MANILA, Dec. 2, 2013—The former street kids usually just see a picture of him in the shelter in Manila they now call home, but yesterday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle dropped by for real, commending them for their faith and joy.
“Sometimes, you may think that you are the ones who always get help…That is also true. But you know, you are the ones who help us. We learn from you how to be strong, how to keep faith and how to continue loving in the midst of our situations in life,” Tagle told a group of 40 former street kids who are being taken care of by the Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK), a foundation that has been helping get kids off the streets of Metro Manila since 1998.
A child’s joy
He also thanked the former street kids, some of whom left the streets at 5 years old, some in their teens, for “showing their love, hope and joy to other people.”
Before heading to the home center in Intramuros, Manila to watch the kids give dance presentations and short messages, Tagle first visited another TNK center in Smokey Mountain, called the Mother Teresa Center, to meet and talk to scavenger children that the foundation also helps by providing tutorials, feeding and health programs.
Tagle also vowed that the Archdiocese of Manila will explore more ways on how to support the mission of the foundation.
“To the full extent of the Archdiocese of Manila’s ability, we will help and be TNK’s partner in the mission of spreading love and the sense of family,” he said.
TNK’s communications manager Alexandra Chapeleau also thanked the Archdiocese of Manila for awarding a house and lot to the foundation, which currently makes up the Intramuros TNK center.
Yesterday, December 1, the TNK family in Intramuros also celebrated the feast day of its patron, Blessed Charles de Foucauld, a French Catholic religious and priest, who was martyred in 1916.
In operation for 15 years, TNK is headed by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas as chairman.
The foundation has several programs to address the plight of thousands of underprivileged infants, children and youth in the slums, dump sites and streets.
For more information on how to help, call (02) 435 59 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]