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My Life & Journey as an orphan PDF  | Print |

By: Chona Solano, 16 yrs old

 

Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be. Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar and you'll live as you've never lived before. (Erich Fromm)

 Now that I’ve graduated from my senior year in High School, another leaf in my life has turned over. I will be entering the next chapter of my life by spending it outside the orphanage. This time, I will be living with my brothers.

Fifteen years ago, together with my siblings Joy, Richard and Raffy, we were brought to the Home of Joy in Mandaluyong City. We stayed there for 5 months then were transferred to the Foster Care Program through licensed Foster Families. My brother Richard and I stayed with Ms. Norma Rafol. After 2 years, we were moved back again to the Home of Joy Residential Care Center, which was at that time located at Jabez Christian Center, Cavite City. We were under the care of one houseparent to another. First, we were under the guardianship of Mr.Watson & Mrs Noemi Atkinson together with the help of Noemi Sabanto, whom we fondly called ‘mommy’. Then, when I was in grade 3, we were under the custody of Daddy Rudy and Mommy Fe De Guzman. After 2 years my sister Joy and I were under the care and guidance of Papa Jun and Mama Lucy Regio. Finally, our former Home of Joy manager, Mrs. Juliet Andaya, fostered me at the guesthouse.

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Her Name is Dorcas PDF  | Print |

Dorz is under the loving care of the Home of Joy for almost 19 years now. She was declared abandoned through court proceedings. The petition was granted last July 31, 1994 three years after she was born.

Year 1991, on the 31st of July at UP PGH Hospital, Dorcas was born prematurely. She suffered from pneumonia, thus was required to stay longer at the nursery for further treatment. Days passed by, her parents and relatives stopped visiting her and eventually abandoned her at the said hospital.

Upon admission at the Home of Joy until October 1992, she was suffering with different illnesses. A series of laboratory tests were conducted which led to the attending physician is recommendation for a developmental pediatrician’s assessment.

In March 15, 1993, results showed that Dorz has Cerebral Palsy that needs speech, physical and occupational therapy. Six months after, it was found out that she was suffering from sensory–neural hearing loss and Global Developmental Delayed (anthetoid cerebral palsy) with mental retardation. Through PCSO and concerned citizen, she availed free hearing aid to use.

When she reached the age of 9, she attended the SpEd School at Bright Future in Imus, Cavite, while at the same time undergoing series of therapies. These took place from August 2000–May 2006. These therapies helped Dorcas improve her physical and cognitive development. She was able to write her own name, learned more sign-language, follow simple direction and move freely with minimal supervision.

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A New Home Address for Donasales Siblings PDF  | Print |

 

Together with her older siblings Jessica, 18 and Jun, 20, Angelica “Angie” Donasales, 16, transferred to their own apartment last March 1, 2008, after living at Home of Joy (HOJ) Orphanage since 1994. Supervising social worker Unnie de Quilla said the siblings were set to move out by the end of March yet. But they asked that the transfer be moved a month early.

“Parang panibagong buhay kami,” (Seems we’re starting a new life) says Jessica, a college freshman taking up computer secretarial. Angie is an incoming high school senior at Jabez Christian School. The two girls will continue to receive monthly allowance for food, school needs, and fare. Older brother Jun works full time at Nippon Asahi warehouse and takes care of the monthly rent. He took up a computer technician course under the sponsorship of HOJ.

The siblings now reside at Moldex Compound, Sampaloc 1, Dasmariñas, Cavite. The place is two rides away from the HOJ compound where Angie’s school is located. Says Angie, “Tahimik na masayang maingay duon dahil sa dumadaang sasakyan. Pero mainit, di tulad sa HOJ na tagos ang hangin dahil maraming puno.”(Its quiet and a happy kind of noisy because of the passing vehicles. But it’s hot, unlike at HOJ where the breeze blows freely because of the trees.)

 
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