A young leader; a future champion of life
Can you imagine being a child with a life full of hardships? Can you handle your studies when you live in a small makeshift house made of tent, nipa roof and wooden bamboo floor? Can you focus on your homework when rainwater continuously drips through the roof and the walls are not enough to keep you warm at night? Can you perform well in class when your stomach is rumbling because your parents cannot give you enough allowance?
These were the things Iwo Gema, a World Vision sponsored child from Samar in the Philippines, had to face each day. Back then, she thought it was impossible for her to achieve her goals but World Vision came to their community and gradually paved the rough trail to her dreams.
“Before, life was extremely hard. Both of my parents did not have enough income to support me and my younger siblings in our food and in our education,” Iwo Gema shares, voice shivering as she tries to remember the excruciating life she had before.
World Vision opened up activities and programs in the community and Iwo Gema took it as an opportunity for her to learn new things and develop different skills. She was very eager to attend all of the activities; even in assisting the organizers facilitate the events. Iwo Gema shares that her countless participations in activities such as children’s congress, rights of children forum, and hygiene promotion has built her self-confidence and developed her interpersonal communication and leadership skills, which make her stand out from her friends and schoolmates.
Now, aside from consistently topping the honor rank in her class, she also heads the student body in their school and in her church group. She is also a pioneer and a World Vision youth leader in their community.
“I am very proud of myself because I have become a good leader despite the hardships I encountered before in my life,” says Iwo Gema as she wipes her tears. “I am also thankful for World Vision. It saved me from being hopeless in life.”
Iwo Gema wants to share the blessings of World Vision to others. She dreams that, despite the poverty that creeps within her community, all children will have access to quality education. With the help and guidance of World Vision, Iwo Gema believes that she can reach her dreams for her family and her community.