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The story of Jerson Naya

SOS Children's Village Cebu

Jerson and his siblings were orphaned at a young age. His mother died when Jerson was 3 years old. "I still remember my father preparing all we needed for meals and for school, as well as doing his routine job and hurrying home after work to cook dinner for us", Jerson recalls.

Five years after the death of Jerson's mother, his father died of unknown causes. 

In April 2006, the siblings were brought to SOS Children's Village Cebu. According to Jerson, he was sad at first because they had to leave the place where lots of memories had been made with his family. After a few years had passed, a strong relationship was built among the Reuben Family, which was Jerson and his siblings new home. "I grew up with full respect for my new family and developed my talent and skills together with other children", he says.  

Strong relationship to SOS mother 

"When I was introduced to my SOS mother, I thought she was strict at first but later on I learned to understand her way of taking care of us. She taught us everything from household chores to how to be a good individual."

I developed a sense of belonging and respected her as my real mother.

"She is a supportive mother and always encourages me to do my best in school. I would say that if all the mothers in the world are like her, I think that the world would be a place worth living for, especially for children", expressed Jerson. "My SOS mother is one of the reasons why I took up the course Social Work because the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, he adds.

Hopes and dreams 

Jerson is a good leader and a role model to other youth, always ready to extend help to anybody. At age 13, Jerson started joining leadership training courses organized by the Cebu City Task Force on Street Children (CCTFSC), where he eventually became president of the youth group for the entire city.

Jerson playing volleyball at the Village Sports Festival 2015.

The group conducted campaigns and children's summits, and organized advocacy campaigns at different schools in rural and urban areas to bring awareness to important issues like Human Trafficking, Childs Rights, Child Pornography, Cyberbullying and much more.   

Jerson is now a second year college student at the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF), where he is working on his Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Jerson was awarded the most outstanding student of the year by the SOS Philippines National Office.

"I took up the course because I wanted to professionalize the training I had taken earlier, and help people find their function in society, promote social change and become an agent of change", Jerson says. "I have two types of dreams; short term and long term dreams. My short term dream is to finish my studies in Social Work and pass the board examination so that I can achieve my long term dreams. First, I want to be a registered Social Worker. Secondly, I want to help lift others out of poverty".