" when Adopt-a-school came to my school everything got better"
recently we received a note from eight year old David from Sucoc Norte Elementary School in the Philippines.
Handwritten on a page in his school exercise book, he wanted to tell us how iCARE’s Adopt-a-School program is helping him and say ‘Thank You’ to iCARE.
We wanted to know more about David’s story and now we are pleased to share it with you and pass on David’s thanks – because it is your donations that are transforming lives like his. Your support ensures that vulnerable and disadvantaged children living in impoverished communities get an education.
Life has already put some pretty big hurdles in David’s way. Living in a very poor and disadvantaged community, David’s mother abandoned him when he was just a baby. There was no work for her there and his dad’s work as a poorly paid dump sweeper left them struggling to survive, so she sought a new life in Manilla.
His dad works a night shift, but his grandma stepped up to look after little David and they struggled on.
Starting school is a new chapter in life for most of us, but David nearly didn’t get that start.
Although his dad and grandma knew an education was the best way for David to have a better life, his father’s earnings weren’t enough to put food on the table and provide the basics David needed for school. But luckily for David iCARE’s Adopt-a-School program started in his community. The program provided the opportunity for him to go to school.
David’s first years at Sucoc Norte Elementary School, were not easy for him. He felt he didn’t fit in, he thought he would be ridiculed because he didn’t have a mum, and didn’t know what to say if anyone asked where she was. He didn’t make any friends and his school progress was way below his potential. Teachers were worried about his delayed social development and his grandma was too.
Most poor public elementary schools are not able to offer tutoring and sporting activities - but the Adopt-a-School program provides that opportunity at David’s school. His grandma requested David be included to join other school activities. “I asked his teacher if I can enrol David in the adopt-a-school project’s tutorial classes and if he can join the school’s sports and health classes,” his grandma said.
“It was like the sun came out from behind a cloud,” she said. With this additional support and activities David is now thriving.
Now eight years old, things are looking much brighter for David. He is top of his class academically and has lots of friends. He knows how lucky he has been to have Adopt-a-School in his school.
The changes that Adopt-a-School have made to David’s life go beyond the four walls of the classroom. His home life has changed too. His grandma has become active at his school and volunteered to head the school’s Livelihood Committee.
David says “Before, I only saw my grandma at my school when she needs to sign my report card, but now, I always see her in school talking with other parents and with our teachers.”
The Adopt-a-School program has empowered his grandma too. She says “I would never have thought that I can help the school and my neighbours simply because I have experience in taking care of goats and hogs. But after what the project has done for my David, I am willing to contribute my time and whatever I know so that we can have a successful project.”
David takes great pride in his grandma’s achievements and helps her whenever he can. He now has his own piglet “Oinky” who is part of Adopt-a-School’s community livestock program.
David and his grandma hope that the Adopt-a-School community livestock program will provide more work for local women, and ensure more of them are able to remain in their community with their children and families.
David sums it up quite simply:
“When Adopt-a-School Project started in my school – the Sucoc Norte Elementary School – everything got better”.
It’s thanks to you that we can give David and children like him what they need to succeed – an education. But there are many more children we need to help,