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Disadvantaged youth in DSWD center complete skills training

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Fifty six (56) residents of Nayon ng Kabataan (NK) recently graduated from various skills training courses provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Nayon ng Kabataan is a residential care facility managed by the DSWD for abused, orphaned, abandoned, neglected, and exploited children aged 7-17 years old, both male and female.
At the recently held graduation ceremony, with the theme, “Be faithful, Be responsible, Be truthful in fulfilling your dreams,” the youth received certificates for the various skills training courses of their choice.
The livelihood courses which are recognized internationally include baking, beauty care, basic sewing, dress making, hair dressing, carpentry, and information communication and technology (ICT).
The graduates were thankful for the new skills they have gained, saying that these could be their ticket to a brighter future.
Jhomar Dolong said, “Kung anuman ang nakaraan natin, huwag na nating balikan. Tulad ko na isang street child, nakipagsapalaran sa kalsada, tambay, akala ko hanggang doon na lang ako. Nang mapunta ako dito sa Nayon ng Kabataan, nagbago ang lahat. Nakilala ko ang Panginoon. Kaya dapat lahat ng mga problema natin, ipag-pray lang natin. Isuko natin sa Kanya, at maniwala tayo na magiging ayos din ang lahat (Whatever happened in our past, let us put it behind us. Take me as an example. I was a street child and I thought that I would be living on the streets for the rest of my life. When I was brought here in Nayon ng Kabataan, everything changed. I came to know about God. We should surrender all our problems to Him and have faith that everything will be alright).”
He also gave a message for his parents saying, “Sa mga magulang ko, patawad po kung sa nakaraan ko ay hindi ako naging magandang ehemplo sa mga kabataan, kaya nagsusumikap ako ngayon para maipagmalaki niyo na ako bilang anak ninyo (To my parents, I apologize for what I did in the past. I was not a good model to the youth, that is why I am trying my best now to make you proud of me).”
Jhomar and his family were reunited on his graduation day. His parents, Jun and Marilou, are very proud of his achievement.
DSWD-National Capital Region Regional Director Alicia Bonoan, who attended the graduation on behalf of Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, commended the hard work of the graduates in enhancing their skills and pursuing their dreams.
She added, “Pinupuri namin kayo sa tagumpay na inyong nakamit. Ito ang simula ng pagbabago ng inyong buhay. Maari kayong magkaroon ng mataas na posisyon sa isang kompanya, o di kaya maging may-ari ng sarili ninyong negosyo gamit ang inyong natamong kaalaman at kakayahan. Anuman ang inyong tahakin sa pagtamo ng inyong pangarap, hangad namin ang inyong magandang kinabukasan (We commend you for this achievement. This is the start of a life-changing opportunity for you. It is now possible for you to get employed using your skills, and you can even put up your own small business using what you have learned. DSWD wishes you success in whatever you want to achieve.)”

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.