a necessity in their line of work but what is more important to me is for them to discover and accept who they are and in the process, they learn to love themselves and their work.
Finally, the main goal is for them to realize that there is dignity in being a household helper and not be embarrassed when asked what they do for a living.
This is already my 6th year as a facilitator. Some people would ask me, "Don't you get bored doing the same things year after year?"
No, it has never been boring because every year, we are given a new set of participants. Each one has a different story to tell, each one teaches me something new about myself. It is not just a learning process for them but for me, as well. I get a glimpse of a life that I am not familiar with, at all.
I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me to help people who need me more than I need them.
Will I volunteer again next year?!?!?
A big fat YES!