Name: Emanuel Bagual
Project: Dynamic Teen Company
Location: Manila, Phillipines
Born on December 16, 1992, I grew up in a slum area in Cavite near a dumpsite where I became a scavenger. During my childhood, I worked to help my parents raise money for day to day survival. I attended classes during the week and spent my weekends selling corn from a kariton (pushcart) on the roads of Cavite.
I met Efren on a grade school graduation in March 2004. I was stunned by his speech for the graduates and I insisted on staying longer while his co-performers left the venue, which changed my life.
At that time, I was a member of a gang in the area, never realized that I would end up doing volunteer work for DTC. Before I entered the organization, the DTC already had the project of bringing education, food and first aid to the children of the slums. By using a sidecar, they were able to reach out to unfortunate children in their area. But the sidecar became difficult to work with. The heavy plastic bags carrying food and educational materials often gave the cart flat tyres. I therefore came up with the idea of using a kariton, which had a larger capacity but could still enter small streets. In addition, the children could put their energy into pushing the carts, and it could be easily transformed into a simple classroom.
Today, I am helping youth volunteers to live their lives with a purpose and make changes in their own ways. I am a Biblical Servant Leader, Chief Executive Officer of the Dynamic Teen Company and a United Nations Advocate for Human Rights.
I love my work because I understand these children, I was one of them. I continues to inspire and be inspired by the children in the slums whom I hope to transform into people who work for a positive change.