Week after week, month after month, COVID-19 forced Rhodora and her family of nine to stay at home. Problems threatened to overwhelm them. Rhodora’s husband lost his job. Food was scarce. The fear of the virus was always with them. “It is only by God’s grace that we survived,” Rhodora shared, thinking back over the last few months.
But in the midst of the struggles, the family came together around the colorful math and phonics cards five-year-old Jhunryl got in the Family Academy program to continue his education during the COVID-19 quarantine. During the long quarantine periods, the FA games were their only entertainment. “It’s actually a family activity that has made us closer during this pandemic,” Rhodora said. “It’s not just for my son; Family Academy has built up the whole family.”
Besides seeing her family bond over the games, Rhodora also enjoyed watching her children go from avoiding study time to begging her to learn. “I needed to look for ways to get their attention before, sometimes I needed to force them to study. But now, they are the ones who want to study more,” Rhodora said.
Even though the Family Academy program could not go on when gatherings were forbidden, their coach didn’t forget about Rhodora and Jhunryl. She kept calling them to see how they were doing and check on the progress of Jhunryl’s education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing that the family was struggling with no income, she even brought them food packs to tide them over through the difficult days.
It was a happy time in September when the restrictions were lifted enough for the mother and son to finish the Family Academy program and graduate! Like any mother, Rhodora has big dreams for her children. “Education is the only gift that I and my husband can give them,” she said. Even as the family gradually gets back to normal life, the children’s new love of learning and the strong family bond are reminders of their days in quarantine.