Jasmine Tabuan and her eight siblings have lived in the streets for years. That is why when she found her way to the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village, she thought she had found paradise.
"Minsan po 'yong mga kaibigan ko po, pinapatulog po ako sa mga bahay nila, tapos sinasama ko po 'yung kapatid ko na maliit," Jasmine shared.
But it is to be able to study that she wishes for deeply.
"Sabi ko nga po sa Papa ko, 'Saka niyo na ako kunin kapag nagpasundo na po ako. Kapag nakapagtapos na ako ng pag-aaral,'" Jasmine added.
Bantay Bata 163 is currently looking for a scholarship grant for Jasmine.
Her father Lope, who provides for the family by driving a tricycle, has found it difficult to give his family a home. It was the local barangay staff that has been helping him with his family’s needs.
At the Bantay Bata 163 Children’s Village, Jasmine’s days are filled with activities meant to help children in their social and emotional development. They are also given food.
As of today, around 250,000 children live in the streets of Metro Manila, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
It has been the aim of the late ABS-CBN Foundation founder Gina Lopez when she established Bantay Bata 163 in 1997 to give abused and abandoned children a safe and happy home. The social welfare program eventually expanded its services to cover four pillars—Bantay Proteksyon, Bantay Edukasyon, Bantay Kalusugan, and Bantay Pamilya.
In this year’s ABS-CBN Ball, which is slated to happen on September 14, more children in need like Jasmine, will find hope as Bantay Edukasyon will be the affair’s sole beneficiary.