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Kandili, a Piece by a Filipino Youth

August 2nd, 2022

In the Filipino language, “Kandili” means to care for and provide support. “Kandili” is also the title of 16-year-old Raine’s artwork, which she donated to Terre des Hommes Netherlands, as a way of supporting our fight for child rights.

Here, she explains the inspiration for the artwork

Oftentimes when I go out for a walk, I let myself indulge in the soft orange afternoon glow. It's as if the sunset is all over the place and you’re comfortably suspended in its softness.

This is the reason why I love going out for walks just before the sunset, as  the grey clouds part at the right angles to let this kind of orange paint through the skies: warm, porous and almost nostalgic.

It reminds me so much of childhood, back when my mere purpose for every waking day was going out for a walk with my Lola Mama to buy my favourite merienda snacks. My favourite of all time, "Kababayan '' or the hat-shaped muffin breads at the bakery.

Kababayan, which literally translates to fellow countryman, is a Filipino sweet muffin known for its golden brown exterior and distinct domed top shape. It got its name due to its resemblance to a salakot, a native straw hat Filipino farmers and townspeople wore when out and about.

Those were my favourite memories of childhood I always go back to– I tend to be consumed in my own little world.

I was fortunate enough to live a peaceful life with my family, and only when I was older did it come to my attention that a child humanitarian crisis exists.

I’ve always been inspired by Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ advocacy for child protection in humanitarian crises. I came across the organisation  last year, when I participated in one of your projects “Making A Difference In The Digital World”. 

Since then, I started following your page and signed up for your newsletters.  There are no words to express how much I admire your efforts.  Reading stories about the difficulties being overcome by children and communities made me aware of the world.

I have been a campus journalist for more than four years and Terres des Hommes Netherlands

inspired me to continue my journey to be a catalyst of change and an instrument of pragmatic, purposive, responsible and credible campus journalism for the service of the community. 

I also believe that hope-based communications are important in telling a story, and that the key to effective communications is embracing the sometimes frustrating curiosity of “how?”. People need to know that child exploitation is real and can affect them. 

I want to share my voice and support, and advocate for art. As the saying goes, ‘a picture tells a thousand stories’: my intention is for my art to be a call to action. 

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of stories and stones unturned, “Kandili” is both a homage to my beloved country and an acknowledgment that such a humanitarian crisis exists. 

The importance and potential significance of using technology and social media as a medium to tell a story in our community are that it has a wide reach: it can be received by an unlimited, diverse audience of millions of people. 

I wish to live in a world that is Kandili (cared for and supported), a world where children do not have to be afraid of suffering or harm. A world with no abuse, no broken homes. A world where each home is filled with colourful rainbow smiles that bring about hope and peace in everyone’s heart.

We cannot deny that children are reflections of the community. And that should be an offspring of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control from the pillars of their home.

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