Former sponsored child story: Letters and words of wisdom
Twenty years ago, back when Ace was the student who had to cross a river and walk for at least 30 minutes just to go to school, he would think of two things to get through the day. One was his father’s advice: Do your best to finish school so that you won’t have to go through the hardships I experienced. The second was a portion from the first letter he received from Nicole, his sponsor: I hope that you will succeed and you will grow up to be a good child and a good person.
Ace is the third of five children. His father is a farmer while his mom is a housewife. Growing up, their daily survival depended on his father’s meager income.
“We used to live in the mountains. We would wake up at 4, take a bath in the river and then walk our way to the school without baon (allowance). It was difficult especially during rainy season because we had to cross the river,” shared Ace.
“There was a point when I thought of quitting school to help my father do farm labor but he was against the idea and told me that he wants all of us to have a better life,” he added.
It was in 1999, the same year that Ace became a sponsored child, when World Vision started working in Ace’s community.
“I experienced being cared for by people outside my family. I will never forget the letters that I used to receive from Ms. Nicole, telling me to never stop dreaming. Her help made a big impact in my life and in my family,” Ace smiled.
In the years that followed, Ace was honed to be a leader, along with 3500 WV-assisted children in the province. He joined different children’s congresses, peace camps, and other activities. He became one of the active youth leaders in his community, working alongside the barangay (village) leaders in implementing projects for the youth. His parents, meanwhile, became active volunteers of World Vision and were involved in the economic development projects of the organization.
“Everything I learned throughout my sponsorship journey prepared me to be the man that I am now. Aside from overcoming poverty, I am grateful because I came to know and experience God,” Ace said.
Now 28, Ace is part of the Philippine National Police in Sarangani province. He helps provide for his family and now supports the education of his two younger siblings.
“I am happy to share that from being the child who would walk through the river and mountains to get to school, I now go around the streets of General Santos City as a policeman to ensure the security of the people.”
And whenever he does his work, he remembers his father’s words and Ms. Nicole’s letters. He did not fail them.