What coronavirus changed for the Youth? #1

James Cerilo,18yo, Responsibilty Step

Life Project Center Taguig, Philippines

(on the right on the picture)

“I am worried to forget how to speak English now the center is closed”

Can you introduce yourself?

I am James Cerilo, I am 18 years old and I started LP4Y in December 2019. I live in Maliwanang, Taguig, with all my family. We are twelve in total.

What did you feel when you learned the Philippines would be in quarantine? Did you have some questions / fears?

I received a quarantine pass so it was ok for me to go where I want. And I was not afraid because I saw a lot of policemen and soldiers in the street to take care of the people.

How did you know about the lock down?

I watched Duterte’s speech announcing the lockdown at the TV with my family, it was a very long speech! And after I talked about it with my friends.

How did you feel when you learned that the LP4Y center will close?

Very sad, because I did not want to “stand by” in my house all day long. I felt sad because I knew I would have no more training and tasks to do. Since I started LP4Y I have a lot of new ideas, I have learned new skills and I speak English. I am afraid to forget how to speak English since I do not practice it at home.

Did you have money and food at home when the lockdown was announced?

No, we did not have food stocks at home. But as they said “stay at home” we went to the shops to buy rice, meat, cans... and have some reserves. Sometimes the Barangay come to my area and distribute food package but it is not enough for 12 people so we still have to buy food by ourselves.

Now it is the lockdown, do you ration food?

No, we still eat as much as we need and we do not miss food. The sari-sari are still open, I can go to buy milk for my little sisters and rice for my family.

What are you doing at home during quarantine?

I help my mother to clean the house, cook, wash the clothes... and I do the tasks that coach Iris assigned us on our notebook.

What is the atmosphere in your area? Did you notice things that have changed?

The prices have increased a lot in the sari-sari. They are still open because if there is no food, nobody could eat so they take profit on the situation and increase the prices.

I also have to stay at home and respect the curfew to not spread the virus. Sometimes I see my friends in the morning but I usually go home at noon and I sleep a lot to pass the time.

What coronavirus changed for you and your relatives?

I do not “stand by” outside with my friends anymore. Now I stay at home the most possible to avoid having the coronavirus so I spend more time with my family.

Because of the quarantine my step father lost his job so we have to save money and be more careful about our expenses.

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Life Project 4 Youth Alliance is a federation of 19 organizations in 13 countries whose mission is the development of innovative solutions for the professional and social inclusion of Young people (17-24 yo) from extreme poverty and victims of exclusion. 

LP4Y supports the decent inclusion of thousands of Young people and their families in 41 programs, 20 Life Project Centers, 4 Little Angel Academies, 3 Green Villages, 4 Youth hostels, 2 LP4Y Labs in South East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Europe and America.

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