There are situations where one just needs a little help from someone else – just to get by.
I was born and raised in the
. I had seen poor
conditions and wished every one has a chance to be better. In 2005, I returned to the Philippines , after being away for
21 years. With that visit, I was encouraged to help make a difference. Philippines
The kids and I, together with my cousin, developed a small organization (SISBA) that helps the impoverished children in the
my home country. The mission is to encourage young children here in the Philippines to
put aside – as little as a quarter a day – to help with the child’s education.
The scholarship fund helps with transportation and school supplies. US
In return, once in a few months, we ask the scholars and their mothers to update us with the child’s academic achievements. Mothers play an essential role since they are the ones responsible in motivating their children to continue school, and do well in school.
We initially had a required grade point average. However, with the poor environment that the child lives in, most of the times – just passing a subject matter was a tough undertaking. So we just encouraged them to do better in school and to try to pass the class.
This year, our good intentions were put to test – after 6 years, the mothers seemed to have lost the discipline of sending their kids to school. They had failed in providing feedback about the child’s progress in school. Although, they still look for the scholarship money, their dedication to their responsibilities seemed to dwindle.
And now, we are faced with a lot of questions:
Do we continue to provide assistance?
There are other poor communities that can benefit from the scholarship money. Do we abandon those who obviously need help?
What would you do?
This week, a few mothers through ONE.org are in Kenya visiting health clinics, getting to know more about women entrepreneurs, meeting with educators about early education and other programs that empower and encourages women in Africa – the fight against global poverty and disease. Go check it out, sign the petition to keep the funding, be aware and be involved.
(photo credits Ramon Dompor of www.uglyphotographer.com)