Jun 24, 2008

Irisse Sison writes about AHON Foundation, Inc.

My Internship at AHON (Acts of Hope for the Nation) Inc.
By Irrisse Sison

I had no idea what to expect on my first day as an AHON Foundation, Inc. summer intern. Even now that I am about to say adieu, I still cannot say that I've got everything panned out together. You see, working in AHON has not permitted me to be complacent, but has taught me how to adjust. It didn't let me feel that it’s all there is to work, but it always proved to me that there's a variety of work to do, and that the work you do reaches far.

What I would first like to thank AHON for is giving me a tangible expression on how to help contribute and make a difference for the country - all these while the hours are credited as job training and I was even paid and cared for!

For the longest time, I would often feel sentimental whenever I see needy people, or hear sad stories about how someone had to stop studying because his family simply could not afford the fee anymore, or encounter statistics showing that one grubby textbook is being shared by four students in a cramped class. These feelings would linger for awhile and then be replaced by a sense of resignation, a sense telling me that this was the status quo and that there was nothing I could really do about it. It was only after I got to know my superiors in AHON that I started to see how twisted my misconception had been.

For my first day, I was tasked to help sort out the books from Isang Milyong Aklat, Isang Milyon Pangarap, a book drive project organized by AHON Foundation, together with KIDS (Kabataang Iyong Dapat Suportahan) Foundation, Inc.. The awareness alone that these books would go to the hands of children who needed them the most made the task easier and more purposeful.

I was glad to see that the activities I was engaged had significant impact because I knew that I was helping bring children and books together. Most of all, I was glad for the chance to experience and to confirm for myself, that indeed what AHON can bring smiles to the children, who for the first time had the experience of holding a book. I saw the excitement of teachers as they told me of the plans and activities they had envisioned for the kids in their new library. I see the pride of the school's shareholders as they knew that they had together succeeded in developing a library from scratch.

I feel a sense of fulfilment that I have become part of this role, this fruitful endeavor of not just bringing books, but restoring pride, hope, and education in the neediest places in the Philippines.

Lastly, I learned that you need not be a great hotshot to be able to do much. In almost all cases (as with mine), you just need to give it a shot.

Thank you AHON, for the very memorable 200 hours!

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