Many people say, “Education is the key to a better future,” a lesson Raquel wishes she had heeded when she was a young student. Instead, she fell in love with her now-husband and chose marriage over completing high school.

Raquel and her husband live a modest, happy life with their two children in Zambales. They craft and sell bamboo souvenirs on the nearby beach. Sales thrive during Christmas and summer, but there are months of minimal to no sales.

As their family’s needs grew with their children attending school, Raquel sought a job to help her husband provide more for the family.

“I tried to apply for work, but even a saleslady position requires at least a high school graduate,” says Raquel, her frustration echoing in her voice.

Recognizing the limited opportunities for those without a high school education, Raquel constantly reminds her children about the importance of schooling and pledges to support their dreams.

“I hope they will not make the same mistakes as I did, falling in love early and marrying young. I always remind them to focus on their studies,” she said.

Her eldest, Paul, dreams of becoming a firefighter, while Joy aspires to be a teacher.

Raquel fervently prays for God’s guidance in helping her children achieve their dreams. Her hope was rekindled when free Alternative System (ALS) education was offered to young parents in their community last month. She enrolled with enthusiasm, aiming to secure a high school diploma for better job prospects.

God also answered her prayers when her children became part of OB’s Bless-A-Child Project. Through this initiative, they received complimentary school supplies and will also have the opportunity to enjoy daily nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch. These provisions aim to support their overall health and enhance their ability to concentrate on their studies.

Both of Raquel’s children are malnourished for their ages, primarily due to limited resources and a diet of rice, vegetables, soy sauce, and salt, lacking essential nutrition.

Raquel is grateful and hopeful that with prayer and the provision of good nutrition and school needs, her family can have a better future.

Raquel’s family is one of over 40 Aeta community families in Zambales benefiting from the BAC project. Please join us in praying for the project’s success, aiming to enhance children’s health, support their education, create livelihood opportunities for their families, and provide spiritual and emotional support as they pursue their dreams.