Nanette Repalpa, ex-Outreach Manager of Virlanie, believes that compassion is most important. If one has the heart, the knowledge can easily follow.
Nanette started working for Virlanie Foundation as a social worker 19 years ago. She moved on to become a Project Coordinator for one of the residential homes, and then moved to the Children’s Legal Rights Office (CLRO) program of Virlanie. She loved this part most, but then she was promoted eventually as the head of the Foundation’s Outreach Department, handling the Mobile Unit, Balik Probinsya, Open Day Center, and several other outreach programs.
Nanette remembers that her work in CLRO was most challenging because she was handling “extreme” cases that whenever she would manage to help a child, the fulfillment she felt was beyond measure. But in general, her work in Virlanie gave her so much joy that she did not feel like it was “work” that she was doing.
“I think I lasted for 19 years because I was happy here; sometimes I would become so busy at work that I would somehow neglect the kids, but God always helped. It was like He was telling me to do the work and He would just take care of everything else—and he did. My kids are okay, they are growing up to be great children. For me, that is more than enough. I cannot ask for more.”
“I learned to understand.”
Before she came to Virlanie, Nanette admitted that she had a traditional view of certain things. But Virlanie changed the way she looked at life. “I now understand that it is not so easy to judge; there are reasons why people are in certain situations, and that sometimes it is against their will,” Nanette shared. “I also learned that it is very important to look at the big picture and solve problems in a way that all aspects are considered.” She truly appreciates this gift and believes that her work as Outreach Manager definitely fit her personality.
“We learned to understand people and to love, and we learned this well from Kuya Dom. I respect him so much, I consider him like a second father. I saw how he showed love not only to the children but also those people who are in need,” Nanette revealed. She also knows that she’s not the best, but she tries every time to give her best and to share the love. To her, it’s what matters.
“We are family.”
Nanette believes that the best thing about Virlanie is that it’s like a family. She felt that she was given the trust that she needed to bloom in her career. She also felt that she could speak her mind and people would listen, especially Kuya Dom.
The work is all about caring, says Nanette. “You are on call 24-7. I go beyond what is expected of me. I try to create connections and give genuine support. We take care of them (children, adoptive families, etc.) Because anyone give service, but relationships are harder to build, especially when there is no connection.”
“It’s hard to say goodbye.”
Nanette admits that it was difficult for her to make the decision to leave. She was used to doing her work in Virlanie for 19 long years, and that it gave her so much happiness and fulfillment. Nevertheless, she is very thankful for everything that she has learned in the Foundation. First of all, Nanette thanks everyone for letting her grow, at her own pace. “I was placed at the right place, at the right time, and I could say that I wouldn’t be who I am now if it were not for Virlanie,” Nanette said.
“I value the family, friendships, and the opportunities given to me. I am one of the luckiest and I hope the same opportunity will be given to others. In Virlanie, I was able to fulfill my dreams. I am grateful to Kuya Dom, for being like a father to me.”
Virlanie Foundation is grateful to Nanette for serving the Foundation and the children for 19 years, and wishes her the best that her new life has to offer.