Story by ICM CO Team
“I love her and that’s the beginning of everything,” said 88-year-old Andres about his beautiful 71-year-old bride, Rosalia, as they stood at the altar. For Andres and Rosalia, this day was a dream come true! They have been living as husband and wife for over 60 years but were never able to afford a wedding or purchase their marriage certificate.
Many couples in the Philippines live together but cannot afford to get married because they simply don’t have the money. Children born to unmarried couples can’t easily obtain the birth certificates required for access to public school. Also unmarried couples miss out on government benefits extended to families in the Philippines.
Recipients who participate in an ICM program are provided both the administrative and financial help necessary to navigate the regulatory challenges required for birth certificates and marriage licenses. As a part of the graduation ceremonies at the completion of a Transform or Uplift Program, ICM often holds group weddings for recipients who want to get married. The pastor who hosts the ICM program officiates and the church members cook food for the wedding reception for family and friends. For ICM staff, program recipients and the host church members, it’s a wonderful way to celebrate the completion of an ICM program.
At the most recent group wedding, Andres and Rosalia were the stars of the day. With Uplift Pastor Edgardo leading the service, Andres could hardly contain himself as he waited to officially hear the words, “You may now kiss the bride!” On February 24, 2011, Andres & Rosalia finally exchanged marriage vows and received their marriage license after 60 years of being together! We at ICM wish the newlyweds all the best!