It all started with a pastor’s desire to help his unemployed but very talented church members. That desire was to create an opportunity for an artist to hone his skill, earn a living from it, inspire other people with it, and eventually use it to help bring about genuine social transformation.
Pastor Ramon Einstein Acuña, founder and chairman of Hope Avenue, aimed to “…establish an avenue where an individual can showcase his skill and be the best at it while helping people at the same time.” Aware of the present situation in our society – economic crisis, moral decay, graft and corruption, and exploitation to name a few – he envisions a transformed community characterized by proper execution of government reforms and programs, fair policies and services, holistic development of every member in the family, and most importantly, moral recovery. He hopes that training and enhancing the skills of people to become a vital solution in addressing these societal problems could be a good start. So with cooperation from his church members and encouragement from his mentors, Pastor Einstein founded the center on June 12, 2012 – a non-stock/non-profit corporation with strong dedication to impact the communities of Bohol through education and social services.
A month after, four street children, all boys, suddenly showed up at the doorstep of the center asking for a place to stay for the night. But they didn’t just stayed for the night. They stayed for six months after we learned that they were traumatized and abused by their family. Those days became a life-changing experience for them, as well as for the volunteer guardians. During those times we learned that community transformation is never an easy goal.
Thanks to the two missionaries who arrived from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA – Rev. Alexander Coriell and Rev. Marissa Coriell, having the same passion and compassion for children, inspired Pastor Einstein and his wife, Joy, to continue with the child intervention program. The missionary couple started the whole process of training all volunteers, making them more prepared for the challenges at hand. Until now these God-sent couple remain our wonderful partners through their organization called Unbroken International.
Now, with all governmental permits on their way, Hope Avenue is ready to open its doors once again to all distressed children out there!