A family and a nun sitting in small room

Alirah's Life

Alirah is from the town of Rizal in the Philippines. She has two brothers and her father works as a soya vendor. He earns very little in this role and struggles to support his family. They live in a very basic dwelling without access to water for washing or drinking. Alirah helps out by spending her spare time earning income helping her aunt and cousins to sell vegetables and clean out their pigs.

During the pandemic, Alirah had no access to schooling for two years. Without electricity for internet, access to online classes was out of the question and although lessons were delivered to her home she says “learning through modules was a little bit difficult since we could not understand the lesson and nobody could explain well to us the topics”. She got further and further behind and so she just spent her time trying to raise enough money for food for the family by selling vegetables or fishing with her grandfather. The family’s future looked extremely bleak until they met the Sisters in 2023 when Alirah was 14 and we were able to offer her a place at our school in Biga, Philippines.

She says “I wanted to show that even though we are not rich, we can reach our goal by our mind and heart. I entered this school to reach my goal and to become an engineer. I need to become a scholar so that I can go to college since we do not have money to buy what we need.

Here in the Sisters of Mary School I learned that if we become professionals later on we can help others like the donors help us at the Sisters of Mary School. I can also be helpful not only to my family but to my own country.”