CFCA stories

From timid child to youth leader: A CFCA story

November 18, 2010

Meshille was timid as a child. She quietly helped her mother at their home outside Manila in the Philippines, but she became shy when others wanted to talk with her or came to visit.

Meshille and her mother
Meshille, left, supports her mother, Iluminada, with her
teacher’s salary. Meshille graduated cum laude
with a bachelor’s degree from a Filipino university
because of CFCA's support.

Her sister encouraged her to talk to the local CFCA staff when she was being enrolled in the sponsorship program, but Meshille was too timid to answer their questions.

"I remembered I was crying because of my nervousness,” Meshille said.

Meshille‘s life changed in remarkable ways when she was sponsored from 1989 to 2003.

Sponsorship enabled Meshille to eat more nutritious meals and to attend school. She went to seminars that increased her confidence and awakened her passion for singing. She became a leader in the CFCA community.

Meshille grew up the youngest of seven children. Her parents struggled to support their family. Her father worked as a day laborer and her mother sold oranges at the local market. When her father died in 1998, Meshille’s mother was left to provide for the family. She rented out a room in their small house to earn extra income.

At an early age, Meshille knew that she wanted to graduate from college and help her mother. She set a goal and worked diligently to meet it.

"If not for sponsorship, Meshille would not finish her studies,” said her mother, Iluminada. “My only job then was selling calamansi (oranges) in the market far from our town. I told her that I cannot support her college education.”

Meshille getting her diploma
This photo shows Meshille’s graduation
in 2003.

With her mother’s encouragement and the financial and moral support from her sponsors, Meshille bought books, paid tuition and was able to pay for transportation to and from school. 

In 2003, Meshille graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the Philippine Normal University. What seemed to be an unattainable dream had become a reality. She now teaches language to elementary school students. Her next goal is to obtain a master’s degree so she can teach college students.

“At this point of my life, some of my aspirations made 14 years ago have already been fulfilled,” Meshille said.

Meshille now supports her mother with the salary she earns as a teacher. Iluminada no longer has to sell at the market and can spend her time taking care of their home, which has improved with Meshille’s help.

“Meshille was a very shy child,” Iluminada said. “She would not be a determined, strong person if not exposed to CFCA activities and school learning.

“I am so thankful for what Meshille has now. I will not worry for her future anymore. She can help herself and even her own future family when it comes her way.”

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Education is the greatest hope children living in poverty have for a better life. The Unbound Scholarship Program helps deserving students pursue their educational goals of finishing high school, technical training or university. Not only does it provide assistance with tuition, transportation or books, but it also provides students with much-needed encouragement to complete their education. Learn more »