We've continued to have fantastic community health outreach in several of the towns around us in the Philippines, with volunteer groups meeting weekly for training. We have partnered with an organization to bring clean water to each home. As we are gearing up for production, we have seen lives changed through jobs. Here's one...
Shirley's family was struggling to survive. Her husband, Ramir, took whatever small jobs he could get to help the family, but without land, his only options were to work helping on a rice farm or a fishing boat, where he received a small share of rice or fish. The pay was irregular and unsustainable, so he made the tough choice to look for work in Manila and send money back to Shirley and the kids (ages four, six, and eight). In exchange for this sacrifice, they received $33.50 per week. That's just not enough.
Opportunity for Change
Knowing that she wanted more for her children than an absent father or just the rice with vegetables she was providing, Shirley applied to work at Dignity. She was skeptical as she had never worked with a team and doubted her abilities.
When Dignity hired her, it changed her life - and her family's. Shirley was able to make a consistent income with a salary from Dignity. Within the first week, she was able to increase her payment to the school from $.04 to $.11 so that her kids can have bread and fruit juice at school. They have school supplies and can pay their fees for school on time. They are able to buy meat or fish to add to their family's diet of rice and vegetables. And within the first week, they had electricity connected to their house, allowing the kids to do their homework at night.
Realizing Her Dreams
Shirley's employment at Dignity has given her hope. Before working for Dignity, Shirley says she had lost her hope to ever prosper. She now sees a brighter future and the potential to realize her dreams. She knows that it is possible to renovate their home, stop their leaky roof and save for the future. It has also empowered her.
She believes in herself and her abilities. She loves working as a part of a team. She is a better parent. Instead of scolding her kids for asking for a toy or food, she can confidently and lovingly say, "Yes!" more often. Ramir was able to come home from Manila so that they could raise their family together.Shirley's faith has been strengthened. During daily prayers before work, she is thankful to God for his provision. She works with gratitude for what God has given to her family through Dignity.
Living With Dignity
She has hope. She is empowered. She believes in herself. Her kids are being educated. They are being raised by two parents. Their diet is healthier. Their future is brighter. Their lives are better.