Our survivor care in the Philippines is holistic. We care about every part of a child’s life. Our staff are attuned to any needs that arise and are always listening. One staff always listening is our nurse.
Recently, a 12-year-old named Maddie told our nurse that she had a headache and her eyes were hurting. So later that day, the two of them went to the doctor’s office to make sure everything was okay. The good news? There was a quick fix: getting glasses. They scheduled an appointment with a specialist, and within a few weeks, Maddie walked out of the eye doctor’s office with a pair of glasses custom-fitted just for her! She picked out cool colorful frames that she really liked. Maddie loves simple, comfy clothes (like sweatshirts and sneakers), but this new accessory, aside from being useful, has just the right amount of flair for her.
Since then, these glasses have gone with her into the garden, the farms, and the beehives for daily check-ins with the animals. They come in handy when she’s picking leaves from the madre cacao tree to feed the goats, cooking yema candy, and breaking her high score in arcade games at the amusement park. They’ll certainly be useful for important things like seeing the chalkboard and, in a few years, getting her driver’s license. Maddie often talks about how much it matters to her that the people around her at Love146 care about her. The glasses are one more small way she can know how much she matters here.
Recently, she had another tangible reminder of this when the staff and clients in the safe homes threw her a 13th birthday party. There was spaghetti, chocolate cake and a trip with her friends to the swimming pool.
“I’m thankful for all the efforts the grown-ups here make to help us be happy. I’m so much happier because the people around me are kind and loving.” — Maddie
Maddie’s new pair of glasses reminded us that so much of survivor care is about learning to see farther than before. We want the children we work with to have new vision of their lives and their futures. We want to help them open their eyes wider and take in more and more of the wonderful things in our world. “My life here in the Round Home became colorful,” Maddie said.
We want her to know that here, in this place of love, it matters how she sees the world. It matters that her eyes can reach to the horizon and take in all the beauty there is to see.