Resilience generally means the ability to bounce back or recover from trauma or difficulties. In the physical sense, resilience is the ability of a material to resume its shape, after being deformed.
For the children in our care at the Love146 safe homes in the Philippines, resilience means more than recovering and returning to the condition they were in before they experienced trauma. It is more than resuming the normal process of development.
Given a beautiful physical environment and a loving social milieu, the children have found it safe to aspire for, and in fact achieve, excellence.
One of the boys in our White Home said he had never touched a musical instrument before coming to Love146. Now he can play all five instruments in the Love146 String Ensemble. Two other boys have been getting excellent grades in the university. They are both taking classes in Information Technology. Another boy has become a prodigious banduria player. He will go to high school next year. We will try to enroll him in an elite government high school for exceptional visual, performing, and literary young artists.
One girl was admitted to the Round Home last March and had to transfer to a new school. Even though she was new to the school, she was elected Secretary of her class within a few weeks after she arrived. She is getting top grades, her behavior is used as a model for others, she has been named the captain of the volleyball team, and she has learned to play four instruments for the Love146 String Ensemble.
It seems that when taken from the situation of exploitation, they become free to pursue what they are capable of becoming.
With Love146, the ceiling is pushed to the level of excellence. And so this is what resilience can look like: the children hold themselves in high esteem, and are able to see their future potential in ways unlimited by their past.