Read about the difference JLC projects are making to children and families in Wawa…
Jacov is 4 years old. His father is a fisherman and his mother works part-time as a laundry woman. Even with both parents working, the family find it hard to meet their basic financial needs for food, utilities and school supplies for Jacov. When they heard about JLCI’s Early Childhood Education programme, they were excited as could see real opportunity for the whole family. Through the programme, Jacov’s parents say that he has gone from being a shy child to full of self confidence. He has made friends and learnt to write his own name. He has now graduated to school and his parents are starting their own home-based business, selling textiles that they have learned to make through JLC’s livelihood programme. They say that JLC has inspired them to ‘dream big’.
Fourteen year old Alaysa is the second of four siblings. Due to lack of financial support, she was left in the care of a relative and stopped going to school. Proper meals were few and far between and Alaysa became malnourished. Her greatest wish was to be able to eat the right food. Since enrolling on JLC’s school nutrition programme, Alaysa receives a nutritionally balanced meal in Libis Elementary School three times a week. This has relieved the feeding burden on her family and enabled Alaysa to resume her education. She now aspires to becoming a chef.
Jaymee is 7 years old. She lives with her three siblings and her mother Melody, who single-handedly supports her four children through working part time in a small restaurant called a turo-turo. Food has always been a problem for the family. With a limited budget, they make ends meet by eating instant noodles and canned sardines. Due to lack of nutrition, the children find it hard to concentrate. Jaymee and her brother, Jaspher are both graduates of JLC’s Early Childhood Education programme. Learning basic skills has enabled them to progress to Libis Elementary School, where their education is being supported by JLC’s nutrition programme. Their younger siblings will also be enrolling on the next intake of the Early Childhood Education programme. Melody is so thankful that her children have the opportunity to gain a basic education. Through their involvement in JLC’s projects, she too feels supported and inspired to keep dreaming of a better future.
Maricar and Marcela are sisters, aged 9 and 6 years old. They have two other siblings aged 4 and 2. For nine years they have been living in a makeshift house near the lake shore in Wawa. During the rainy season they often need to evacuate as their house floods. The children’s mother is a full time housewife, while their father works in a fish port, doing odd jobs to support the family. Their main concern is lack of financial income, especially when the children are sick and they cannot afford to see a doctor or to buy medicines. Both Maricar and Marcela graduated from JLCI’s Early Childhood Education programme and are now studying at Libis Elementary School, supported by JLC’s school nutrition programme. This support has given the family hope and motivation. Maricar and Marcela both want to finish their studies and aspire to becoming teachers. Their parents are happy that their children are receiving a good foundational education and proper nutrition, and are also being supported by JLC’s other welfare projects, such as the annual dental and medical missions and Christmas gift giving. Through these projects, they are able to stay safe and healthy, play, and make friends – childhood rights that poverty would otherwise deny them of.
Luisa, Lowell and Levi Rose live with two other siblings and their parents in a one room makeshift house near the lake in Wawa. Their house has no bathroom facilities, and they have to use the lake for all of their personal hygiene needs, which is a significant health risk. Their father works as a part-time construction worker, their mother is a full time housewife. She is malnourished and suffering from TB, but cannot afford to sustain her medication to treat this. The children are all malnourished. Luisa and Lowell both graduated from JLCI’s Early Childhood Education programme and are now enrolled in school, where they are recipients of the nutrition programme. They aspire to finishing their education and becoming a soldier and a doctor in the future. Levi Rose has just joined the Early Childhood Education programme. JLC is proving further support to the family on how to prepare nutritious meals on a budget at home. For now their future may still be uncertain, but they say that as long as there are people who will continue to encourage and to help them, anything can be achieved.