“I feel so blessed! We are part of the last batch to arrive at the Community of Hope (COH), but blessings continue to overflow. We now have electricity, the road was fixed and cemented, and now there is livelihood assistance for us,” shares Jacob Tonido gleefully.

Jacob is a freelance photographer who covers weddings, birthdays, and other occasions for a living. But when the Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020, his livelihood was hardly affected since mass gatherings were restricted.

To survive during the peak of the pandemic, Jacob worked in a food delivery service while his wife, Estella, made desserts and sold them online. What they did not know was that God was already working behind-the-scenes to bless them.

In June 2021, still surviving day-to-day amid pandemic challenges, they were welcomed at the Community of Hope. They were the latest batch of beneficiaries who received their homes.

“It felt so good to have your own house,” Jacob said. They are grateful for a fresh start in their own home after living for years in his in-laws’ house.

Another good news that came their way is the livelihood assistance OB is offering for all COH residents this year.

Jacob thought that now that now the pandemic restrictions are starting to relax, and students and workers are already returning to face-to-face set-ups, printing and laminating will soon be on-demand. So, he proposed to start a photo printing and lamination business inside COH.

He also thought that his business will help COH beneficiaries save from transportation expenses going to Tacloban City proper just to print documents or have their IDs laminated.

OB granted their proposed livelihood. On July 25, 2022, Estela and Jacob received a laminating machine, laminating films, a printer, photo papers, and book papers.

Today, three months after receiving his livelihood assistance, Jacob’s business is doing well. All his earnings is being saved for his dream to have a mini photo studio soon.

He also had returned to his job as a photographer since gatherings are now allowed.

Jacob is amazed how the challenging season of pandemic brought them abundant blessings of a new home, a new business, and a fresh start full of hope at the Community of Hope.

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