When you have personally experienced poverty, you would understand that to “give back” is not an obligation but a natural flow of love and care for others because you know you have been there before. When you are poor, you have no choice but to fight for your own survival. Others manage to survive, but in general, poor people—no matter how hard they try—find it difficult to make it, because they are not given a chance to rise up from poverty. All they need is a genuine support from others and an opportunity to be able to improve their lives little by little.
Lack of education and poverty go hand in hand. Acquiring education is the key to break the cycle of poverty. Education is a long-term solution to poverty. According to United Nations, nearly 113 million children are not able to attend primary school. And 264 million children who might be attending secondary schools (the equivalent of high schools) do not. Around one billion adults lack one of the most basic skills taught in schools. In the Philippines, out of every 100 children who enter Grade 1, only 63 will reach Grade 6.
If you are poor, you always have to choose between feeding the children and sending them to school. It is a challenge to have both at the same time. How can children learn effectively when their stomachs are empty? Some children who do not go to school usually end up in the streets and have to cope with the harsh environment in order for them to survive. Those who stay with their parents, usually do menial jobs to augment family income. Some go begging, scavenging, or serving another family in exchange for food and shelter. Sometimes they steal and commit petty crimes. When they grow up, chances are they are also poor. It is harder for the poor to escape from poverty. So generation after generation, these poor people continue to suffer from the lack of basic necessities in life.
With this in mind, Leila Rispens-Noel together with her relatives and friends started Wimler Partnership for Social Progress, assisting the poor families, women and children in Davao del Sur and other parts of Mindanao.
This website tells you what we do in Wimler – modest as they are – and how you can contribute to help poor people improve their lives.