This post is different from my usual topics of Travel, Art and Nature. I am writing this because I want to remember how I felt at the time, so when I look back I can relive the thoughts and emotions.
Yesterday, I woke up to a forwarded Facebook post shared by a friend. I found the little boy’s story aired on the news as well, as it caught a lot of attention on social media. It was about a little boy whose photo went viral because a concerned netizen shared his story: A few nights ago, at around 8:30PM, he saw the boy in front of the pesonet – the pay by the peso internet kiosk. He suspected the boy was staying late to play online games, but when he got closer he saw that he was filling out an online form to enroll for classes. The netizen helped the boy out so that he won’t be caught out when curfew hits. He shared that the boy had no computer, tablet nor phone, and they have no internet connection at home. His parents were both unemployed because of the pandemic.
When I read this, I felt a mix of helplessness, frustration, and at the same time admiration. I admired the little boy’s perseverance to enroll by himself. He was determined to move forward. I remember when I was working early shifts about a decade ago, when I would drive to the office at around 5AM when it was still dark, and students would already be walking to school very early. It made me reflect on how I bitch and moan about petty things, when there are bigger issues the world is faced with. This boy is one of the thousands of children who are faced with this problem and whose futures are uncertain when classes start (August here in the Philippines). I asked the advocacy groups that I know of any support – some of them were able to solicit some funds so that the children in the communities they care for have access to the computer and internet so they can continue their studies. Most of them are struggling to come up with a way to be able to carry on for the upcoming school year.
And then, last night a bit of good news: Concerned viewers sent the boy a laptop, and a community effort to provide hotspot internet was initiated near his home. This gave me hope – yes I cannot solve the world’s problems, but every step that we take, no matter how small, goes a long way. Amidst the sad things happening to the world, kindness prevails.