Abigail Ambay, 19, is one of the scholars of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) from Navotas City.

As an incoming 3rd year college BS in Entrepreneurship student, her volunteer work at KKFI is not in line with her educational background.

Last April 17-19, she joined the LikhAral Teachers Training, which was held at Gilead Center, an extension office of KKFI in Pulilan, Bulacan.

Naturally shy, Abigail did not talk much since she did not know anybody then. Gradually, however, she developed friendships among other participants and began to be more animated.

She shared her talents by participating actively during both the training and teaching material preparations. According to her, she admires the talents and skills of her co-participants and how they willingly shared them.

During the LikhAral implementation, Abigail admitted being terrified and uncomfortable talking in front of children. She was one of the teachers in the Paredes Street, Manila area. She said she was not confident enough to teach the lessons, saying she preferred to do paper works instead of teaching.

However, on the second day of the LikhAral training, her confidence grew. She was able to face the children to share the objectives and activities of the lessons.

“Dati, naartehan ako sa kanila” she said but she realized that there are too many unseen and unheard stories behind each character that she needed to understand.

She said the children would hug her after class ”kahit na malagkit sila” and she would always feel a certain, unexplainable happiness and contentment.

“Behind the smiles of children, I know that there are stories that I don’t know,” she said.

In the five days of LikhAral she came to know more about her students and co-teachers. According to her, these children were deprived of their basic needs and are seeking attention.

She said she is now willing to extend the love that the children long for.

“LikhAral is not just five days of feeding and teaching. It transformed these children and let them know that they are ‘MAHALaga’. They are ‘loved’ and ‘worthy’,” Abigail said.

Somebody else was transformed by the LikhAral training--Abigail herself. After experiencing the joy of teaching underprivileged children, she plans to take up BS in Social Work after she graduates from her present college course.

Of course, she is looking forward to next year’s LikhAral and be with the children again. Why not? LikhAral made her feel that “lahat tayo ay MAHALaga!”

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