Marie Mae Story: Believe in Yourself

This is a reflection story from Marie Mae, 20, a former World Vision sponsored child for 7 seven years, on how World Vision has made an impact on her life. Marie Mae was one of World Vision’s active child leaders. She is now in college studying Education major in English.

Believe in Yourself. Anything is possible. We just need to try.

This is what I always tell to myself since I was young. However, when I was growing up, I realized that this is better said than done. When I was a bit young, or in my elementary days, I was a very, very shy girl. I didn’t know how to speak my mind in front of people. I was timid in a large gathering. I felt like everything about me is not ok. I’m sure most girls who grew up in a quaint village in a province can relate to me.

It was year 2012 when I was invited to attend a seminar where children from different provinces gathered. I was meek at first, and so were the other kids. But as we spent more time together, we became more comfortable with each other, and opened up a bit about our lives and opinions on things. Though, I should say, that I was still careful in saying what I have in mind so as not to be misconstrued by anybody.

It was during this particular training that I led a group where every member was a stranger to me. Yet, I have to do the task so our team could participate. It was then that I learned to gradually tell what I think we should do and listen to them on what they think we should do. It was a meaningful moment for me! For a timid girl, this new experience is memorable.

That training started to change me.

Since then, there were many opportunities that I got involved in. I slowly learn to speak my mind be comfortable around people. I also learned to be a group leader. I started believing in myself, in what I can do and share this with other children. Then, I became a child leader, the voice of the children in the community, somebody who can speak on their behalf on issues that affect us, children.

These experiences propel me to step forward and help my family when tragedy befell upon us a few years back. My father, whom we rely on for our everyday needs, suddenly died of illness. It was a very devastating moment for us, especially to my mother who suddenly became the head of the family. And, add to that, there’s this COVID-19 pandemic.

Being one of the eldest of the nine children, I need to help mother and at the same time continue my study. I started accepting tutorial job in our community as part time work. The earning is meager but this is better than nothing. Soon, I am only teaching not only the children in our community but also those abroad.

I’ve noticed how I’ve matured in so many ways.

Looking back, I sometimes wondered what would I be if not for World Vision. The things they do — trainings, seminars — may look like an ordinary, daily tasks but for a child who has nothing from the beginning, all those tasks were opportunities to learn and improve our lives.

It is World Vision that taught me to dream and make the impossible, possible.

I may not be a sponsored child now but all the lessons I learned from the numerous experiences that World Vision provided for a simple, timid girl will always remain in my heart.

When I become a teacher someday, I will do the same thing to my students — make them believe in themselves just as how World Vision made me believe in myself.