AFTER years of living on the streets of Cebu City, Kokey finally learned how to read at the age of 17.
He is now motivated to go back to school as first grader despite his age and be integrated back into his family.
What used to be a dirty, stinky and raucous street child, Kokey is now a groomed and behaved teenager. He was also able to strengthen his spirituality that helped him transformed into a better person today.
Kokey is one of the 70 street kids whose lives were transformed by Dilaab Foundation Inc., through its Youth for Empowerment and Restoration Program (YERP).
YERP is helping street children in Cebu to turn their lives around by teaching them good habits and empathy so they will become dignified and responsible individuals. YERP is doing this by nurturing their mind, body and soul.
In support to the program, Carmen Copper Corp., a mining company based in Toledo City, provided funds to Dilaab Foundation for the feeding of the 70 Dilaab kids this school year 2018-2019.
While they are in school, they shall receive one free meal a day for five days a week to improve their health and nutrition and at the same time encourage them to attend classes daily.
Dilaab Foundation chairperson Fr. Carmelo O. Diola thanked Carmen Copper. He said that help came at an opportune time because the foundation needed funds for the feeding component of YERP.
“God is always ahead of us,” he said.
As typical street children, these kids were subjects of ridicule and countless life threatening circumstances in the past.
They turn to the streets, not because they were willing, but because of challenging circumstances at home.
“Kaniadto, mga yagit pa ni sila. Pero dako na sila’g kausaban karon ug kani sila ang mu-takod sa ubang mga bata,” Diola said.
Dilaab provides the children spiritual and values formation and teaches them basic but essential things like proper hygiene. Dilaab also assists in processing their enrollment and monitors their performance in school by directly coordinating with their teachers.
Diola, in the presence of the children beneficiaries, received the cash donation in a ceremony held last July 21 at the Dilaab Foundation office at the IEC Convention Center Cebu.
Carmen Copper, through its Social Development and Management Program, supports initiatives like YERP that empower individuals to become self-sufficient in the future.
Among Carmen Copper’s focus areas under SDMP is providing quality and inclusive education for all. Other focus areas include quality healthcare services, livelihood, public infrastructure, preservation of cultural heritage and disaster resilience and rehabilitation.