Written By Neyzielle Ronnicque Cadiz, Writer, Operation Blessing Philippines
Clarize Balasta, 3, is second to the last of the 7 children of Romeo and Jocelyn from Barangay Canlalay, Biñan, Laguna. When Operation Blessing scouted for possible Bless-a-Child (BAC) beneficiaries in their community, Clarize was diagnosed as a second degree malnourished child. She had moderate stunting, was always sluggish, and she easily loses her appetite.
Clarize is nutrient-deprived. These problems were all addressed when Clarize was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the BAC program in Canlalay. Every day for 10 months, she was provided a free nutritious and balanced meal; her parents got the chance to attend seminars on financial breakthrough, natural farming and serving nutritious meals to the family; and they were even given the chance to participate in Bayanihan Banking.
Clarize’s father is a janitor who earns two thousand pesos for every two weeks. Her mother, in her intention to help feed the family, accepts laundry from their neighbors. But still there was never enough food on the table for the family. It is no wonder why Clarize is a malnourished child.
According to Jocelyn, her children who now go to school sometimes endure the scorching heat, the cold breeze when it rains, and the long walk just to get to class because she cannot provide even just their fare for the day.
“Masisipag sila, ipinagpapasalamat ko ‘yun kay Lord. Dahil kahit naglalakad lang sila, at kanin at itlog lang minsan ang naipapabaon ko, hindi sila nagrereklamo (My children are all industrious, I am so thankful to the Lord for that. Although they sometimes walk to go to school and I can only afford to pack rice and egg for them, they never grumble about our situation), said Jocelyn.
“Palagi akong nagdarasal kapag hindi ko na alam ang gagawin ko sa buhay ko para buhayin ang pamilya ko at hindi ko na namamalayan na binibigay na ni Lord ang hinihiling ko. Nakakaraos kami, ginagamit Niya ang ibang tao para ipakita na nandiyan lang Siya para umagapay sa amin (I always pray whenever I do not know what to do with my life and how to feed my family. Next thing I know, the blessing is already there. We get by, He uses other people to show us that he is always there to guide me),” she added.
Tears of joy began to flow in Jocelyn’s eyes as she said, “Yung grace Niya, sapat na. Maraming salamat dahil hindi ko na kailangang mag-alala sa kalusugan ng mga anak ko dahil ang mga vitamins na binibigay ng OB, kumakasya para sa buong pamilya. Kayo ang pinakamalaking tulong na binigay ni Lord sa buhay namin (His grace is enough. Thank you so much because I no longer have to worry about the health of my children because the vitamins you gave us are enough for the family. You are the biggest blessing that the Lord gave to us).”
Because of your help, we are able to bring aid not only to the underprivileged children from impoverished communities but also to their parents. Help us reach more families and together, we somehow lessen their burdens and ease their anxieties of providing medicines that they can’t afford to add to their extra bills to pay. Let us all inspire change because indeed, His grace is enough.