Two years ago, 4-year-old Jovelyn*, fondly called “Tintin” by her family, was hospitalized and diagnosed with a weak immune system. Her mother, Ala, helped her daughter recover, and Ala’s parents supported their granddaughter as best they could, helping with Jovelyn’s medical treatment and weekly therapy expenses.
Currently, Jovelyn is enrolled in Junior Nursery at Kaisahang Buhay Foundation Day Care Center. Despite her weak immune system, Jovelyn is able to attend school. She loves her classmates and is said to always be happy. She likes coloring and scribbling, and can identify primary and secondary colors.
Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), Holt’s partner agency in the Philippines since 1976, began day care services in 1987 to assist low-income families with food, medicine and immunizations, and appropriate learning activities for children aged 3-5 years. Currently, there are six daycare centers in the metro Manila area, serving 300 preschool children. Families provide a small donation and pay for a uniform. KBF has also been particularly successful in engaging parents as volunteers. Jovelyn’s mother helps to clean the daycare center, and the parents take turns cooking and serving the children food.
Alleviating the burden of child care helps families to be able to seek out employment opportunities, making them more self-sufficient and stable. Daycare programming has also had a significant impact on helping struggling families stay together, while providing children with a head start in education and learning. The program serves 580 vulnerable children a year.
While at school, Jovelyn learns values that increase her self-esteem. She is able to communicate and socialize with her classmates, and loves to share her ideas and experiences. To help maintain her weight, KBF provides supplemental feeding.
Jovelyn’s mother says she is eager to go to school every day and looks forward to eating with her classmates, who are very caring and always make her smile.
The family extends their gratefulness to KBF for the daycare services.
* name changed