The transforming power of love
The pains that go with poverty
Anna grew up in a family of nine. The sixth among seven, she grew up to poverty, her parents making ends meet with his father’s income.
“My dad was a tricycle driver while my mother was a housewife. The lack of food, good toys and new clothes, we can tolerate. But the most painful part of being poor was having to see my mom as a little child skip her medicines for rheumatic heart disease because we did not have enough money,” she shares.
To help their father, she and her siblings had to collect water spinach to sell to pig owners. Instead of playing with the children in their neighborhood, they were selling banana cue.
“I wanted so bad to study so that I can help my family,” she adds.
‘They remember me’
In early 2000, when Anna was around 7, World Vision started working in her community. She and her youngest sibling became part of the organisation’s sponsorship program.
“That changed my life and my family’s. From there on, my brother and I would no longer worry about our school supplies and uniforms,” she said.
Her mother, whom she loved dearly, also became one of WV’s most active volunteers.
“I learned volunteerism from my mother. I am happy she got to go to places because of the works she’s been doing with World Vision. I am also grateful because whenever she had attacks, World Vision was there for her,” she said. Her mother died when she was 12.
Throughout her growing up years, especially after her mom passed away, Anna remembered how the letters and cards from her sponsor made her feel loved and remembered.
“I’ve kept all their letters because they reminded me that Tanya and William were always thinking of me. Even now when I feel I’m at my lowest, I re-read the letters they sent me and I feel encouraged. William and Tanya didn’t have children yet when they sponsored me. I felt like I was their firstborn,” she smiles, overcome by gratitude and love for the second parents she wish to see face-to-face one day.
Overcoming poverty and giving back
With Anna’s determination, her father’s hard work and support from WV, she finished AB Sociology. Before her current work as area coordinator for a community-driven development project of social welfare department, she was with World Vision as sponsorship support staff.
“My experiences growing up influenced my decision to become a development worker. I was cared for by many people who are not even related to me by blood and that inspired me to be who I am now. In my work now, I can relate to the struggles of the families I talk to and to be able to help make a difference in their lives gives me so much joy.”
Anna didn’t also forget to give back to her family, especially her father.
“He is old now and I’m glad that I could buy him things he couldn’t buy before because he was only thinking of our welfare,” she shares.
Asked what she wants to tell her sponsors Tanya and William, 20 years after they decided to sponsor her, “I thank God for your lives. Thank you for making me feel that I am part of your family. Thank you for the letters you sent me. I will never be able to express how much they meant to me growing up.”