the Isabela Marguerite Po Malota scholarship for graduating grade schoolers

i have always had that plan; it has no name then but there was always that plan. But in between midweek bar hopping, MBA school, 60-hour work week and leisure travels- it was something i want to do someday, not in the near future.

i guess i could say this again- having a kid does change you. and i guess, the realization of being so blessed- amidst all the suffering and hardships in this world- does fuel that fire.

at the present, i am sending a few kids to school via the World Vision organization. It was a convenient way to give a little of something back; the money gets charged to my credit card automatically every month. I get report cards on how they are doing and i sometimes get a letter from the kid and the mothers of the kids i am supporting. it feels nice and i believe i would be doing that for a a very long time.

however, as my trips to the province gets more frequent due to Grape’s arrival, i kept getting reminded of how much poverty looms in Negros- particularly in the hometown i grew up and live in, San Carlos City. i guess, it wasn’t just the fact of imminent poverty that bothers me, it was the fact that the gap between the rich and poor has become so visually striking it was quite disheartening to even talk about it.

i look at Grape and i am so thankful and amazed at how many people love her. i look at her grinned and i know she knows. i am starting to think that all that talk about someone not knowing how the other loves them so is all bull- the mind knows, the body feels. and as i watch my daughter being surrounded by people that she knows loves and protects her, the twinkle in her eyes confirm such fact. this is one child whose future is almost sealed in comforting certainty- unless she grows up and screws it big time.

but a lot more kids are not as lucky as her. the travel miles from their shack to the school everyday, others barefoot and with an empty stomach. a good bulk of kids that starts school in the far flung barrios in my town will not make it through the entire year. and for those that do, will not make it to graduate. and for those that graduate from grade school, a few of them would be lucky enough to get to a public high school and in a section where they actually can learn something (the state of public high school in these provinces are entirely a big, separate matter to discuss).

i always believe a good education and a burning passion for a better life paves way to a lot of opportunities. i was lucky to have had my parents gave me that; i wanted to be that someone for a couple of kids in my hometown starting this year. With so much excitement, i decided and sealed to sponsor two driven sixth graders (who are set to graduate in a public elementary school in the far flung barrios of my hometown) a high school education. i estimated that would cost between $30-$50 a month for each kid- probably lesser than what we- working people- spent on coffee in the same time frame.

if you are interested in starting this drive with me, please shoot me off a note. before the year end, i should be able to get all the criteria for the scholarship drive sorted out. it would be my pleasure to grab this opportunity with those who wants to make a little bit of contribution to make the lives of the underprivileged a little better.

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