Whenever we were with the children in public places, people would ask, “Who are all these children? Are they siblings?” I would say, they are cousins or they are playmates, or just ignored the question. Now I have determined that Love146 children will be called “scholars” instead of “clients” as they would be called in all the other safe homes or shelters in the Philippines. The children’s eyes lit up when they heard the word “scholar.” And as I explained why “scholar” is an appropriate term for them, I thought I saw great self-worth dawning upon their faces.
A few months ago I was at a program in Manila. I was there to teach about the vulnerabilities of sexually exploited children to a group of senior Asian leaders who hadn’t been exposed to the issue of trafficking. I thought it would helpful for them to see the issue firsthand.