Our Right to Have a Voice and to Be Heard

by Ruzelle Llarena Camposano
They’re the children who see the dumpsite as their playground.
They’re the children whose health is at risk
Because they spend their days and nights beside a landfill.
These children suddenly become jolly and excited
When they hear they’re going to be taught.
Then they will give their teacher a big hug
And they will flash their endearing smiles.
More endearing still are their positive attitudes
That remain in them in spite of the circumstance they face.
They are the reason why this teacher loves to teach.
I would love to give them a voice.
I want them to be heard.
These are the children under the KKFI program named “Kalinga Mo, Kinabukasan Ko”
That aims to provide opportunities for children-at-risk
To enjoy fair rights and opportunities,
To be part of community development.
Just like them, I used to be a kid who became a beneficiary of an organization
That advocates children’s right.
Most of the time I see my old self in them,
Eager and passionate to know what are their rights
And how can they apply this in real life.
And have a voice that is heard.
Like I have now.