Richard Juan Champions Youth Empowerment As The New SOS Children's Village Philippines' Goodwill Ambassador
He says, “I need to be a ‘Kuya’ to the children in the village. I always believed that we need to put emphasis on molding and guiding the young ones"
Rather than receive gifts for his birthday, Richard Juan preferred to give. The Love Thy Woman actor celebrated his 28th birthday last August 2 with the announcement that he's been named as the newest Goodwill Ambassador for non-profit organization SOS Children's Village Philippines.
On his Instagram account, he writes, “SOS Philippines is a children’s organisation that I have been supporting consistently for awhile now, and it really is an honour to be part of this family.” Richard and the organization had a lot of plans pre-pandemic, but as excited as he is to take on this role, those had to be put on hold now.
“I am still receiving messages on how to send me birthday gifts…but guys, can I suggest you to send your gifts to SOS Philippines instead! Orrrr...better yet, save them for next time when we visit the SOS Children’s Villages together ."
SOS Children’s Village provides family-like care to children in need, with eight villages spread across the country. Currently, the organization has almost 1,000 children and young adults who live under their care, and about 5,600 families in communities where they offer support. Their vision, “No child should grow up alone,” greatly resonates with this Pinoy Big Brother alum.
The partnership began with the actor’s visit to their headquarters last December for a Christmas event. Since then, Richard has been spotted in SOS Children’s Village throughout the months prior to the lockdown—from donating goods to those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption to organizing a baking workshop for Valentine’s Day for the children.
Being a youth advocate is a passion that’s been a constant part of his life. Even before he was tapped as a goodwill ambassador, Richard has been a regular face in several youth forums and conferences and host to numerous events that cater to the new generation. He has also staged annual charity-related fan meetings with the help of his supporters, the Juanderers.
“The youth is our future, and hence why we should invest heavily on them,” he says.
Richard recounts how, in his younger years, looking up to great role models made him aspire to be an inspiration and a good influence to others himself.
“I need to be a ‘Kuya’ to the children in the village. I always believed that we need to put emphasis on molding and guiding the young ones. Without it, they will be going in the wrong direction. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do—to inspire and motivate the youth,” Richard muses.
When asked about his advice to the youth, the new SOS goodwill ambassador points out three key things: to take care of yourself mentally and physically, to believe in yourself a little more, and to learn the importance of building a solid foundation and working hard to succeed.
With the ongoing pandemic, his initial project with SOS Philippines is still in the works, as he and his team are in the process of coming up with new ideas that can be done virtually. They’re cooking up interesting and fun initiatives—things that will surely brighten up the day of these kids while going through these dark times.
Photos from @richardjuan