A smile spreads across Daniel’s face as 10ThousandWindows’ Education Program Manager awards him a scholarship for his fourth and final year of university. By the end of the year, Daniel will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, making him the first person in his family to attend and finish college.
Sonya, Daniel’s mother, sits on a wooden chair beside him in their living room. She looks like she might burst with pride. Her face, glowing with joy, lights up the entire room.
For a family that has seen, experienced, and suffered much, Daniel’s education is changing the course of their lives.
Life on the bare edges of poverty and vulnerability is hardly fair, but Sonya did her very best to provide for her children as a live-in housekeeper for other families. Daniel and his five siblings raised each other. They made meals, mobilized for school, and managed their home while their mom worked away.
When Daniel was a teenager, he heard about a good job in Manila. Like so many other young Filipino men, Daniel felt the weight of responsibility to care for his family and left home before he finished school, lured by the prospect of good wages.
But Daniel’s good fortune was too good to be true.
He was exploited at work and later was referred to 10KW for employment and education support. His dream was to get a university degree so he could help his family. His 10KW scholarship helped make that happen, though not without Daniel’s own commitment. During the first three years of his degree, Daniel woke up every morning at 4 to make it to his university classes on time.
Now, his degree is in sight.
A solitary tear catches at the corner of Sonya’s eye as she explains what this achievement means for her son, for her, and for their family.
But it’s obvious already in the decorative lace draped over the refrigerator, the tidy orderliness of their home, and in Daniel and Sonya’s faces lit with pride. Daniel’s scholarship is not just a scholarship. For this family, Daniel’s education has changed the course of their future. It’s enabled them to become financially secure, own their own home, and carry hope for their lives.
Daniel’s story is featured in the 10ThousandWindows 2018 Annual Report along with other victories, inspiring stories.