Written By Femina Laya Canua, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines

IN a humble house in Payatas A, Quezon City, Maryjane Ferreras or MJ, is living with her mother and five siblings. Her mother, Leonida, is their only breadwinner since their father left them years ago.

Nanay Leonida accepts laundries everyday for a living, where she used to earn around 300 to 400 pesos ($6.48 to $8.64) every day. She also makes and sells peanut butter, but due to debts, she later on stopped. And with small amount of money they have for each day, Nanay Leonida needs to budget everything for their food, school fees, and other basic needs. Many times, there are no laundries to wash. Her two older sons used to work as construction workers but not on a regular basis as it only depends when there is an available work.

Due to these, most of MJ’s high school years were spent with empty pockets and stomach. When her mother gives her money for fare, she chooses to walk to school and spend it for food during recess.

On her last year in high school, MJ’s mother already told her that she cannot afford her schooling anymore. That was the time when Maryjane almost gave up her dreams to become a successful computer programmer and help her family to rise from poverty.

Looking for ways to help her mother, MJ tried to work in a plastic factory where she repacked products. But not for a long time because she could not keep up with the situation as they were not allowed to sit for the whole day.

While hopelessness tried to occupy her, the willingness and determination of MJ to pursue college stood up for her and was seen by a Pastor of a church during their Daily Vacation Bible School. She was then recommended for the Back-to-School (BTS) Program of Operation Blessing and became a recipient.

Eventually, the burdens of the mother were lightened as the school fees and miscellaneous fees of Maryjane were supported through the BTS Program.

Last March 28, MJ already graduated in college. She is the first in the family to finish tertiary.

All of these would not be possible if not for your generous heart. Help us to support more underprivileged but willing and determined children to bring them back to school. Find out how to help thru our website www.obphil.com or call us at 477 7802 to 04 and 06.