Danica, 4, lives in Manila, one of the most populated cities in the Philippines with about 1.7 million residents. More than a fifth of the population of the Philippines is affected by poverty, but in some areas of the southern Philippines, 75% of the population lives in poverty.
Danica lives with her family – her mother, Julie, father, Marvin, and siblings Grace Ann and Daniel. Marvin leaves early in the morning to work as a traffic enforcer, but he barely makes enough to meet all their needs.
Danica is sponsored through OneChild and goes to Champions for Child Hope Center. Her sponsor helps her go to school since sponsorship covers part of her school fees and the cost of her school supplies.
Danica wakes up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school. She knows how to do things by herself like putting on her shoes. Just before she goes to school, her father gets home from his morning shift as a traffic enforcer and will have to go back in the afternoon.
Mother Julie makes sure to pack healthful snacks like rice and eggs for Danica before she goes to school. The snacks are usually leftovers from their breakfast to save money.
Danica’s family rents a small room in a poorly constructed apartment made from scraps of wood. Because of poverty, her family has no choice but to live in these conditions.
Because families are living in small spaces, they use common open spaces to store some of their personal possessions like water containers, bed frames, strollers, and even pet chickens.
Danica’s school, Revelation Academy, is about a half-mile from their house. She and her mother walk for about 15 minutes to school. Revelation Academy and Champion for Children Hope Center are ministries of Revelation Church, which partners with OneChild.
Sometimes Danica and her mother ride a covered motorcycle, called a tricycle, to school. Many fathers in this community drive tricycles to make money since this type of transportation is popular for short-distance commutes. Fathers drive these motorcycles and pay a rental fee of the equivalent of $3 to the owners. They make around $4 per day to support their families.
Danica walks up three floors to her classroom.
In their school, students like Danica are encouraged to lead activities like singing the national anthem and praying.
Revelation Academy has 13 preschoolers in Danica’s class; seven of them are sponsored children through OneChild. This private school aims to provide holistic, quality education to children who come from poor families. Thanks to Danica’s sponsor, she receives assistance with her school fees.
Nadine Kaye Cayat is a Child Champion and has dedicated her life to teaching kids like Danica and offering hope for a better future.
In school, Danica learns through reading,
… doing group activities,
… personal hygiene like washing hands,
… and eating healthful food.
Danica enjoys going to Revelation Academy because its design is kid-friendly and has a lot of educational toys and charts. Child Champions help kids like Danica thrive.
According to her teacher, Nadine, “Danica was a shy kid and cried a lot when her mother left her in the class. But after two months, I see some changes. She loves to dance and to listen to Bible stories.”
With OneChild’s help, Danica and other registered children in Champion for Children Hope Center get cash assistance and groceries to keep child hunger at bay. Children also receive gifts like toys and clothing during Christmas, and school bags and supplies.
Danica’s class lasts four hours. Kids go home at lunchtime. Since Danica usually eats a rice meal during their recess, she can just rest when she gets home while her mother prepares lunch for the rest of the family.
This dark alley leads to Danica’s house. It is not very long, but the passage is a constant reminder that they live in a dangerous community where, according to Hope Center staff member Roger Valenzuela, people do drugs and steal.
At the end of the day, Danica sleeps soundly. It may not be the most comfortable house, but Child Champions at her Hope Center are striving to give Danica the support she needs so she can have a better future.
According to statistics, 1 in every 10 children in the Philippines is out of school. The study also shows that insufficient income of the family is one of the top reasons for this, followed by family problems. Thankfully, OneChild is helping kids like Danica go to school. Thanks to her sponsor, her Hope Center helps cover her school fees, school bag, and school supplies. Danica also receives groceries that she shares with her family. In OneChild, Danica looks toward a hopeful future.
To help a child like Danica have hope for a better future, sponsor a child today!