“Starting in nothing will not be a big hindrance to being successful and reaching our goals in life”. Being born poor is not a sin. You can change it and make it an inspiration to have something that you can be proud of someday. It can determine that you work hard to fulfil all your dreams to serve and be a role model to others, for them also to aspire to become successful even if they are poor.
My name is Mike, born in 2004 and I’m currently living in Sampaloc, Bicol. I have 13 siblings and I am the youngest. The truth is we are so poor because my father doesn’t have the strength to work because he is ill. While my mother’s occupation is farming and she also has her part-time job which is making mats, that is not enough to sustain our needs, especially the five of us still at home.
I sometimes work to help my parents with the financial concerns in our house. I also help with the harvest in other farms just to make some money and do some fishing in the river and sell it to our neighbour without having the feeling of shame because if I let my shame conquer me, my parents and my siblings will not eat. I remembered what my mother said to me and that is, do not imitate my siblings who make their own family at an early age and are then unable to help their families to escape from poverty.
When I started junior school, I felt envious of my classmates because they have so many foods that they ate during recess time – we had nothing unless we went home to eat. If our parents were totally out of money, we worked during weekends to fish or get vegetables and coconut. I nearly quit my study when I was in grade 5 so I could help my mother. But she told me that if I stop studying, it would be the end of my life, I will just end up like my parents who haven’t finished their studies and have no good job. That is why I continued my study.
I was in grade 6 when my teacher introduced me to the Sisters of Mary. When I met the Sisters and they accepted me into the school and I finally got the confidence to reach my dreams to help my parents, get a good job, and above all not to be like my older siblings that got married at an early age.
At school I witnessed the beauty of the Sisters of Mary School in Adlas. It really does have basketball courts and machines. The study, clothes, and foods here are truly free. I also learned how to cook food, sew a damaged shirt, weld, and more. And I said to myself that I can truly fulfil my dreams to become an Electrical Engineer and conclude that my life will not only end in the arms of poverty now, but I also am a graduating student of the Sister of Mary that soon will be part of the alumni of the school and for that, I’m so thankful and grateful to God for giving me this school as an instrument to give me an opportunity to help our family to escape poverty.