Every year the celebration of Christmas brings hope to many people. Likewise, Shechem Children’s Home has been sharing and giving hope. Shechem which is located in Manila, Philippines provides Christ-centered, family-oriented care, protection and comprehensive assessment, and long-term placements for children rescued from Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC). This intensive care in the first months after the rescue leads to the child’s healing, resiliency, well-being, and hope for their future.
In 2018, Shechem became the first to offer a new level of care for children rescued in the Philippines from this crime that involves a parent or close relative in over 70% of the cases. Since this time, Shechem has been able to share with other shelters or like-minded organizations the strategy behind the program and its implementation. There are now several of these assessment centers in the Philippines.
One of the clients shared this about being in Shechem just weeks after arriving.
“Being a new member of the Shechem family, it’s my first time to celebrate Christmas here at Shechem. It’s hard to be far away from my family but I’m thankful that we have the staff and houseparents whom we can ask for guidance and serve as the lights into our lives while we are away from our family. The Shechem family allows us to experience a happy life despite the hardship of being away from home. From the love and support of the staff and the houseparents, I can enjoy and stay strong despite my sadness. Here at Shechem, I have felt I am loved, something I have never experienced outside (before). I am grateful to Shechem because here, I never felt ashamed or being judged. I am thankful that I am here, where even at the start of December, we can feel the Christmas season, I can proudly say that Shechem is the best.” – LK a 17-year-old girl
Hope begins to filter into the children, and they begin to dream about a future.
“I would like to go to school again and finish my studies for my child’s future, to give her good life. I would also like to send and finish the study of my child so that she will not become like me.” – Mab a 15-year-old mother of an infant.
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“My dream is to become a social worker like Kuya Jayson, to help my neighbor who are needy like me.” – Ai an 11-year-old girl
“I dream to finish my studies and become a social worker to help the children like me and I wish to come back and work at Shechem home. I hope to be with my family again. I hope to build a house for my family so that my siblings have a home.” -Rose a 15-year-old girl
“My hope is for everyone to have peace and I hope this COVID-19 will go soon so that the children can go out safely and we can play freely.” -Haze a 13-year-old-girl
Hope is an important piece of the puzzle for the children of this home. Praise God he redeems our lives and brings us hope. If you would like to know more about this Nazarene Compassionate Ministries project, please click here.
To hear the story of one of our recent clients, click here to hear Mae’s Story, a short new video.