Over 300 streetchildren receive gift packs in Mandaue

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A 16-year-old boy from Cebu City smiled with happiness after receiving a bag of goods in yesterday’s Christmas party for about 350 street children in the Mandaue City Sports Complex.

At least, Arvin won’t have to beg or forage for food in garbage bins in the next few days.

The complex was filled with stalls of tempura, fishballs, ice cream, and cotton candy for the party.

The event was mounted by the Health and Care Movement headed by its president Olive Borromeo, with Chief Insp. Michael Anthony Bastes, chief of the Investigation and Detection Management Branch.

Notebooks, pencils, bags, towels, pencil cases and basketballs were donated as part of the outreach program of M. Lhuillier Financial Services Inc. through its president Michel Lhuillier.

Wilfredo Gesulga, a retired doctor from Sogod town, northern Cebu, also donated 200 pairs of slippers.

Arvin said he has been roaming the streets of Fuente Osmeña since the age of four. He said he survives by begging for alms from passersby and scouring garbage bins of fastfood joints in the area.

“Lisod pud baya akong kinabuhi sa dan (Life in the street is not easy),” said Plarisan,an abandoned kid who doesn’t know his parents.

Audric, 10, of barangay Centro, Mandaue City also received a gift pack of rice, canned goods, slippers, toys and school supplies during the Christmas party.

The former streetkid said he would give the toys to his cousin and keep the school supplies for next school year.

He said he stopped schooling this year after his mother suffered a nervous breakdown but said she promised to send him to school next year.

Borromeo said she hopes to hold another children’s party next year.

Her group has been conducting feeding programs for indigent children around Metro Cebu since August 2012, with the support of Chief Insp. Bastes. /CORRESPONDENT JUCELL MARIE CUYOS

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