A mother’s wish for her children

“Year 2021 has been a very difficult year for our family,” expresses Sarah, a mother of five, living in a simple town in Datu Odin, Maguindanao where opportunities are almost not within their reach.

Sarah’s husband is a tricycle driver and earns very little in a day. The pandemic really affects their ways of living. “We have a hard time to make both ends meet. 150 pesos a day is not enough to feed five children and to support their other necessities,” she shares.

Before the pandemic, Sarah is a small-scale vendor in the school where her children study. “Somehow, the school helped us earn a living by selling snacks to the students. Life before was bearable because we have ways to earn. However, because of the pandemic, it limits our chances to look for money. The school shuts down as well as our small business,” she says.

“When the pandemic hit the country, we are faced with many problems including what to serve in our table,” expresses Sarah. With the current condition, she says that they would be fortunate enough to earn even a hundred pesos. She is now a plain housewife taking care of her five children.

“I remember one time, I had to spend our savings allotted for our children’s future. Together with my husband and children, we broke our improvised piggy bank made of bamboo and carefully count the coins and bills that we all laboured to save,” she recalls.

They promise themselves not to touch the money unless it is for their children’s education. “We have earned 10,000 pesos all in all. We had to spend it. We had no choice,” she narrates with a heavy heart.

“My children really had a hard time dealing with their education. Online classes and modules had been a challenge not only for them but to us parents.” Sarah shares that they cannot even afford school supplies for their children, moreover a new gadget that they could use.

“My five children would often quarrel just to use the only phone we got. I saw how useful it was for their research and homework,” she says. It pains her to look at her children argue over an old shabby phone just to accomplish their school tasks. “We don’t have the means to buy a new one,” she expresses bitterly.

Gratitude to God

“Although life seems to be hopeless at that time, a blessing knocks at our door. World Vision comes in our town and gives us school supplies, emergency kits and cash assistance,” tells Sarah. “I will never forget that moment upon receiving their assistance, I am silently thanking God for this unexpected gift,” she says as she looks at her youngest son with joy on her face.

The assistance is part of World Vision’s COVID-19 Project that assist families whose livelihoods and source of income are seriously affected by the pandemic.

“The educational materials the organization provides really help us support our children’s education,” she expresses. She proudly shows her children’s new notebooks and colouring materials. “This simple gift helps struggling parents like us fill the gap we can’t fulfil.”

“Now, they are not only motivated to study, as parents, we are also encouraged to support them by being involved in their learning journey. Even though I am not properly educated, I become an instant teacher for my kids,” she admits delightfully.

Sarah also shares her plan for the cash assistance they received. “We are actually saving the money to buy a new phone for my children for them to use in their classes. That is their number one wish list and I am equally excited for them. Finally, they will not argue over a rundown phone anymore.” She shares with a slight smirk.

“We hope that this year, life would be easier for us especially for our children. All I want is for them to do good in their school, and as a parent, I am willing to sacrifice everything for their sake,” she concludes with a glistening ray of hope in her eyes.