Learn why this young teacher in Cagayan de Oro is an internet hit!
In Cagayan de Oro, a city situated in the south of the Philippines, a young teacher named Kerneil Baranda Balaga has received praises after a photo of him teaching street kids became viral.
An Instagram user Cath Libarnes-Bagayna (@thatdarncath) shared a photo of Kerneil Baranda Balaga selflessly attending to these less fortunate children, not thinking of his own health and safety.
In many occasions, regardless of the weather, Kerneil is seen in many places spending time with these kids. There were times he’d be seen helping them with the coloring books he’s provided. He uses his own money to give them not only coloring books, but crayons, books, and other coloring materials as well.
Sometimes, he is observed reading stories to them like a big brother. After seeing him many times, Cath finally mustered the courage to approach him and ask him questions.
It turns out that he’s a Xavier University graduate. He finished a BS degree in Special Education. In fact, if you’ll search him up on Google, his name is displayed on the roster of passers of the August 2014 Licensure Examination for Teachers – Elementary.
Cath learned that he goes to the streets to provide tutorial sessions for free. Yes, for free! And he’s not from any organization. He just does it out of his own will. The materials he provides come from his donors, others from his own pocket.
She then asked if there are other things he needs. The inspiring, young lad just wanted some more school supplies and a medical kit (first aid) since sometimes these kids get wounded, but because they don’t have enough money, they couldn’t afford to get a Band-Aid or Betadine. She then asked for his contact details so that she could then donate things she could afford.
I always see this guy teaching less fortunate children at Divisoria. I find it so striking, unfitting — ridiculous even, that a lone boy in his baseball cap, clean shirt and decent jeans, to actually sit on the floor with dirty, sometimes, rowdy street children without having to worry about safety and health. Rain or shine he is there, unmindful of the possibility that he might get sick. He reads them books like a big brother does — teaching them A B Cs and colors too. I know it is rude to stare at other people’s business but I did – can’t help it! Until one day I finally had the courage to ask him questions. I found out that he’s a graduate of Xavier University BS in Education. Right now he doesnt have a job. He finds it very fulfilling to teach street children. He gets some of his books, crayons and other school supplies from donors and sometimes from his own pocket. And the best part is? He does it for FREE and he is, in no way, related to any organization. And just like that, my faith in humanity is a notch higher than it used to. I asked him what he still needs. He says additional school supplies will do just fine and first-aid kit as well since some children would get wounded and could not afford to buy even a Betadine or band-aid. I took his contact number and promised to donate goods that I could afford. May God bless him well. May he continue to share his talent to those who need it most. You will go places, kid. Update: He just got a job 2 days ago. He is now a teacher at XU.
During the period she was interviewing him, he did not have a job. But despite having no job, this didn’t stop him from dedicating his money and time to provide free education to these kids. Two days after, he was hired. And at present, Kerneil is teaching at his alma mater, Xavier University. In spite of his work, he still teaches for free outside, in the streets, for a few hours.
Admirable as he is, Kerneil didn’t expect anything in return. He was already fulfilled seeing their smiles and grabbing their attention. He was inspired to see the enthusiasm from these kids, even if their study environment wasn’t as conducive as most kids experience.
And the most rewarding part for his kind act? It’s that he gets to see them learn a lot from what he does.
There are so many people who are not contented with what they have or with what they are reaping. But sometimes a simple act of kindness goes a long way. It inspires others to become better people too.
So when you go anywhere, look to your left, then to your right. And take that small step of helping others or at least making other people’s day complete. And you’ll see how happy you’d become.
News Source: ABS-CBN News