I remember receiving an email from Unicef Manila and Unicef Cotabato during the third week of January about the 2011 San Marino-Alexander Bodini Foundation Children’s Awards. I was able to follow the exchange of messages from the Manila and Cotabato offices of Unicef and it was fascinating to see that they immediately thought of us when they saw the call for proposals. We received the email THREE days before the deadline. Lovely. To write a proposal at that short a time may seem impossible, but my mom and I did what we had to do. We went to our writing.
I distinctly remember Angela Travis’ (Chief Communication Officer of Unicef Manila) call just to make sure that we received the email and that we will be sending a proposal. She said that we have a big chance of winning because the nomination criteria has us written all over it. I was thrilled to know that they believed in us so much. They were rooting for us and that meant a lot.
I can also remember our exchange of emails filled with corrections and suggestions on what to add and subtract to the proposal. We were both juggling some other things that time, but we did not want to let the opportunity go. I remember just hours before the deadline, my mom had to attend the meeting so she said “it’s all in your hands, you can do it”. I shuddered. I wanted to quit but when I thought of my foundation, I knew I had to do it.
Writing the last few lines of the proposal brought tears to my eyes. In my heart I knew it was no longer about me. In my heart I knew, that if we won, it will change the lives of many. I just closed my eyes, drowned the noise by losing myself in the beautiful symphony created by my fingers as it danced along the keyboard. With tears in my eyes I saw this on my computer screen:
“It is said that the youth is the hope of the future, but in our case we believe that we can have a better future by doing something today. The Kids for Peace Foundation started with humble beginnings; with the desire to empower the youth and to let them embrace the fact that in this society, they matter. We matter. That desire remains true today. We are honored to have made this nomination”.
With those words, I saved the PDF file, sent it to my mom and said “it is done”. After finalizing some attachments we finally submitted the proposal with happy hearts because deep down we knew that no matter what happens, we gave our best.
Just two weeks ago, I received a call from Angela. It was around 7 in the evening and my mom and I just got home from dinner. Angela sounded really happy and she announced that we won! My mom and I rejoiced of course and then we shared the good news to the ChildHeal Facilitators.
So, winning the 2011 San Marino-Alexander Bodini Children’s Awards is another milestone for the Kids for Peace Foundation, Inc. Here’s to showing the world what we (the youth) can do! We made it! 🙂