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A new light of a brighter future

Jonalyn De Jesus

Previously living in darkness as they cannot afford to have electricity, Jomalyn de Jesus with her family formerly depend on the light from a gasoline lamp at night, which she considered as a nightmare that she badly wanted to escape from.

“Natitiyaga kaming mabuhay sa dilim kasi wala naman kaming pambayad sa ilaw. Yung perang nakukuha ni Papa bilang electrician minsan kulang pa para sa pagkain namin araw-araw. Napaka-ironic lang na ‘yung tatay mo nag-aayos ng kuryente pero kayo mismo wala noon. Mahirap mag-aral at gumawa ng assignment lalo na sa gabi. Madalas, nararanasan din naming pagsaraduhan ng bintana o matusok ng stick kapag sumisilip kami sa dingding ng kapitbahay para makinood ng T.V.” Jomalyn recalled.

At the age of 15, she prioritized to work hard for her family. She engaged herself to different jobs such as working as a vendor, housemaid, factory worker and dish washer in a cafeteria. As a breadwinner, she thought that she could not go to college because she has responsibility to financially support her family.

“Ayaw ko po talaga mag-aral ng kolehiyo noon kasi alam ko naman na hindi ako kayang patapusin ng mga magulang ko. Pero nang maging benepisyaryo kami ng Pantawid Pamilya, naging magaan ang pamumuhay namin,” she added.

In 2012, she was included as one of the grantees of the Expanded Students’ Grants-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) and took up Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Physical Education at the Philippine Normal University (PNU).

ESGP-PA is a program being implemented by DSWD and CHED in partnership with state universities and colleges that provides educational assistance to some beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya program who are in college.

Under the program, a student-grantee receives a maximum of P60,000 per school year to cover tuition fees, school supplies, food, clothing, lodging and other school related expenses.

“Ipinaliwanag sa akin nila Mama kung gaano kahalaga na makapagtapos ako ng pag-aaral. Isipin ko daw na mas makakakuha ako ng magandang trabaho kapag nakapagkolehiyo ako. Sila yung naging inspirasyon ko kaya ako nagsumikap. Nilabanan ko yung lungkot kasi kinailangan kong mag-stay sa dorm para makapagpokus sa pag-aaral ko. Kung kaya ng iba, kaya ko rin!” Jomalyn narrated.

Jomalyn is among the 57 ESGP-PA grantees in the National Capital Region who graduated this school year 2015-2016. Now, their home is filled with brighter smiles and hopes that sooner they will be able to make their dreams a reality – a brighter future more than a shaft of light from a gasoline lamp. ### (FO-NCR, Social Marketing Office)

This post was written by:

- who has written 422 posts on DSWD Field Office NCR Official Website.


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