Nica hopes for a better tomorrow
Maria Ophelia, or most called by everyone as Pangging, glances at her daughter who exits their back door to harvest some water spinach. “I feel lucky to have Nica as a daughter,” she says. “That’s why I am working hard to provide my children’s needs.”
Maria Ophelia plants corn in a small lot near their house. She sells her harvest in the town market. However, since her income in corn farming is unstable and is not enough to spend for their daily needs, she ventured to other small-scale businesses such as net knitting and soap-making.
“My most stable income comes from my net knitting livelihood. We make nets that are bought by rubber ball manufacturers. They use the nets as packaging of their products,” the mother shares. “I also meet with other mothers in my village to make powdered soap. It is also a good source of income for us.”
After Nica finished plucking enough water spinach, she heads to the dirty kitchen. She starts a fire using wood and paper and cooks a stir-fried water spinach meal. After cooking, she puts the meal in a serving plate and joins her younger brother, Simon, in the dining table.
“I love helping my mother,” shares the mild-mannered girl. “She works hard everyday to put food on our table. I want to pay back by helping in the house chores.”
Once breakfast is over, Nica heads to the school located across the street. She brings her World Vision bag with delight as she walks towards her classroom.
Nica has been a World Vision sponsored child for several years. With the help of Nica’s sponsor, she is inspired to work hard on her studies. “I thank my sponsor who gives me a school bag full of school supplies every year. Christmas also becomes more exciting when I receive the Noche Buena gift.”
Nica is also invited to World Vision activities, which develops her character and leadership skills. The little achiever applies her learnings by being the vice president of their school’s student government. Her mother also benefits from the soap-making skills training and other livelihood opportunities.
Inside their classroom, Nica keenly listens to her teacher’s discussion. She carefully watches her teacher and thinks about her dream of becoming a teacher too.
“Despite the challenges that I encounter, I know that I can overcome it because I study hard and pray to God all the time,” says Nica.
After school, she hurries back to her home to help her mother toil the soil of their cornfield. “I hope for a better tomorrow for myself, for my family, and for my fellow children in our village.”