Three years ago, a great trial tested Edwin, Liza, and their young child, Ejay. At a young age of 2, Ejay sustained a high fever that progressed into a convulsion. Hours later Liza found herself staring at a comatose Ejay in the hospital. Ejay’s brain was affected and inevitably mean some delay in his developmental behavior.
Life in Jose Panganiban
The family’s house, surrounded by trees, river, and a mining activity, can only be reached by walking.
Every day, early in the morning, Liza needs to do all the house chores like cooking food for her husband who works hard as a gold panner; and she do all these before Ejay wakes up.
Liza used to sell live chicken and was able to earn and save some money before Ejay has gotten ill. She needed to stop her business and give her full attention to Ejay. Edwin and Liza have tried hard to provide for Ejay’s regular medical checkup, but their meager income is almost always not adequate and just enough for their daily needs.
Ejay Became Part of BAC
At age 5, Ejay cannot walk or stand yet on his own. He cannot even talk but can only make sounds and noises; he has a thin, frail body and his skin is dry – these are sure signs of malnourishment according to the town doctor.
Ejay became part of the Bless-A-Child Program. Each day for 10 months, Liza carried Ejay through the rough roads to get to the feeding area. Although it has costs more strength, more work, and more courage for Liza every time she crosses the river while carrying Ejay, she is very hopeful of the boy’s situation and of their family because of the program.
Through 10 months
As part of the program, Ejay has been regularly checked for his medical condition. Through the 10 months of daily feeding, Ejay was able to gain weight and improve his nutritional status.
To further help Ejay, he is undergoing a special medical treatment and therapy each week with the help of our partner doctors and the local government in Daet. From day one, Liza was anxious on Ejay’s recovery. Ten months later, Ejay is making improvements.
More than this, Liza also received free seminars on health education, biblical parenting, livelihood skills training, and financial breakthrough.
Through the encouragement of the local church coordinators, Liza accepted the start-up capital to continue her live chicken business. She was hesitant at first, she never thought she can do better now and she was able to return the capital to benefit other families.
Better than before
From her earnings, she learned from the Bayanihan Savings Program how to save at least 20 pesos a week.
Not just Ejay, but Liza also gained new friends at the feeding area. She also learned how to express her emotions and feelings that can help her cope up with her daily struggles in life.
With all these, the local coordinators can testify how Liza and Ejay have been transformed by the program. Liza’s big smile shows how grateful she is now that there are people whom she can turn to or who can pray for her and her son Ejay at any time.
As we learn their stories, we can also play a part in helping Liza, Ejay and other families like them, to be healthy and sustaining. You can partner with us in these efforts!