“I want to be a teacher, so I could help children who do not know how to read.” – Marian Carpio, Bless-A-Child Beneficiary

Marian, 12, and her younger sister, Esperanza, 7, both dream of becoming a teacher someday. A dream their mother, Marilou, supports and strives to be fully realized in them.

Marilou and her children live in Brgy. Puray in Rodriguez, Rizal. Their barangay is isolated by several mountains away from the town proper.

Being an isolated community, they experience social problems in terms of health, livelihood, and education.

The primary source of income of their family and most of the families in their barangay is through kaingin system farming, wherein they cultivate the land before planting crops or vegetables by cutting down and burning trees in the mountainside.

They live simple lives. “I harvest cassava crops daily and sell them so that we can buy rice. Sometimes, I earn ₱300-₱400 ($6- $8) for a sack of cassava. We eat vegetables that we get from the farm and cook native chickens if we want to eat meat. That is how we survive every day,” Marilou shared.

But her determination was tested when her husband had an accident.

“We were preparing the land for our kaingin. He tried to cut down a tree, but it did not fall. In his second attempt, he climbed and tried to cut it again, but he fell off the ground. The accident damaged his urethra and since then, he had his catheter. Now, I always allot budget from my earnings to buy him hose and medicines,” shared Marilou with teary eyes.

The accident happened eight years ago, making Marilou the sole breadwinner of the family for a long time now.

She works hard alone for her family’s daily needs, her husband’s medical needs, and her children’s education. She admits feeling tired and anxious sometimes.

“There are days I worry a lot about so much, so I simply come to God in prayer. I always ask Him to give me the strength to pass through all the challenges I am facing. I also pray for protection for my children, especially during this time of pandemic.”

As if adding salt to the broken wound, most of their crops were devastated by Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) in 2020, affecting their harvest last month.

So aside from farming, she started to help a friend sell clothes and cosmetic products to earn extra income.

Being part of the Bless-A-Child (BAC) program, they receive 6 kilos of rice weekly with either meat or vegetables. Volunteer tutors also help Marian and Esperanza adjust to the blended learning implemented this school year due to the pandemic by giving them modules and handouts.

“The benefits we receive from OB’s Children Program are a big help to us. The 6 kilos of rice we receive is good for 6 days, so instead of buying rice, I can use my money for my husband’s medicine,” Marilou said.

She also observes how enthusiastic Marian and Esperanza are in their studies right now. She noted that Marian is growing more responsible every day, as she helps in household chores such as washing dishes and cleaning their house, and teaching her younger siblings in their school lessons. On subjects they do not understand, they seek help from BAC Project’s volunteer tutors.

While Marilou admits their situation is difficult, she chooses to focus her eyes on God who is faithful and on her children who are full of dreams.

Marilou’s family is just one of the 49 families in Brgy. Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal who are grateful for feeling God’s love and generosity through you. They are thankful for you, for heeding God’s call to be His channel of blessings.

Poverty threatens children. But YOUR generosity can make a difference. Bless a child today by donating through www.obphil.com/give. Every gift made buys them nutritious meals, supports their education, and equips them for a brighter future!