KIDAPAWAN, COTABATO – Jundelyn Sato, 20 years old, joined CheckMySchool in 2016. To say that she has an inspiring volunteering story is an understatement.
Jundelyn and CMS Coordinator for Kidapawan, Merry Christ Enad, first met in high school. After keeping in touch, the two met again in August 2016, when Merry Christ asked Jundelyn to be a volunteer. “I hesitated at first, thinking that people might not believe me, or not allow me to get the things/data needed because of my condition,” said Jundelyn.
At 6 years old, Jundelyn was diagnosed with Fibrous Dysplasia, a disorder causing affected bones to deform or fracture. This condition had an unknown cause and cure and resulted to half of Judelyn’s face and body to bloat due to deformation.
She grew up unconfident about the way she looked and afraid of what other people would think.
After years of facing this predicament, Jundelyn encountered yet another challenge. She lost hope in being able to help children, one of her advocacies, after learning that she did not pass the Licensure Examination for Teachers.
But Merry Christ saw potential in her, and continued encouraging her to volunteer. “I saw her dedication. I encouraged her to join CMS so she can help students, even if it’s not formally teaching inside the classroom.” said Merry Christ. Soon, Jundelyn agreed to join her.
As a volunteer, she had to gather the courage and the right attitude to approach and interview school teachers, students and principals, tasks she wasn’t used to doing before. “I got out of my shell,” Jundelyn shared.
She was able to gradually build her confidence and learn more about herself. Jundelyn found meaning in CheckMySchool. “I found that I am important. Here in CMS, it feels good when you are trying to help students, teachers, stakeholders, and other people. I can’t explain the sense of fulfilment when people thank me for being there for them.”
For Jundelyn, being part of CheckMySchool allowed her to see and contribute to positive changes happening in schools, from principals being cold and hesitant to participate at first to being very cooperative, and some schools in far away towns becoming more hopeful in finding solutions to their issues.
“As I saw these changes through my volunteer work, I also saw how CheckMySchool changed me. I realized my value and started to promote love and self-worth. I appreciated myself more.” she said.
Jundelyn is grateful to Merry Christ who led the Kidapawan chapter much like a family. This allowed her and the other volunteers to truly come out of their shells and explore what they can do.
For Jundelyn, CMS is an instrument of transformation not just for the schools but for volunteers like her as well. “CMS is truly my bracelet of hope.” she said.
Edited by: Brenda Pureza
Contributors: Jundelyn Sato, Merry Christ Enad