Children International Manila (formerly Abot Kamay, Inc.) is celebrating 26 long years of bringing real help and real hope to various communities in Quezon City, Caloocan and the Province of Bulacan. As a way of showing our solidarity to the organization that inspired many children and youth like us, former youth leaders and now members of CIMAA or Children International Manila Alumni Association, I compiled these virtual exhibit of some youth leaders and officers of the Abot Kamay Youth Council (just some) who could be good ambassadors of the organization in telling the world that Children International is really doing meaningful works in helping create responsible, productive, and self-reliant individuals.
On this post, I would like to show some former youth leaders who are literally going places – not just in the Philippines but — around the world. Whether for leisure or work, these youth leaders have always brought with them, individually, the pride and inspiration of being a youth leader and a former sponsored child of Children International.
- Gretchen Santos Tang
Gretchen is an active Area Representative of Sub-office 6 (Bagong Silang Kaliwa); she was among the pioneer facilitators and proponents of the Five Little Instructions for the Youth, a life skills training for children and youth. Now a mother of two wonderful kids, Gretchen continues to live her dream. In August 2016, together with her husband, Gretchen spent wonderful days in Singapore.
- Minerva Tabar
She was involved in a number of youth programs back in her days in the youth council, a HOPE scholar, Youth Empowerment Seminar Facilitator, a storyteller, YHC volunteer and more. Surely, Ate Minerva has prepared herself to conquer challenging heights not just here in the Philippines. In 2012, Ate MInie together with her friends visited Hong Kong then went solo tripping in Dubai in 2014.
- Shio Palao
Before the youth council was formally established in the year 2000, Kuya Shio Palao of Hagonoy, Bulacan is already active volunteering in the activities or programs of CI-Manila. He is among the first youth facilitators of the youth health care program. Today, Shio has settled successfully in Doha Qatar with his wife and kids.
- William Montaril
One of the most active youth leaders in Bulacan and recipient of the Youth Leader’s Choice Award, William had done many good things in the youth council. No wonder that he is also going far in many places like in Japan, Hong Kong and China.
- Leonie Millares
Ate Leonie has also been very active in the youth program as a YES facilitator, storyteller, YHC volunteer, and many other – she actually has done a lot for the youth program. She has been involved in program conceptualizations, module designing, and program monitoring and evaluation. Well, her talents and kindness really led her to many places. This girl has been to Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea and UAE.
- Engr. Mark Anthony Redo
In 2005, Kuya Mark was leading the youth council as its 3rd president; he’s been involved in a lot of projects visiting almost all of the sub-offices from Caloocan City to Bulacan, today he is now a licensed Mechanical Engineer doing advance studies in Japan (plus some visits to other countries for more learning opportunities like South Korea). Indeed, Kuya Mark has taken big leaps in life and his career.
- Eloisa Teodoro
At an early age, Eloisa already took important roles in the youth program as one of the pioneer peer educators of the YHC in Brgy. Kaligayahan in Quezon City. Then after her term in the YHC, she served in the youth council as one of the most active Area Representatives in Service Area Center 1. Then became a YES facilitator and a volunteer to many other programs. Indeed, she is used to accomplishing things at an early age, including of course travelling to other country. Hold your breath, she’d been to Dubai, New York, Maldives, London, Amsterdam, Paris and where is Stonehenge again?
Well, I would like also to add myself to the list, having been to Kansas City, Missouri 3 times, in India in 2005, New York in 2009, then Cambodia and Berlin just last year.
This list is not exhaustive, because we know that there are more CI alumni who are now doing good works outside the country like Ate Michelle Bonete, one of the pioneer officers of the youth council; one could be finishing her next architectural project or celebrating her business deal abroad while the others are involved in another international research or regional humanitarian effort. Pretty much, I will be writing about them also, to always remind the world that Children International is really inspiring children like us to bring positive changes, if needed, break boundaries, challenge our capacities and yes eventually conquer other heights.
for this article I would like to thank all the people who are mentioned aboved for sharing their photos.