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Fight Poverty
Help ICARE break the cycle of poverty

ICARE – An Inspirational Story

iCAREInspirational Story

Student Portrait: Shama Grace Aguilar of Sudipen, La Union

When I grow up, my dream is that I would be a teacher because I would love to inspire other children and help my family.

These are the simple words of Shama Grace Aguilar, a 9-year-old Grade 5 student from an Elementary School in Sudipen, La Union, when she was asked about her ambitions in life. A child supported through ICARE since she was a 1st grader, Shama Grace got the highest grade average amongst other supported students in Sudipen, La Union last year. With a grade average of 89.90, she was named as one of the honor students in her class and the Best in Math. Aside from the academic accolades, she was also dubbed as her school’s “Girl Scout of the Year” and was a contestant in a district-wide Math Competition where her team placed second out of 15 competing teams.

A daughter of a tenant farmer and a simple housewife, Shama Grace knows how difficult it is for her to achieve her dreams in life. Her father who tills a rice field earns 80-120 pesos a day. When asked how he plans on sending an intelligent girl like Shama Grace to college, he said, “I do not know where to get the money for future school fees. But I know that my daughter is intelligent and smart – I hope she gets a scholarship in college. For now, I will just plant rice everyday and hope to save enough for her schooling.” Because of the pervasive poverty that permeates the Aguilar Family’s everyday life, Shama Grace and her parents are very thankful for the educational and health support provided by ICARE in collaboration with our education partner in the Philippines.

The main reason why I’m doing well in school is because even before classes start, I have everything I need – school supplies, uniform and a bag. My parents do not have to worry about it. I also get vitamins so that I can be stronger and not be absent from school.”

Indeed, Shama Grace is on the right track towards a better future. Her parents and her teachers are one in the hopes that the child continues her excellent school performance so that she will graduate with honors and be able to get into a good high school and university. She still has a long way to go before reaching her dreams, but with the help of ICARE, Shame Grace Aguilar surely has a fighting chance at the future she dreams of.

Supporting Education in the Philippines

Every child should have the opportunity to finish basic education. In the Philippines, this is somewhat of a challenge with as much as a third of children not graduating from elementary school. This is due to poor families being unable to provide children with the school supplies they need to continue on with their schooling. These children end up in child labour working the farms and as a result the poverty cycle continues.

ICARE is an international development organisation that helps children to attend school, trains women and youth and empowers and educates communities in developing countries. For almost 20 years, ICARE has been working in the Philippines in poor urban and rural communities improving education, health, capacity building and poverty alleviation to thousands of students and their families. While tremendous achievements have been made with improved attendance and increased performance of students more support is still needed to improve their livelihood and enable education for all.

Why Education?

  • 67 Million Primary school age children around the world are not in school
  • Education is recognised globally by governments, the World Bank and NGOs as the single most important key to development and to poverty alleviation.
  • Universal education, in particular, is seen as a priority area of the Australian Aid Program and key to help achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
  • Education not only raises lifetime incomes it also improves a local economy more than any other type of investment
  • Better education can improve the development, health, and sustainability of a community and lays a foundation for long-term stability that can break the cycle of poverty.
Fight Poverty
Help ICARE break the cycle of poverty

What you can do to help

Right now, we need to raise $30,000 to support students in schools across Manila and La Union regions of Philippines. We request your help to provide them with school uniforms and school supplies to keep them in school. We are also asking you to help us support underperforming students to improve their grades through enrichment tutorial classes aimed at improving their reading, writing and maths.

Students who are supported through their education are less likely to cut class, join gangs or get hooked on cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. They will have an increased chance of progressing to the next grade and attaining a basic level of education.

By pledging your support to ICARE we can raise $30,000 and support up to 1000 students across 8 schools in Manila and La Union regions of Philippines. Let’s focus on the delivery of a quality education as a pathway out of poverty!

Join us today!

Please help children just like Shama achieve their full potential through education to break out of the poverty cycle!