Imagine opening up a treasure trove filled with gems polished and sparkling. You know that it was God and Nature who provided the raw material, but you also know none of these treasures would have shone as brightly had they not been picked out of the rough and lovingly polished. Every treasure took time and work to be molded into the best it can be.
Every child is a treasure.
But not every child springs from a corner of the earth that takes care to lovingly mold it. There are children who have been left in the rough, in dark places where no light can allow anyone to see how much they can sparkle. There are children who were never valued for what they are, even though they too are treasures.
These children—neglected, abandoned, abused, or devalued—are the treasures that we at Kalipay Negrense Foundation, Inc. aim to recover through our Kalipay home, Recovered Treasures.
Recovered Treasures is a 4.9-hectare residential facility nestled in the peaceful green landscape surrounded by an expanse of rice fields and hedged by lush trees, making for a cool and peaceful environment. As of December 2016, it has been home to 71 children whom Kalipay cares for and helps come to terms with their difficult past. It is a home where disadvantaged children are seen as treasures and valued as such, by honoring their rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.
Two House Parents and seven Child Care Workers care for and watch over the children day and night, and two security guards take shifts to ensure the safety of all.
Within Recovered Treasures stands our school, run in coordination with Bethany Life Center Academy. It is where our children enter formal schooling starting four years of age, and continue until they graduate from junior high school. Here, Kalipay children get to develop their potentials in dancing, singing, acting, crafts and the like through
activities organized by the staff and volunteers, usually held at the Activity Center.
Recovered Treasures is a home where children are empowered to participate in making decisions. The House Rules have been made by the children themselves. The offices of the staff, which includes a program manager, three social workers, two house parents, and a psychology associate, are also open to children who wish to seek help or express any concern.
Entering Recovered Treasures feels a little like opening up a treasure trove. But in here, the treasures are not glitzy gems in glass enclosures. In here, the treasures are little bundles of energy, flashes of smiles, a barrage of hugs. Where once before their lives were shrouded in darkness, now here at Recovered Treasures they get to shine again, like treasures do.