Poverty remains a reality in the Philippines where the poorest of the poor are not able to access opportunities to live with quality, if not decent lives. Families living below the poverty line become highly vulnerable, especially the children who are likely to most suffer due to risks such as disrupted education, illiteracy, inadequate health and nutrition among others. This is why caring organizations such as World Vision focuses its efforts to improve the well-being of children through its long-running initiative called Child Sponsorship. With the help of sponsors in the Philippines and from around the world, thousands of children have been assisted alongside World Vision through its sustainable community-based programs for children.
Thanks to the faithful and relentless support of loyal donors and supporters, children are benefitted from programs for education, child protection, health and nutrition, economic development, disaster risk reduction, and emergency response.
World Vision held its Loyal Donors Appreciation Night at the Meralco Multipurpose Hall in Pasig City to recognize generous individuals who have invested almost two decades of sponsoring children. The Loyal Donors Appreciation Night gathered at least 380 sponsors and guests.
The decision of sponsoring a child was a memorable yet an ironic journey for Jess Santelices. After losing his job as a telecom engineer, Jess incurred a lot of debts that left him bankrupt because of gambling. He suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks that lasted for five years, declaring it as the lowest point of his life. On October 2008, he stepped foot in a mall broke and alone and found himself in front of the World Vision booth, where he put out his hand and offered to sponsor a child, not knowing how a small act of kindness can greatly impact two lives at once. For years, he stayed true to his obligation and, during those years, God’s blessings overflowed. He was able to find a job in Qatar as a telecom engineer, where he worked for 9 years. His sponsorship has been lasting for almost 11 years and he is currently sponsoring 25 children and continues to support them, even though he has been unemployed for over a year.
“Never give up on them,” Jess encourages the donors, “Because God has never given up on you [financially, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically].”
Being a loyal donor is not a chore, but a blessing. Jess’s belief in giving has kept him faithful to serve and help others even in the toughest of circumstances.
Among the other highlights of the evening was the presence of successful sponsored children marching on stage wearing their graduation gowns for finishing senior high school.
One of the graduate sponsored children was May Ann, an 18-year-old sponsored child from Baseco in Tondo, Manila. A daughter of a construction worker who raises a brood of 8. With the help of World Vision and her sponsor, May Ann’s life changed for the better.
For Michael San Diego, a former World Vision sponsored child from Cavite, his story of being a “last chance” kid motivated him to strive for his best. Years ago, after stumbling upon World Vision in his local barangay, he became a college scholar which enabled him to graduate on time and earn a degree in Accountancy in flying colors — Cum Laude no less! Today, Mike is now a Chief Finance Officer of JK Capital Finance, Inc. and has paid forward sponsoring children for 17 years now, and even offering his time and influence to tell his story and engage others to support World Vision.
“Our God works in mysterious ways. We are blessed when we’re willing to give,” Mike shared during the dinner, inspiring the loyal dinners to carry on what they are doing for children.
World Vision is strong because we have a God we can depend on, but also because we have loyal donors and sponsors to work with,” said Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. Our combined loyalty and faithfulness are unstoppable,” he added. In 2018 alone, World Vision has reached more than 2.9 Million children through its child-focused programs and interventions.
The number is still growing and one of the reasons could be you.
To know more about World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Program, visit www.worldvision.org.ph or call (02) 374-76-18 loc. 214.
About World Vision
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
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