Welcome to Spring Village, Anna!

We would like to introduce you to a new family member at Spring Village, Anna. Mercy in Action had been working with Anna for years through our Drop in Centre. She was part of our schooling programme, but dropped out due to struggling with her teacher and school. It is easy to understand why Anna found keeping a school routine difficult – at only the age of 8 she was the oldest of 7 siblings. Her mother relied on her to help cook, clean and look after the babies – this is a lot of responsibility for a girl as young as Anna. To escape her chores Anna regularly ran to Tabunok to play with her friends. She also often slept in a field close to Tabunok with other street kids – many of them boys much older than her. Although her mother cared about her, Anna was a lot for her to handle along with having 6 younger children.

Anna, with MiA Co-Founder John Todd, walking barefoot through the streets

Our social workers met with Anna’s mother to see if they could come up with a solution. They entered Anna onto the schooling programme again, as well as providing food for some of Anna’s other siblings to ease the financial pressure her mother was feeling. For a while, Anna was doing very well at school. Our social workers checked up on her attendance regularly and her mother encouraged and supported her schooling.

Anna in her school uniform

However a few months ago we found out through some other Drop in kids that Anna had got herself in some trouble, along with a few other girls. They had been befriended by an older male, a foreigner who had moved to Talisay, and the girls were known to be visiting his house regularly. This rang alarm bells with Mercy in Action staff, and so they moved Anna and one other girl involved from the streets to Spring Village while an investigation was begun by a local Anti-human trafficking organisation and local police. After a few weeks one of the girls wanted to return home. Our staff assessed the situation, and decided that it was safe for her to leave Spring Village. She is also on our schooling programme and so will continue to be closely monitored by our staff. However, when the time came for Anna to go back home she refused.

Our Philippines director and social workers called a meeting with Anna’s parents to discuss the fact that she didn’t want to return home. Her mother could see how happy she was at Spring Village and how well she had been looked after during her stay. She agreed that Anna could stay, as she knew it was the best thing for her, and probably the only way to keep her in school, off the streets and out of danger.

Anna is now enjoying being one of the youngest members of the family and a little sister for the first time. She doesn’t have the responsibilities of a parent anymore and she can enjoy being a little girl. She visits home regularly and our staff will ensure this contact continues. In the future, she may even return home to live permanently if that situation works for both her and her family. For now, she is simply relishing her childhood and enjoying being a member of the Mercy in Action family.

Anna at Spring Village on Christmas Day

Comments
One Response to “Welcome to Spring Village, Anna!”
  1. Jen says:

    Such a great story!

Leave A Comment

Current day month ye@r *