A portrait of a boy with a kitten at Children's…
For Christmas day we read more about Tony, from SOS Children's Village Manila. And a story from SOS Children's Village Marina Gorka.
A portrait of a boy with a kitten at Children's Village Manila, Philippines.
First of all Happy Christmas! I thought this was a lovely picture of a little boy with kittens. This is his story: at SOS Children's Village Manila, Tony is like any other child; what distinguishes him from the others is his love for the sweet little kittens.
Perhaps Tony, 7, discovered it early. No one knows when his friendship with the feline and furry family began. "I love these tiny creatures and I very much care for them," is the innocent reply when people ask too many questions about it. But his siblings are very much willing to extend a helping hand when he needs them to tend to his tiny friends.
"Currently, he takes care of Jason, one of three black tiny cats at the village. He does not forget to feed it even right before leaving for school, and sometimes the children save their snacks for their pet." says Vicente Tejada, director of SOS Children's Village Manila.
"It is lovely to see him with Jason. He speaks with the kitten while his fingers caress the soft furs and the tiny creature relaxes and glues to his lap," says SOS co-worker Jennifer Federizo. And, take heart, Jason has a birthday which Tony celebrates promptly with cake and candles. It's another matter when the children start singing "Happy Birthday; then, the kitten vanishes outside looking at all the hullabaloo around.
Tony similarly tends to his studies as to his pet. And, he is not without ambition, too. "I want to become a successful person like my Pilot Kuya (big brother) and become a police officer someday," says thoughtful Tony. Harris, who grew up in SOS Children's Village Manila in the same family, is a pilot.
The responsible he is, Tony spends his weekend well. While many children choose to spend their Sundays playing and going to malls, Tony 'serves the Lord' as an altar boy for the St. James Parish near the village. Still, Tony also loves to have fun watching cartoons and playing with toys (for now, he longs to have his own set of interlocking colourful plastic bricks), badminton, taguan (hide-and-seek), and patintero (a traditional Filipino kids' outdoor game).
"He likes playing with other kids and is very sociable, a true team-player. Besides, Tony is an artist with good dancing skills and a penchant for stage performance. When not in front of a live audience, Tony fills his time drawing" says SOS mother Babie.
She proudly says, "My son is a big help around the house as well, cleaning the backyard every morning. He likes gardening, making sure to take good care of his favourite fruit tree, the atis (sugar apple)."
"It is good to see how he adjusted after coming into the SOS Children's Village Manila family. His parents separated and set a bleak and uncertain future for him. I am happy that my son is growing up normally and has so many good qualities," SOS mother Babie says relaxed. "Five years back, one morning when I kissed two-year-old Tony he touched my cheeks with his tiny fingers and his eyes smiling, and I still remember that particular moment," she continues, "Now in fifth grade at the Blessed Trinity School, he has grown into a responsible and affectionate young individual."
Tony's preference does not end with cats, though. He now owns an aquarium he cleans every day. Perhaps there is some kind of basic instinct in this boy to care for others, whether it's animals or his siblings, friends or his mother.
The name of the child has been changed for the privacy reasons
A mother and boy painting together at Children's Village Marina Gorka, Belarus.
And a Happy Christmas from me too. I have a nice story about Wishes Coming True!
Two families who are participating in the family strengthening programme in Belarus write about their Christmas feelings.
We are a simple family, named Nehaichik, and we have three great children: our ten-year-old son Sasha, our five-year-old daughter Dasha and the youngest son, who is 1.5 years old.
Some time ago Christmas was just another day off for us. After the moment when we were involved in the family strengthening project, I understood what Christmas is all about. This is a very special holiday.
I would love to go on having a nostalgic discussion about the smell of the freshly baked Christmas dinner, about the smell of the fresh Christmas tree, about brave snowman standing still and finally about the winter, the most beautiful time of the year.
Christmas is very important for us for one reason. This reason is that this the holiday is closely connected with hope. Hope follows us in every step in our life, it is impossible to live without it.
Christmas is a family holiday and that is why we invite all our relatives, prepare a table and decorate our house with candles and golden stars; to have a wonderful holiday. Children read poetry and we all sing Christmas songs. It is impossible to describe the children's excitement when they open the presents, which we have made ourselves for them.
On Christmas Eve, we plan our future and we believe that our wishes come true. We also wish that in your house the Christmas miracles will come true.
Christmas is the holiday loved by both children and adults for whom it is like a return to their childhood. How much fun, magic and of course surprises and gifts! In SOS Children's Village the holiday is celebrated differently every year; it can be a nice table with sweets or a theatre show or something else. The holiday always excites both children and adults, makes us feel like one big family.
Big Christmas tree in lights - in everyone's heart there is a strong feeling of peacefulness and merriness. We, the adults, get also an "injection" of energy, love and warmth. Then you understand that these are the moments worth living for.
You open the door to the hall in the village and instantly meet warmth and many smiling faces. SOS Children's Village Marina Gorka is a place where I can come with my kids, discuss any problems I have and find a solution or simply talk. I think in modern times this is also useful and needed. You see, I am an adult person, I have to be strong. I have children and I do not want to beg for help - I am ashamed. In the village, I can get help without any cue or blame. Thank you for that!