Anak ng Bay: Community Care Program for Children of OFW

With the help of Ugnayan at Tulong Para Sa Marlitang Pamilyang Foundation, Inc. (UGAT), through their Panatag Program headed by Carlos Lagaya, and St Augustine Parish headed by Fr. Jessie Somosierra Jr., a two day series of lectures and workshops was held in 4 schools in Bay, Laguna. These schools were: Bay Central Elementary School, Masaya National High School, Bitin National High School and Dr. N. Galvez Memorial National High School.

One hundred and seventy three (173) students participated. The workshops were designed to help the student cope with the separation from their parents who became overseas workers in order to provide for a better future for their families.

This activity began on February 6 with a basic counseling workshop for parish-based peer counselors.  These counselors were from the youth ministry, migrante and couples for Christ.

Then, on February 7-8, the workshop was held in Bay Central Elementary, where 52 students participated. On February 16-17, the workshop proceeded to Masaya National High School where 36 students partook of this activity. Fifty seven (37) students from Dr. N. Galvez Memorial National High School joined the event on February 21-22. Finally, on February 23-24, thirty seven (37) students from Bitin National High School were provided with these workshops.

The workshops focused on allowing the children to become more aware of their feelings, particularly if it erred on the side of depression. Activities included drawing, as a means of therapy and cathartic expression of their desires and fears from being children of migrant workers. Students began to cry as they expressed their feelings; many of them admitting that they might be possibly suffering from mild forms of depression.