MANILA – Richard Juan has been named as the newest goodwill ambassador of SOS Children’s Villages Philippines.
With this new role, Juan, who is an advocate of youth development, will be the voice of children and young people who are at risk or have lost parental care.
“I was honestly ecstatic,” he told ABS-CBN News, explaining that he did not expect them to offer him the role of goodwill ambassador because this was not something he had in mind at all.
“They really appreciated everything that I’ve done for them but to be honest, I did it all from my heart and I just genuinely enjoyed doing it — and I think the SOS Philippines team felt that and decided to give me a proper title for the efforts that I have made and plan to make,” he said.
Juan is expected to use his platform to raise awareness on issues such as child neglect, poor access to education, unemployment, and poverty which are main barriers in achieving youth empowerment.
According to Juan, it is a good thing that the vision of SOS that no child should grow up alone is something he resonates with.
“I have been very blessed to have grown up in a family where they are all very supportive with whatever I want to do. And that support system is what keeps me going until this day and I believe every kid, every child, deserves to have that opportunity to have that support system. The kids in SOS Philippines come from very difficult backgrounds but in the Children’s Village, they’re able to find a family.
“I want to be one of the kids’ inspirations. Because when I was younger, I always looked up to several people and that eagerness to be like them is what motivated me. But of course, to run non-profits organizations like this also takes a lot of time and money and hence I would like to continue to support and promote SOS Philippines so more people will know about this organization and support them because SOS Philippines is definitely doing good things to help support these kids,” he said.
Nonetheless, Juan said he doesn’t take his title lightly.
“I believe that this title is such a privilege to have and it also comes with responsibilities. I wanted to make sure that I’m am able to deliver the expected responsibilities as a goodwill ambassador. Like many things that I do in my life, I want to give 100%,” he said.
And while this task landed on his lap during difficult times, Juan said he’d also like to use his platform to remind the children and the youth to take care of themselves both physically and mentally.
“We often forget how important our mental health is, especially in a time of a pandemic. In a time where there is so much negativity, so much uncertainty, we always have to have hope because when you lose hope, that’s when everything crumbles down. But in these difficult times, it’s okay to be unproductive, it’s okay to feel tired, it’s okay to not be okay… for now,” he said.
Juan is a TV and social media personality, host and model based in the Philippines. He started his showbiz career by winning the People’s Choice Award in Eat Bulaga’s “You’re My Foreignoy” competition and gained more popularity when he finished at 6th place in “Pinoy Big Brother: 737.” He now works as a host in various local and international events and as a content creator on YouTube.