Cultivating love and care in the Philippines

Thursday, June 20, 2024
uncle matt


As a social worker in an organization that cares for children, you must immerse yourself in their lives to help them. Building trust takes time. 


Affectionately known as Uncle Matt by the children, Matt is a social worker for SOS Children’s Villages in Lipa. In his 12-year tenure, he has positively impacted the lives of 50 children. Of these, 24 have left the SOS Village and are living independently.  


Matt’s work primarily revolves around case management, specifically crafting intervention plans based on the children's needs. SOS mothers and fellow social workers refer to these plans to aid in the children’s personal development. When a child starts living at SOS Children’s Villages, this individualized approach is necessary as every child’s circumstance and history are unique.  


A child’s development is a long process, especially when children are healing from deeper traumas. Many children who live at SOS Children’s Villages have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment, and children with challenging backgrounds find it harder to trust. Different kids have different histories and needs. 


Uncle Matt always takes the time to interact with the children every time he checks in with them. Over time, by observing their behaviour patterns, Matt and the other social workers learn to understand the children. After all, a child’s development is a team effort. The SOS mothers love and care for the children in their house and observe their development. In turn, Uncle Matt plans activities the children can do to help them heal and grow.   


The most important thing is that the children actively participate in their development. And that requires a level of vulnerability from both parties. “You won’t be able to work well if you don’t go down to a personal level.” To get to know a child, you must befriend them and treat them as family, or they won’t open up to you. The goal is to ensure every child grows up with love and care and has what they need to thrive. 


“The most fulfilling part of my work is seeing the changes in the children we help.” Bonding with the children and watching them succeed will always be the most memorable experience.


“The behaviour of the children is a reflection of not just them, but that of SOS Children’s Villages too.” The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” may be cliché, but it is true. When children are raised with love and the values they need to thrive, it will always show.  

Canadians wishing to help vulnerable children are encouraged to sponsor a child, sponsor an SOS Village or make a one-time donation. Your support will change the lives of orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. Please help today.