New Home, New Beginnings for
Grand Child Champions and Grandson

Story and photos by Babylene Bocayes, Philippines Field Communications Specialist, in collaboration with Rhea Juson, Philippines Program Advisor

When James was abandoned as a baby, his grandparents took him in to raise him. And when a typhoon destroyed their home in the Philippines, Child Champions stepped in to help them rebuild.

The ongoing construction of James’ house that was destroyed by a typhoon has provided hope for his grandparents, Alejandro and Basilica, who only want the best for their grandchild.

A shy little boy named James could have been crushed by the hard circumstances he has endured — from being abandoned as a baby to surviving a terrifying typhoon.

But James’ story took a different turn, thanks to the people who have championed him along the way.

James was abandoned by his parents when he was a baby. But he had loving “Grand Child Champions” to help him thrive.

His grandparents, Lolo (grandfather) Alejandro and Lola (grandmother) Basilica welcomed him into their home and raised him as their own.

James is now 9 years old. Lolo Alejandro is 70, and Lola Basilica is 69. They live in poverty in San Fernando, Cebu, Philippines.

James and his grandparents check out the progress being made on rebuilding their house.

Life is not easy for the little family. Lolo Alejandro is a carpenter and Lola Basilica sometimes sells coconut and firewood to help support their family.

They do the best they can to take care of their grandson, who they are very proud of.

“James is an intelligent and responsible boy,” Lola Basilica says.

James receives certificates and medals in school for doing well in his classes.

They lived in a house made mostly of wood. It was old but it gave James and his grandparents shelter.

When Child Champions at the Hope Center learned of James’ story, they decided to register him in the program in November 2021. This was a big help to James and his family, especially when disaster struck a month after his registration.

A Terrifying Night

On Dec. 16, 2021, James and his grandparents experienced a new crisis. Super Typhoon Rai devastated their home province of Cebu. The family evacuated to a nearby school for their safety.

Sadly, when they returned home after the typhoon, their house was totally destroyed.

The roof was gone, the walls torn down, and all their belongings such as clothes, beddings, and school supplies were drenched in water. More than 700 sponsored children in Cebu were affected, including James.

“He lost all his medals during the typhoon,” says Lola Basilica.

Help From a Global Community

But James and his family did not have to face the aftermath of the storm alone.

Child Champions in San Fernando Gospel Doer Hope Center provided immediate assistance to the affected families. They were also able to provide materials for rebuilding houses through the OneChild Children’s Crisis Fund.

James with the Child Champions in his life: his grandparents and Hope Center Director, pastor, and staff.

James’ family was one of 77 households in San Fernando that received construction materials such as coco lumber, plywood, and galvanized iron for a roof.

Because James’ grandfather is a carpenter, he was able to finish rebuilding their house.

“I am thankful for the materials we received from OneChild,” Lolo Alejandro says. “Without it, we would not be able to build a new house. It is a blessing to us.”

James is still surrounded by a community of people who support him. His Child Champions in the Hope Center, his sponsor, and his grandparents support him and provide for his needs, materially, socio-emotionally, and spiritually so he can thrive through every circumstance in his life.

His grandparents are grateful that he belongs to OneChild — a global community that came together to help them in a time of crisis.

According to OneChild Program Advisor Rhea Juson, James is blessed to have grandparents like Lolo Alejandro and Lola Basilica who, despite living in poverty, take care of him and commit their hearts to raising him in the best way they can.

“They did all they can through their diligence and resourcefulness to provide for James,” says Rhea. “And they have given him a strong foundation through their words and actions.”

Hooray for our Grand-Child Champions, and for the global community walking beside them!

Give to the Children’s Crisis Fund to help provide rebuilding resources or other necessities to children affected by devastating calamities.

Watch James play a little basketball with his Child Champion:


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