Parents Protection Possibilities

Parents are deemed the most important and influential guardians in your lifetime. They prepare you for new circumstances or adventures and encourage you to learn from gaining experience. They equip you with the necessary skills, guide you and gradually strengthen you into the person you were meant to become.

I am lucky to have two corporate parents just now. One has driven my natural inquisitiveness to do more by exploring new possibilities, and the other is teaching me about protection in more ways than one.

My corporate parent, ‘GSK’, through the PULSE programme, has nudged me towards a unique lifetime opportunity which will allow me to use my skills and experiences thus far. I have temporarily flown from the nest and moved in with the other corporate parent which is a not-for-profit organisation, ‘Save the Children Philippines’.

Save the Children

I am re-adjusting and learning how to coexist harmoniously with this newer parent who speaks a similar language but has a slightly different dialect, wears a contrasting brand and has a rather distinct purpose to save lots and lots of other children.

Save the Children believes that all children deserve a better future. Through fundraising activities and building collaborative partnerships they are able to fund various programmes that help deliver education, health and nutrition and child protection interventions for children. In parallel with the inclusion of grant funding from institutional donors, Save the Children ensures meaningful change to the lives of Filipino children.

My first few weeks have been exciting, mostly overwhelming and quite emotionally charged.

My introductory meeting with my director was a late Saturday afternoon lunch followed by an orientation tour of Greenbelt, full of shopping outlets bustling with many people. I needn’t have bothered packing as I did – every type of retail outlet is available here.

After a typical Filipino lunch, we shopped and I was persuaded to buy a sturdy umbrella.

‘It’s rainy season’ advised Celine, ‘buy the bigger one to protect you, also buy flipflops and a rain mac, they are essentials here!’’.

I learned why. Within my first few days, I encountered tropical storms that brought heavy rains activating the business continuity plan. Many homes and roads were flooded as a result!

I am settling quite well into the office layout and integrating into the team.

I participated in an I-Witness programme facilitated by Save the Children and attended by a select team from IKEA. During Saturday, I met the most incredible mothers of children with learning disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Heartfelt cuddles

I joined Dr. Abuda’s clinic at a local school in Paranaque City. Using the most basic tools, we checked if the children there were suffering from malnutrition. Their mothers were so patient and most inspiring as they chatted away, discussing their child’s strengths and weaknesses.

The children were adorable. One of them conveyed a well thought out message using sign language and then broke into a cheeky grin. The little man gave me some flattering remarks translated by his mother, telling me that I was beautiful, very tall and … fat! Everyone in the room chuckled – what a terrific way to break the ice!

Sunday was Funday in Taguig which let me experience a community’s contribution to the celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation week. I was thoroughly spoiled at this occasion with a good massage by a visually impaired team member of Future Vision group, who use acquired massage skills to pay for future education. He totally addressed the knots in my upper back!

The transition between my corporate parents have presented a range of possibilities and some challenges. I must remain patient and continue my integration into this new focused team whilst I learn how to adapt to the Filipino living and working culture, the new tastes and mostly the environment.

I hope to acquire an understanding of idioms of the Filipino language so that I can use and understand them in conversations with native speakers. I am fast learning quirky habits like pre-ordering a drinkable water supply which is a routine activity here.

The possibilities are plentiful. For work it is critical that I complete a structured objectives charter to ensure that I can thrive in this busy team. They are constantly exploring fundraising opportunities and building key partnerships crucial to giving Filipino children, a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Settling in

In these early weeks I feel confident yet wobbly, capable yet curious and most of all composed yet carefree to bring my best into this short-term role. I feel privileged to work towards a mission which inspires breakthroughs, in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

On a personal level I have set myself a crazy physical challenge which is to learn how to dive. This will take me out of my comfort zone a tad more and let me enjoy the beauty of some of the islands that make up the Philippines.

“We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Walt Disney

20 comments

  1. Good luck and all the best, Manjit! Nice reading your post while having my morning coffee. Enjoy my beloved country – the Philippines!

    Though you have all your sources there to ask should you have any question about PH, I may be able to share some bits and pieces too!

    1. Thank you so much. I am living the Philippines. People are so humble and respectful. I am settling in well but I am always happy for you to let me know what to do and where to go. Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. 😁

    1. Thank you so much. Its had certainly taken me out of my comfort zone. I learned about NUTURE last week, which is a programme by Save the Children that needs grants/sponsorships to help prevent malnourishment in children which leads to stunting. I really want to better the lives of Filipino children.

      Thank you for reading and making comment, It is very appreciated.

      Manjit

  2. You never cease to amaze me Manjit, you constantly seek new challenges and embrace life and consume every experience with such hunger and passion.

    Loved reading your story so far, such an amazing and worthwhile journey you are on – very proud of you lady x

  3. Great blog. Look forward to hearing more about your assignment. It looks like you are already making a difference!

    1. Its been a crazy few weeks. I had an opportunity to meet with so many extraordinary people and children during a field visit. This left me even more inspired and motivated to try and make a change to the lives of Filipino children.

      Thank you for the comment. 🙂

  4. Super Blog Manjit! I love how you are embracing the challenges of integrating from one Corporate Parent to another and feeling confident, yet wobbly, capable yet curious, all perfectly normal emotions on the roller coaster experience of PULSE ! I can see you are already growing from strength to strength and have no doubt that you will be bringing a wealth of new skills and capabilities back to your GSK parent ! Keep doing what you are doing and remember, ” you are amazing”!!

    1. Thanks so much Den. Its been a rollercoaster month with moving and settling in more ways than one. This experience so far has been super challenging but more educational. I have finalised my 3 key objectives too now … so here goes.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and make comment.

      Manjit

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