Written by Fred Deserva, writer and photographer
As we learn their stories, we can also play a part in helping Emily and Oliver and other families like them, to be healthy and sustaining. You can partner with us in these efforts! Visit www.obphil.com NOW.
Emily can never forget the days when they only eat Cassava (a kind of root crop common in Camarines Norte) for breakfast until dinner. Her husband, Woody, works hard from sunrise to sunset to support his 4 children through his habal-habal (a multi-passenger motorcycle).
But even though her husband works hard, she still has a hard time managing their small income of Php 300 for all their daily needs. To make things complicated, the youngest among 4 children, Oliver, 6, usually gets sick. Oliver was also diagnosed as malnourished by the barangay health center.
“Oliver’s body is so thin and not appropriate for his age. He also had scars in some parts of his body,” Emily said.
When Operation Blessing went to Camarines Norte, Oliver became one of the Bless-A-Child beneficiaries who was supported with daily nutritious meals for 10 months and regular medical checkups.
Through the program, Oliver’s parents were also given free seminars on values formation, financial savings, health education, biblical parenting, and livelihood skills. The local church partner also helped the family to deal with the problems, for where they became an encouragement to the family.
Operation Blessing also invested in the livelihood of the family, which is a piggery business, so also to sustain the needs of the family and the medical needs of Oliver and his siblings. Ten months have passed, Oliver became free from malnutrition.
Physically, John Oliver is now well and seldom gets sick. He can now attend classes every day and even excel in the class. The whole family was also freed from hunger as their piggery business flourished.
“With my earnings from my first pig, I managed to buy what was needed for my home and a female breeding pig. Thanks to God and with the help of Operation Blessing,” Emily said.