(a Cebuano term which means to be lively, inspired, and motivated)

I am Shela Dela Torre. I am 25 years old. I graduated Bachelor of Elementary Education major in General Education.

I arrived in Calabrian Children’s Foundation in the year 2005. I stayed there for 8 years.

Life before was difficult. Our family moved from place to place and since it was hard to find food to eat, we had to scavenge empty plastic bottles or anything that we could sell to survive in a day. Ultimately, when my mother can no longer provide for our needs, she decided to let my other siblings live with our relatives in the different parts of the country. That was the start where our family got separated.

We got no choice. My mother worked as a housemaid for a Muslim family and I was with her helping her so as my other siblings. We had to stay strong and work more because we had no relatives to seek help from and we knew no one from the city.

However, I believe that

In our darkest moments, God sends the most wonderful people. When our family was on the brink of giving up, God sent to us Calabrian Children’s Foundation.

The love, care, and nurturance the foundation showed made me comfortable to live there. I have learned so many things while inside the foundation. I learned how to pray, to do house chores, to make friends, to diligently study, and also, to take God’s word into actions.

The foundation helped me a lot to become who I am now. It had impacted my whole being to reach for my dreams. I remember those times when we had to perform dances, sing songs, and do role plays during feasts and celebrations. The foundation helped us to build our self-esteem and confidence to show our hidden talents. That helped me a lot because I used to be shy and uncomfortable in front of many people. The foundation made me do more of what I got.

The experiences inside the foundation continuously inspire me to be better so I could also help other children like me. It inspired me to volunteer in the Philippine Red Cross during college and now that I finally graduated, I can say that I am ready to help and serve other children who are in need.

My message to CCF Kids:

To the children in the foundation, continue to reach your dreams. You may, at some point in your lives, get to a situation where you couldn’t do it anymore, just always remember that there is nothing you can do unless you pray your worries to Him.

I know life is hard, but do not lose hope. If you feel like you’re lost and have no one to turn to, just look up. He will always be there. Just pray and trust His timing.