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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

CHRISTMAS is one of the special occasions when families get together to celebrate and spend time with each other.

However, there are some who are not able to experience Christmas with a family like orphaned children.

Fortunately, the orphaned children of the SOS Children's Village Davao, are able to celebrate the season with their new-found families.

Noel Tanucan, fund development coordinator, said their children in the village are either orphaned, or half-orphaned, those who have either parent who are unable to raise them due to a certain situation like poverty.

"We [SOS Children's Village] are not an orphanage but we are a provider families to the children we accept in the village. Instead of care givers, we have house mothers who will raise the children like their very own child," he said.

Tanucan said how families outside the village celebrate noche buena and Christmas in their own homes, the same goes with how the families in the village celebrate the season.

The village has 14 houses with a "mother", who cares for around eight to 10 or more children per house, and every family has their own set of menu and way of celebrating Christmas.

"Our Christmas celebration is very simple. Usually the children request for basic Christmas food staples like spaghetti and chocolate cake," said Theresa "Mama Terry" Tuble, a mother of a number of children for 32 years.

She is currently taking care of eight children, three youth boys, and two boarders.

She said every Christmas her other children return to the village to bring some things and celebrate with her and the kids.

"The children are also very sweet, despite their situation they are able to give me gifts and also to their ates or kuyas and little siblings," Mama Terry said, adding last year she was given a shirt by her children.

Eman, 16, and currently in third year high school in Holy Cross College of Davao, said they also have exchange gifts among their house siblings.

"We also help our mother in preparing the food for the Christmas season," he said.

Eman said one of the things they also do during the Christmas celebration is they go from one house to another to eat with the other families.

Aside from per house Christmas celebration, the village is also expecting a community celebration on December 21 wherein they will be expecting village alumni to visit the village.

"We will have a picnic set-up for the community celebration, each house will have their own table in the field wherein their fromer children can come and interact with the mothers and children," fund development coordinator Roxanne Paguyan said.

Tanucan said during these Christmas celebrations the alumni of the village bring something to share to their homes to share to the mothers and children.

Christmas is not only giving gifts and toys or having a festive meal but it is the time wherein you celebrate with the people who are truly your family.

And for these children, despite the fact that they are not all biologically related to their mother or to the other children, know that they will be celebrating the yuletide season with the people they call their family.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 19, 2013.


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