Girl child shares bountiful harvest to neighbors
Every time, Sierralyn’s family harvest vegetables or fruits from their seven-hectare farm land, they give some to their neighbors and sell the rest.
“Sometimes we sell though online,” Sierralyn, 17, adds. “But it’s usually us, children, who sell online. My parents are not familiar with social media.”
“That’s true,” her father, Greg, 61, confirms. “I don’t know anything about epbi-epbi. My way of selling is to bring my produce house to house.” Father and daughter laugh.
With a large farm and six children, all are women, Greg mostly does the planting and harvesting. He acquired the farm from her grandfather and aunt. “That time, everything you see here were mostly planted with corn. As years passed by, we transferred here and I planted some of the land with commercial trees like gmelina, mahogany and mango.”
Greg says he could earn as much as Php100,000 from these commercial trees that he uses to send his daughters to college. In the family, three siblings are still studying. His third daughter, Giselle, is taking up a graduate degree on hotel management. His fifth child, Hazel, is a college student taking Education, while Sierralyn, the youngest sibling, is a senior high school. His two eldest daughters, Donnabel and Karen, are married, while Shyryn is working.
Sierralyn, who has been a sponsored child since she was in Grade 5, wants to be a lawyer someday, a profession she read from a book when she was in Grade 7. “I admire how lawyers battle in court. They’re so cool! Wanting to be a lawyer started as a jest. A teacher once asked who wanted to be a lawyer, I raised my hand. Since then, my classmates and teachers would always refer to me when the lawyer profession is mentioned,” Sierralyn shares.
She already researched on Google what a lawyer actually does and found that “…a lawyer defends people’s rights. They have principles. I also read that some lawyers are not honest. I don’t want to be like that. I want to be an honest one.”
Sierralyn grew up attending numerous World Vision and school activities in her community that developed her self-esteem. “There are many children here who rather stay home because they are shy. I used to be like them. I had doubts about myself. My self-confidence was low. It’s difficult to conquer the world if you are shy always. You will miss many opportunities,” she says.
She adds she wants to help children in her village develop their self-esteem. “Maybe they can join our Bible Studies or I should initiate a teambuilding. World Vision has lots of teambuilding activities. I love it!”
Giving gives a good feeling
Being the youngest, Greg describes Sierralyn as a jovial child. “She’s like me, kwela (funny). I think that’s something she got from me. She’s not selfish. What she has, she also shares to her elder sisters,” he says.
Since she was young, Sierralyn saw how her parents give to others. In fact, a World Vision’s agricultural training center in the community is built on a land that Sierralyn’s family owned — pro bono. “We want to learn and improve our lives. Only World Vision gives us that opportunity. The land is nothing compared to what World Vision has been doing for us, for my family,” Greg says.
World Vision has taught several farmers in the village on organic farming, which Greg still applies in his farm to this day. Such is his gratitude to World Vision that some of the trails in his farm is named after World Vision staff who tirelessly work in the community.
“I admire my parents for their generosity towards others despite our situation. People here respect and love them for that. And I imitate it. I also give when I can. It’s a good feeling to give,” Sierralyn says.
She adds, “When you have parents like my mama and papa, any girl can dream big regardless of their circumstances. Parents are like a child’s feet. If the feet are not strong, the child will not be strong.”