|Edubas (right) poses with Philippine Embassy in Kuwait Consul General Atty. Raul Dado|
“Even before I became an OFW, I know someday, I will support children’s education. Or even support a single family for their children’s education”, Edubas said, while sitting on his bed inside a 2 X 8 meters modified room he rented in Kuwait.
Edubas understood the growing number of out of school children in his country. And the major reason why these numbers are growing — it’s because of poverty.
The growing numbers of out-of-school children in the Philippines
According to the Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) one in every ten or about 4 million Filipino children and youth was out-of-school in 2013. Out-of-school children are defined in the FLEMMS as persons aged 6 to 14 years who are not attending school.
Insufficient family income to send child to school is the primary reason for not attending school (this refers to all educational expenses other than tuition fee) for 19.2 percent of these 4 million out-of-school children.
Early life without parents
“My mother died when I was two years old. And my father died when I was in second year high school. Back then, it was tough even to buy a pencil and paper”, Edubas said as his eyes turned red. He became emotional reminiscing those hard days of his life.
During third year high school, Edubas admitted that he was lost. His life went to the wrong direction as a result of his parent’s untimely death. He resorted into drugs.
“From having excellent grades during my second year in high school. I failed the following year. I didn’t pass my junior high school. From that point I realized. What will happen to me? What will be my future without proper education?” the 37, year old Edubas said.
“I need to stand up from where I succumbed”, said Edubas. He worked as a payroll officer at an Oil & Gas construction company in Kuwait.
Edubas picked himself up and repeated junior high school with renewed mindset. He sought help from an OFW relative as a working student.
“Without my relatives’ help and trust, I would not be able to finished high school and college. That’s why when I finished college, also with my Aunts’ help; I vowed that someday I will give something back!”
After he finished college, Edubas worked in a local bank earning $130 per month. Even with limited amount of money to share. He did not stop helping nieces and nephews with their education. Edubas said that he values education more than anything. He doesn’t want to see children face difficulty in acquiring basic education.
Collaborating with fellow OFW’s
Even working abroad as an OFW, he knows that, he can’t do it alone considering his earnings. So he sought help from friends and relatives that also worked abroad. He wanted to realize a dream of helping children for their education.
Edubas, donated school supplies to Datag Elementary School to Grade 1 pupils in June 2015. The dream was realized with the help from OFW friends and relatives from Hong Kong and Canada.
Finding ways and means to help
Edubas did not stop from there. He still continued finding ways and means to help more people in his community, in his own simple way. He also founded a micro finance aim to help the poorest among the poor in his community. He funded this from his own pocket.
“Although there were debtors who are not able to pay dues on time, but I didn’t give them problems. My aim is to help” said Edubas.
But how he sustained funding his micro finance if few debtors are not able to return some amount in time? Edubas said “it is pure honesty, trust and their willingness to help their fellowmen”.
He told those who avail the services of his micro finance to keep in their minds that the more they will able to pay the more people in dire need he can help.
Edubas proved that the ability of helping others is not just for the wealthy philanthropist. But the desire to help others should come from within your heart, and God will provide all the resources you need to bless others.
What a lovely, kind and generous man!