Clinging to Hope

After driving through busy streets and walking through docked fishing boats, World Vision ambassador Gretchen Ho found herself in a poor community in Davao supported by World Vision. There, she visited three out-of-school youths whose education has been put on hold because of poverty.

“I am amazed that they all want to complete their education. They have dreams,” Gretchen shared with awe. She saw the gleam in the children’s eyes as they shared what they aspire to be someday. Some mentioned that they wanted to be a soldier, an engineer, a teacher, a policeman, a seaman, among many others.

All of these youth have wonderful stories to tell. One of which is the story of Jonas.

Jonas is a 13-year-old out-of-school youth whom Gretchen met in her visit to the community. To help his loved ones, Jonas works by lifting boats to and out of the water in the morning and drives a tricycle in the afternoon. Gretchen was stunned upon learning that Jonas spends the day working at a young age. She then asked why he has to work so much, to which he answered with, “So I can provide for my family.”

Jonas is one of the children who have docked their dreams on the shore. Charged with a burden to support his family, Jonas might have been left with no choice but to set his dreams aside. But however hard his life has now become, the desire to go to school and to finish it still remains. He does not know when that would happen, but he is confident that the hope that Gretchen and World Vision have brought for him promises a bright future.

When asked about what he wants to become someday, Jonas said he wanted to be a seaman and that he would visit every country in the world. Jonas’ dream is one of those that are anchored only for a while. With hope as his driving force, this dream is surely bound to set sail in the coming years.

“It is inspiring to see the fight in the children here. At a young age, they have already experienced a lot, but you can see that their hope for education and aspiration for themselves are very much alive,” Gretchen said.

Jonas is one of the many reasons why Gretchen and World Vision persevere to bring hope to communities. “I hope they will not lose hope. Even if there are many obstacles that keep them from pursuing their dreams, I hope they will continue fighting for them.”

Written by: El Joy Beneza, World Vision PH Communications Intern

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