A Vision Realized: World Vision Philippines Supports its Long-Time Child Sponsor and Newly Minted Author Joanne Rico in Her Heartfelt Book Launch

Being able to look back on one’s humble past with joy is a gift. It is a celebration of small and big wins after the many losses, and a way to inspire others to brave through life’s storms even when the odds seem to be insurmountable.

For Joanne de Guzman Rico, her past has become her most powerful asset. Once one of the millions of Filipino migrant workers searching for better opportunities in the Middle East, she is now a multi-awarded marketing professional, a book author, a global Filipino advocate, and a long-time child sponsor at World Vision Philippines. Indeed, she has taken leaps and bounds from a life full of adversities. Yet, who she is now is not a departure from her past. It is a fully realized version of it.

World Vision Philippines joins Joanne as she unveils her new book, It’s Not What You Think: Cracking OFW Myths on Personal Finance. Launched during a gala event at Al Safa Art and Design Library in Dubai, UAE in October 2023, the book teaches fellow overseas Filipinos sustainable lessons on how to manage their hard-earned money. Having worked abroad for over a decade and building her financial know-how through experience, Joanne hopes to give migrant workers a leg up with her book. She aims to help alleviate their financial stresses by ensuring that they avoid debt, money mismanagement, and earning fatigue—lessons that thousands of OFWs don’t have to learn the hard way when they’re guided by empathetic and well-informed voices like Joanne’s.

All book sales from the event went to the children and families served by World Vision Philippines, amounting to Php46,000. In January 2024, Joanne launched her book in the Philippines and raised an additional Php21,000. World Vision Philippines’ Level Up – Kalinga Aralan initiative serves as the primary beneficiary of the campaign, with the funds directed towards establishing a study and safe play space center for children in the selected community in Laurel, Batangas. World Vision Philippines aims to enhance the overall well-being of more Filipino children, starting by improving the quality of education they receive and providing safe and conducive spaces for them to grow, learn, and play with their peers.

Financial literacy was key to Joanne’s success, but she reminds everyone that money is but one ingredient. For a person’s newfound earning power to truly mean something, it must be accompanied by perseverance, resilience, and, above all, a desire to give back to the community whenever possible.

Joanne has truly lived a purpose-driven life, which many individuals can get inspiration from. Some of her accolades include being named as the Marketing and Advertising Professional of the Year by The Filipino Times in 2017; one of the Thought Leaders in Illustrado’s 300 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf, Legacy Edition in 2020; one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the World by the Foundation for Filipina Women’s Network in 2021; one of Middle East’s Most Influential Marketers by Tycoon Success Magazine in 2022, and as a global awardee for Outstanding Leadership at the Marketing 2.0 Conference in the United Arab Emirates.

As Joanne reaches new heights in her career, she continues to pay it forward so that more individuals can reach their dreams, just as she did. The University of the Philippines-Diliman graduate has chosen World Vision Philippines to be her partner in her social responsibility efforts and has been a proud child sponsor for over 18 years.

Joanne’s ongoing child sponsorship has allowed World Vision Philippines to transform the lives of children, their families, and their communities who come from some of the most depressed areas in the country. Sponsorships allow children to receive better education; get access to better food, clean water, and sanitized living conditions; protect their fundamental rights; and improve their family’s ability to rise above economic difficulties.

By sponsoring a child for Php750 a month or just Php25 a day, more children can become like Joanne – beacons of hope for others.

In the same spirit, many individuals have made donations to World Vision Philippines through their own circles of influence. Some have organized fundraisers, “donated” birthdays, or celebrated their fandom’s special events – proceeds of which go to children under World Vision Philippines’ care. Some have volunteered to share their talents and time through teaching and serving in church ministries.

By continuing to work with World Vision Philippines, Joanne—and other generous Filipinos all over the world—can give others a brighter and better life ahead.

Learn more about World Vision and its initiatives on www.worldvision.org.ph.

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