“There is still a second chance and there is a better future waiting for you, too. I am a proof of that.”
Taking note of his past mistakes and looking forward on how to make a positive difference, this is how Raymond, not his real name, 27 years old, and a former child in conflict with the law (CICL), wants to inspire children at risk (CAR) and CICL.
Before Raymond aimed to be a good example to others, he was involved in a gang war and was charged with murder in his younger years. He was then placed under the care of Cebu City Operation Second Chance Center for two years.
During his early days in the center, he had a hard time adapting to his new environment. Adding more to that, some of the members of the opposing gang that he was involved in were also staying in the center. This has been one of his struggles, but as time passed by, their feud was over and they treated each other as brothers.
“I realized that committing offense is never a good thing, with this I decided to grab my second chance and start anew,” Raymond said.
His stay in the center changed his perspective in life and made him realize that the trust and support that was given to him must be valued and not be put into waste.
With this, he used the faith people put in him and made the most of the opportunity given to him. At present, he is a government employee and is working in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
As a former child in conflict with the law, he encourages CAR and CICL to keep on dreaming for a better future. He shared that the path to change could be hard especially when one is not used to living a disciplined life or having to follow rules. “But I am a living testimony that change is possible when you work hard for it,,” he emphasized.
For Raymond,sa Juvenile Justice Law, lahat kaisa sa pagkamit ng pagbabago.