“Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill…”
One thing I admire the most about Outsourcing Angel is its advocacy to give to the less fortunate. They provide the same opportunities to their VAs in the Philippines, most importantly, the opportunity to generate hope in every struggle.
Having met the company’s c0-founder, Linh Podetti, for the first time and getting to know her better as each day goes by during her visit in Davao City, it’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was her third day in the city and one of her reasons for visiting was to find a community where we could provide assistance and give hope to the recipients. The Davao team chose the SOS Children’s Village to be apart of this year’s OA Love Project. SOS is a shelter for children and youth who were rescued from their abusive parents and families, orphans or generally those who lack parental care.
We started our day with so much fun and laughter with some of the children at the shelter, doing parlour games, dancing, sharing smiles, and spending quality time together. Seeing those happy faces despite their situation made me want to stay there and take care of them myself, it was truly such a humble experience.
While the team was distributing the food packs, a boy suddenly reached out to me and asked me to hold his little gift from Ms. Linh, a koala bear pencil clip hugger, while he was excitedly opening the food pack we gave him. I asked why he stays in the shelter and he replied saying both his parents already died. He and his younger sister were rescued by their neighbours from their grandmother who used to physically abuse them whenever she got drunk. When I heard that, I felt a piercing needle through my heart and it made me want to cry but I had to show that poor child that everything will be alright, even if all you can do is smile and try to stay positive. After all, it was supposed to be a fun day and my sadness had no room at that moment filled with these innocents’ sweet smiles. So I held my tears back and softly asked how old he was. He said he was just six years old and his little sister was just four, pointing to the tiny girl sitting beside him. I diverted my attention to her as she was having a hard time opening her food pack, I immediately approached her and offered my help.
Suddenly, I realised something while watching them eat. These young children don’t really need us to feel bad for them. Seeing their smiles lightened my sadness and I was so surprised by how much happiness they gave me during that moment. We need to show them that life is beautiful despite what they are going through, they need to find strength from the people around them.
After having fun with the little ones, we moved to our next activity which was intended for the teens and young adults in the shelter. It was a short seminar to introduce Virtual Assistance and online work opportunities, which could help lead them into a better life for the future. The SOS Children’s Village facilitators encourage the children to continue studying inside or even outside their premises. Some are already attending senior high school and college while the younger ones are sent to the neighborhood schools for basic education.
We started the program with an inspirational talk from Linh, sharing her story and personal struggles as a child, being born in an average household in Vietnam until she migrated to Australia. She opened herself to our precious audience to make them feel understood and for them to know that their dreams are valid no matter where they are in life right now. She inspired them to keep going because there’s a brighter future ahead of them if they just believe.
The presentation went on until it was my time to talk. Standing in front of them was while feeling very humble, I knew I couldn’t afford to end it without them knowing my personal experience as a VA. They needed to know that no matter how hard it is if you follow your heart’s desire with faith and determination, you will prosper. With the right support from the right people, anything is possible. I wanted them to feel that they are not alone because that’s OA’s mission. That’s why we reached out to communities that need more attention — to teach them to dream again because there is hope in everything we do.
We ended the program leaving huge smiles in the SOS children’s hearts. The sparkles in their eyes reminded me of the hope I had inside. That one day, the world will become a better place for our children, so we just can’t stop fighting for what we believe in.
Outsourcing Angel has proven that it is not too late to care for others and make the less fortunate feel loved and supported. As a team, as a passion-driven company founded with love, we can’t stop sending the message of hope to the rest of the world. Together, we can make a difference by reaching out to the SOS Children, we saved our souls by providing them with a little bit of positively and hope.
VA Writer: Pat Maruhomadil
VA position: VA Office Integrator