Editorial by ACAY Founder Sr. Sophie (May 2023)

In this year of ACAY’s 25th anniversary, we also celebrate 20 years of the Second Chance program!

20 years of accompanying young people in situations of delinquency, in detention, or in the alternatives to detention that have developed over time in the Philippines.

20 years in which this program has given birth to the Second Chance program in Marseille.

We have gone from educational activities so that the time in detention becomes a “useful time” to a real concept of training and detailed accompaniment with specific objectives for youth in search of themselves.

Sister, I was 10 years old when my mother died…

Sister, my parents split up when I was 5 years old and I didn’t know where to go, shunted from one family to another…

Sister, I joined the gangs when I was 10 years old, I saw a lot of blood and violence... “

Sister, I was given to my aunt and brought to France without even knowing that I would never see my family again… “

I could multiply by hundreds the stories of journeying of young people in detention who carry within themselves such deep distress.

One of the challenges was to maintain an approach that combined work on oneself to untangle the inner distress experienced during childhood without minimizing a true culture of responsibility “I am responsible for my actions, my past choices, and my future choices”.

After 20 years, we now see young “ACAY Ambassadors” rising up, ready to testify in so many different contexts, to government institutions but also to partners and to other young people.

They are Ambassadors of hope and optimism.

Ambassadors that “a transformation is possible and it starts from within”.

Ambassadors of a culture of responsibility.

Ambassadors that young people need a sense of belongingness, a family, and roots on which to build.

Ambassadors that life only has meaning if it is given and shared.

For this anniversary, we aim to find a place to stabilize the Second Chance Program mission towards this youth.

Be with us in this! These youth rekindle in our hearts, if needed, the hope that it is possible to see lives transformed.