Run Away. Rescued. Reunited.
The youngest of four children, Rico grew up in an uncle’s home because his mom could not afford to raise him and the rest of her children. Life with his uncle was horrible. He received frequent beatings for no reason. He ran away several times, but always, his mom or siblings would find him and bring him back. Scared after his uncle threatened to put him in a sack, tie him up and throw him in the river, Rico got on a bus to Manila. He was only eight.
Not knowing anyone in Manila and having no money, Rico had to beg and even steal to feed himself. It was not long before he found comfort in the company of other children and a family who had made the streets their home. He joined them whenever they would scavenge for food and beg. Sometimes, he would attend the CCT feeding program. Eventually, staff of CCT’s Visions of Hope Foundation brought him to its residential home in Puypuy, Laguna.
Year after year, Rico would see other children cared for by VOHF being visited by their families. A longing grew in his heart: he too wanted to see and be with his family. However, when he was first taken in, he had told staff that he was the lone survivor in a fire that destroyed his house and entire family. Humbly, he told them his real story and asked for a chance to go home. He got this chance. CCT staff located his family and he was warmly reunited with his mother.
Now in sixth grade, Rico continues to be part of the VOH family. He excels academically, and is a talented artist, a dancer and a promising football player. Confident in his identity, he trusts God’s promises for him and looks forward to living out his full potential.