By Regina, a sponsored youth in Legazpi, Philippines
I have always been a simple and quiet girl. I usually sat right in front of my teacher during class discussions, not because I am a ìstarî pupil but because I am different.
I conversed with others believing that it was a calm, low voice I hear but in reality they are shouting at me, for me to hear and understand them. … Itís because I have a hearing problem.
At the age of 7, it was not a question of finding a solution to my hearing problem. My family, friends and teachers showed enough sympathy and support, except for those who would choose to make my day miserable rather than study lessons.
They would play and laugh with me and then publicly show to me their whispering sessions, emphasizing that it was impossible for me to hear them.
I would usually go to one corner, where only very few pass by, sit with my knees drawn up close to my body and my face tucked between my drawn knees and chest, and cry my heart out at the cruelty of others.
I would usually give myself a minute or two to compose myself, a big pat on the back to boost my depleted morale and then go back to my assigned seat in class and forget as best as I could what had just happened.
In high school, I remained the ìdifferent one.î People conversed with me like normal but sometimes, I saw their silent laughs and pitying looks when they turned their backs from me. Well, I was used to it. It was like an ordinary thing for me.
I was in high school when I became a CFCA beneficiary. My sponsors are Mr. Rich and Sarah Deien. From the start this generous couple had never failed to support me. I have received so many beneficial things that I will be forever thankful.
They wrote letters to me and I wrote back. With this, they donít have to shout for me to hear. I easily understood what they wanted to tell me. It felt so normal.
Until I graduated from high school, this generous couple continued to help me and my family.
After my graduation from high school, I took up the three-month training offered by TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) on personal computer operations. I studied diligently for three months.
When November came, we started our OJT (on-the-job training) in Laguna. I was able to join but things didnít go according to my plans. I didnít finish training because of my health conditions.
I felt so bad when I got home. I felt worthless and so unlucky of everything. Would it always be like this? I asked myself.
I wondered how to cope with my feelings of hopelessness and despair, how to stand up from this downfall.
And I asked myself, ìWhat can I do?î or better yet, ìWhat I should do to make a better life for myself and for my family?î
But surprisingly, it wasnít that bad. Good news followed. I was called to the CFCA office and the CFCA social worker smilingly informed me that the special fund sent by my ever generous sponsor has arrived, intended for my hearing aid.
I was overwhelmed with so much happiness and gratitude. A few months ago after my unscheduled return from my OJT (on-the-job training), I was asked by my sponsor through a letter of what else they could do or give to help me.
Maíam Thess, a CFCA social worker, had known of my hearing problem and encouraged me to mention it in my letter. And that was it. A dream came true. On Jan. 29, 2008, I was finally fitted with a hearing aid.
And it felt great to hear every little sound around me.
Things may not go according to our plans, for God has another plan for us. Iíve faced insults and discrimination.
For as long as I remember, I have always been a different one. I have faced so much hindrances and difficulties in life. And I accepted the fact that life can be cruel at times.
But now I realize how blessed I am. With the hearing aid, I no longer experience whispering sessions and silent laughs. If they do, I can hear them loud and clear.
The hearing aid changes everything. It was the best thing I received. With this precious gift, my sponsor has given me a new life, a renewed hope and dream of making something out of myself. Now a much brighter future awaits me.
Thank you for this must-not-be forgotten present from a must-not-be forgotten friend.