From child leaders to teachers
When Normalyn and Jemima were young, both their families’ meager incomes were insufficient in providing them with their basic needs. At times, they took on menial jobs, like doing the laundry and mowing the lawns of their more affluent neighbors, to add to their school allowance. Sometimes, they would scavenge in a nearby garbage site and look for anything of value.
“Our families could not afford to give us daily allowance so we went to school without any,” says Normalyn.
“We sold vegetables around the neighborhood to help our parents,” added Jemima.
Though they both experienced a life filled with struggles, it never crossed their young minds that they were poor and deprived of their basic needs. “We never felt ashamed of what we were doing back then,” says Normalyn.
Jemima narrates, “I remember one time, we were walking and we were so thirsty. We had no money to buy for drinks. I prayed that we could find loose coins on the road…”
“Or somebody would treat us for a drink,” Normalyn adds.
“What happened to us then? Do you remember?” Jemima asks Normalyn, who shrugs her shoulder. They both laugh.
The former World Vision sponsored children are now teachers in Palawan. “I now realized how difficult the life of a teacher is,” admits Normalyn, giggling. “The students would really test your patience.”
The best friends share how World Vision’s activities for children influenced them to think beyond their age. As sponsored children, they both experienced being child leaders in summer activities that World Vision encouraged them to join.
“We enjoyed our younger years,” Normalyn narrates, recalling meeting and playing with students from other villages.
“We learned about numerous societal issues such as poverty,” Jemina says.
Normalyn agrees, “World Vision opened our eyes to take part on issues affecting children and youth. We were still young yet we know our rights and responsibilities.”
First Published: June 17, 2017
Updated: September 14, 2018
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.