The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA.
I am Leoncio Jr., 2011 graduate of a two-year degree in consumer electronics and sponsored for almost 12 years now.
During my younger years, my father earned a living as a construction worker, while my mother stayed at home taking care of the children.
Now since my father is too old to engage in construction work, he drives a three-wheel bicycle (a pedicab, a public-utility vehicle) in the neighborhood just to be able to support our familyís daily basic needs.
I am the youngest child and the only boy. Among the four children, only I was able to reach and finish college.
It was difficult for my fatherís minimal income to provide for our needs and my school needs. So my mother worked hard to help my father.
My mother has difficulties with her eyesight and hearing, but despite this she works everyday in the local market, selling small items such as candies until 10 p.m.
My motherís work also had many challenges. She has been through heat and rain at times, but these donít matter to her. She earns about 100 pesos (about $2.30 US) a day.
She uses this for my school expenses, including my enrollment fee.
I also help my parents in earning extra income through the vegetable garden which my mother had planted.
The lot belongs to my motherís other siblings, but since it was vacant she decided to plant it with sweet potatoes (locally called camote), a variety of vegetables and some herbal plants.
My mother and I usually start our day by waking up early to clean and work in the garden. We always hope to get a good harvest.
Other than CFCA, our family doesnít have any relatives or friends we can turn to in terms of financial assistance.
In fact, my mother suffered somewhat disheartening treatment from her other siblings. She was once told that with our living conditions, she could not have a child who could ever graduate.
My family did not mind the humiliation of others. But we pursued our dreams and strongly faced the challenges, for we share a powerful faith in God.
April 9, 2011, was my graduation day. I am continuing my on-the-job training and acquiring a small salary.
Although I am working far from my family, I never forget them and never fail to remember their situation.
Indeed, before my graduation day came, I sent money to my mother; I wanted her to have dental work to have a more beautiful smile.