When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down face-to-face classes in 2020, Community of Hope (COH) resident Juna Gamboa made an important decision for her children.
“I had to give up my work in pharmacy for 8 years to help my children with their learning modules,” she shared. But things were not easy as Juna thought they would be. She got frustrated realizing that teaching is not as easy as sales talking.
“My eldest Zara is very inquisitive. Every time I help her with her lessons, she would ask for further explanations on how I came up with the answers. Elisha on the other hand would ask for snacks whenever I ask her to read or write,” Juna narrated.
When a teacher, also a resident of COH, initiated a tutorial program for children in their community, Juna made sure to sign up Zara and Elisha. Those who were capable to support, like Juna, gave ₱500 ($8.70) per month for the tutor’s fee and supplies.
After several weeks, Juna saw improvements on her children’s academics. Elisha learned how to read and write while Zara was able to answer all her modules with ease. That made them excel both in school and earn academic honors.
However, a year after the pandemic hit, the Gamboa family was challenged financially as their resources started to deplete. Juna’s husband, a driver, also struggled making both ends meet with his low income. To cut off their expenses, Zara and Elisha stopped attending the tutorial for a while.
“Teacher Ai said they could still join the classes for free, but I’m uncomfortable allowing them to attend the tutorial. I know it could be a burden for her,” she explained.
While praying for God’s provision, Juna thought of ways they could earn money. She then started selling popcorn with her kids. And only a year after, her business grew into a variety store.
But blessings did not stop there. Through Operation Blessing’s Livelihood Assistance Project, Juna was given ready-to-wear items which she could sell at home or online.
“Your help means a lot to all of us here in COH. Thank you, Operation Blessing!” Juna said.
Another answered prayer for Juna was OB’s effort to sponsor COH’s Tutorial Program. Through its intervention, Zara and Elisha were given school supplies and were able to return to their tutorial classes. They are attending face-to-face classes now but still actively participate in the free tutorial.
Zara and Elisha are just two of the 40 children in the Community of Hope who enjoy the free tutorial classes and school supplies given by Operation Blessing. For ways to support, contact 09399215543.