Five women shared their stories of hope as they joined the 28th Anniversary of celebration of the Regional Haven for Women (RHW).

For 28 years, the RHW of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region VII has served more than three thousand individuals, specifically women in difficult circumstances including their dependents.

The Regional Haven for Women protects and empowers to women about 18 to 59 years old that have experienced rape, trafficking, and type of abuses.

Formerly named Substitute Home Care for Women in 1993, the residential care facility takes care to women about 18 to 59 years old that have experienced rape, trafficking, and type of abuses such as physical, psychosocial and sexual that shaped the lives of the women negatively.

The Regional Haven for Women has accommodated, protected, and empowered these women for a maximum of six months depending on the situation and depending on the assessment of the social worker. They are provided with free food, clothing, shelter, and protection.

With its goal to protect and empower women under its roof of protection, RHW has changed the lives of its clients; some of them were inspired to be social workers themselves to help people who have experienced the fate they had before.

One of its clients, Daisy (not her real name), shared that RHW helped to never give up on her dreams and to reach her dreams.

Kung sauna pagsulod nako sa RHW wala gayud ko kahuman sa high school, karon nakahuman nako og college sa kursong social work (I have not yet finished my high school when I entered Haven, but now, I graduated Social Work degree),” said. Daisy

Daisy added that before she entered the RHW, she only wanted to finish high school so she could now get a job.

Wala ko magdahom nga grabe ang tabang sa Ginoo og nahuman gayud ko og college. Tungod sa tambag sa mga tawo nga nagtabang nako didto sa Haven ug didto nako narealize nga dili gyud mawagtangan og paglaom (I never thought how great is our God. I was able to finish college. The staff’s guidance helped me realize to not lose hope),” shared Daisy.

Another former client, Steff (not her real name), just graduated from Social Work and will soon pursue her degree as a social worker.

“It is a blessing that I got, in RHW, I learned what is my worth and dignity as a person,” she said.

Steff shared that she tried to escape and made excuses to go get away from the facility but later she realized the goodness and the purpose of her stay.

“Everything has a reason. You are stronger than you think you are,” she said.

Lanie (not her real name), a registered social worker, was once also a client of RHW.

Lanie left a message for those women, especially those current clients, to listen to the guidance of the RHW staff and social workers as they have programs planned for their betterment.

Humana gyud ang inyong pangandoy (Follow your dreams),” she encouraged.

Apart from being inspired to become a social worker, some women, who finished their stay at the facility, have already changed lives, far from what they had before.

Mai (not her real name) said that when she got in RHW she found hope that the course of her life would still change.

As a former client of the facility, she remained grateful because of the opportunity to start over again and get a job.

Pasalamat ko sa ilaha kay ilang gayod gigiyahan ilang mga kliyente sama kanako (I am thankful for care for their clients just like me),” expressed Mai.

Myrna (not her real name) also filled her heart with gratitude to RHW and its partners because her life changed completely. She also landed a job after her stay.

Na-enlighten akong hunahuna nga dili magpakawala sa paglaum kay aduna pa kita chance nga mausab pa kini (I was enlightened to never lose hope and there is still a chance that things will change),” said Myrna.

Myrna explained that the RHW brought her to where she is now today and that she has recovered from the bad experiences she had before.

Ang programa maoy nakahulma para mahimo akong lig-on ug andam maglimbasog sa unsa man mga pagsulay maabot (The program has made me strong and ready in whatever circumstances),” said Myrna.

The RHW continued to provide care, shelter and empowerment to women along with its staff and partners. ###

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