Why Being a Pauper Still Needs A Skill

Look at this!

A lot of people are hungry because of circumstances that beset their personal lives. Let me categorize them into groups.

First group are the happy go lucky people who rely on other people to feed them. They keep asking for leftover foods or money to get by.

Second group are those who need “money only” assistance. I came across a person of this sort who was asking for money to buy goods for his family. When I gave him sandwich, it was thrown away right in front of me.

Third group are the lazy homeless who despite their big built prefer to stay in the street and do nothing. Are they of sound mind?

Fourth are those who are part of a gang who use paupers to earn money for the syndicate. This is the group that you wouldn’t differentiate from “real” beggars. This is the reason for the DSWD’s call not to help them directly but rather through the government agencies or any non-governmental organizations.

In one of our long trips south of Philippines, I came to know a child named “Tabo.” He was seated outside our favorite hangout. He was just staring at our table. Never sounded to us that he’s hungry. Instead of giving him our leftover, I ordered a meal for him. His face showed being grateful and told me that he’s bringing the food to his family so all of them could share. His father left them. His mother lost two legs. Tabo is about ten years old.

Deeply touched by his story, I ordered for 3 more meals for his family and shelled out Php 1,000 (around $23.00). He was crying when he left. Whenever we are passing that restaurant when we have our annual pilgrim, I always look for him and would always volunteer to help.

Last year, I failed to see him. I asked the waitresses where I could find Tabo. “He can no longer leave the house ‘coz his mom has no companion,” said one of them. I was told that Tabo’s sister who used to care for their mom is now working after finishing high school.

The story of Tabo is just many a story of any other pauper. But his style attracts more help than anyone because at his tender age, he has tact and dignity. He doesn’t dress like he’s very poor. He just communicates sincerely what is in his heart.

We couldn’t blame the poor. They can’t get back on their feet simply because of their “weakness.”  They need encouragement. They have to listen to those giving them pieces of advice.

The government is doing its role in guiding these people but they always return to the same life they are used to. What if the “skilled paupers” be made as resource persons to convince their flock that after all there is a brighter life if they act now and do something. The story of Tabo not only gained my patronage but also other people who came to know his story.

P.S.     If you know the solution to this worldwide problem of hunger, please comment and share this post. We have to share in one way or another.

How I Started A School Without Even Planning

We started a daycare center primarily to accommodate age 3 to 5 children to help our community cope with providing free learning. Our circle of friends pledged monthly contributions to pay for the salary of the teachers. My family offered our place to house the children totaling 100 who would be attending nursery classes for 2 hours each session.

We made the place comfortable and the grounds became the playground of the happy tots. This project run for four years. All parents were satisfied to have their children in our daycare center!

In one of the meetings with parents, they sounded off that they are willing to pay affordable tuition fees to add comfort and other amenities. Their kids were actually developed in the learning center. At tender age of 3, some can already read simple words.

This opened our eyes to continue the good deed. “Let’s keep our pupils and startup a preschool and elementary,” said one of my friend. Then I asked where do we get the money to build a small schoolhouse?

To cut the story short, we were able to build three classrooms on the lot of another trustee, contributed our funds and sold some personal properties. We made use of the existing building to house the library where majority of the books were donated. A play area was also fixed for the children. SURPRISE! We were given permit to operate the school by government authorities.

For a new school, we were informed that they would only have less than 20 enrollees. It’s hard to attract parents try their luck in a school with still no name. But would you believe that we had 90 enrollees for the initial school year?

Here’s an example of how “good deed attracts good karma.” The parents were sure of our sincerity as partners in shaping their children. They even helped us enroll their relatives. The fees we charge are just enough to cover the salaries of teachers and the school’s electric consumption. Now they are in air-conditioned rooms!

We are now on our second year of operation. We are sure that we’re going to double our student population this year.

Looking back, I now believe that there are times in our lives when we should plan before making decisions. And there are times when we just let things happen.

I am on my way to fulfilling my dreams for my family, for my community and for myself.

P.S. If you are interested in knowing the ins and outs of starting a school, post a reply so I can get in touch with you.DSCN2588 I just want to share my knowledge to help new school owners.