There are 79 children living in the SOS-families and 43 youths in the SOS Youth facility Calbayog. One of them is John Paul.
John Paul’s mother died when she gave birth to him. John Paul and his younger brother Michael were passed on from one relative to another. His father’s sister volunteered to take care of them.
"It was a very difficult situation. There was a time when I had to steal food and rummage through garbage so we would have something to fill our stomachs", shares John Paul. A life made more difficult, as John Paul saw Michael suffer everyday too. "As an elder brother, I have to make sure that he's safe. I made sure that he learns to never give up", he adds.
After their Aunt's referral, they were rescued by the Missionaries of Charity and sent to SOS Children's Village Calbayog. "At first, I had a hard time coping and I was surprised to see my new family home-setting. I behaved well since I was afraid they might return me to the streets. I was really happy that my house siblings were nice. They were friendly and so is my SOS mother. Because of them, I didn't feel I was different, rather I quickly felt I was a part of a new family", says John Paul happily.
"My Mama Lesting always makes sure that we make the most out of life. That we enjoy our childhood". Currently, he has already spent 15 years under the care of SOS Children's Village Calbayog. His SOS family helped him develop his talent in music. He loves to play the guitar and likes to listen to music.
Now, John Paul is a graduating student taking up a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. "My schedule is quite hectic right now since I'm working on my thesis study but I always see to it that I visit my SOS family". He plans to live and find a job in Cebu City where Michael currently lives.