Marching to a Bright Future

One of the things that we love about our ministry in Tiwala Kids & Communities is the opportunity to offer educational assistance to underprivileged children through our scholarship program. The grant goes beyond paying for the school fees of the students. It aims to contribute to the total development of the child. We spend time each week tutoring and mentoring the scholars, meeting their parents and teachers to discuss their progress, making available the resources they need for their projects, providing opportunities to hone their talents, equipping them with the life skills they need, and designing additional programs that would help them improve in their academics.

A lot of time and resources go into running this program. That’s why, at the end of each school year, we find it very rewarding to see our scholars move up to the next grade level and receive awards. These are indicators that they are a step closer to a brighter future.

Paul, for example, has consistently topped his class this year. Aside from doing well in his studies, he is also part of the soccer sports team and has won in poster making contests several times during the past school year. He has been a Tiwala scholar since Grade 1 and will be graduating from elementary school next year.

Paul leading the class in singing during Tiwala’s world geography class.
Mary Joy is also excelling in her studies. She is an honor student and has received various awards in school. She was also recently voted to be the auditor in her school’s Supreme Pupils Government, meaning that she is growing in her leadership abilities as well.

For Miriam, her scholarship has made a lot of difference in helping her finish junior high school. She comes from a big family, and with her father as the only breadwinner, often there’s not enough money for food, much less for education. Through the scholarship program, she gained access to the resources she needed to proceed to senior high school.

Miriam and Gab (first and second from left, respectively) spending time with the other Tiwala female scholars.
Aside from academic achievements, however, we also rejoice over the personal and character growth of the scholars. After all, in real life it is not just the school grades that truly count, but more importantly the attitude, skills, and character one develops while studying. It is for this reason that, during our mentoring times with the scholars, we also impart to them the importance of being responsible and grateful, as well as try to cultivate in them an attitude of teachability and discipline. We also try to model to them the importance of trusting God. It brings us great joy whenever we see glimpses of these values beginning to grow in their lives.

An example of one scholar in whom we have seen such growth is Gab, a Grade 7 student. According to her the most important lesson learned this past year was about trusting the Lord for wisdom and strength in her studies and life. On April 2 she will be recognized as a conduct awardee in their school. She is growing in her relationship with God and is actively participating in the youth group of her church.

Meanwhile, in a recent letter to her sponsor, another scholar, Mary Joy, joyfully wrote, “Salamat po sa lahat ng ibinigay ninyo sa akin para sa aking pag-aaral at sana po hindi kayo magbago para marami pa po kayong matulungan na mga bata. Pagbubutihan ko po ang aking pag-aaral para ako ay makapagtapos at makahanap ng mabuting trabaho para ako naman ang tutulong sa mga batang hindi kaya makapag-aral dahil sa kahirapan.” (Thank you for everything you give me for my studies. I hope you won’t change so that you can help more kids. I will do my best in my studies so that I can graduate and find a good job so that I can, in turn, help other children who can’t afford to go to school because of poverty.”

Mary Joy (first from right) participating in the world geography weekend classes of Tiwala.
That, truly, is a vision we want to see happen: our scholars succeeding not only in school but in paying forward the gift that they have received so that others too can have a bright future.
Thank you very much to each one of you who continue to support the studies of these children. We are all grateful for your gift of learning to them. We pray that you will also enjoy a blessed future as you continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

Tiwala Team