Extraordinary change amidst the pandemic

The shift to distance learning during the pandemic has been difficult enough for most families, but for the ultra-poor, distance learning often feels like an impossible task.

“Despite how motivated I am to help my children with their learning modules (assignments),  I have no way to help them because I’m uneducated myself,” confesses Tita, a mother of two in Zamboanga del Sur. 

Tita and her young children were among the ultra-poor families deeply affected when schools in the Philippines had to temporarily close down and shift to home learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new setup, Tita bore the primary responsibility of teaching her three elementary-age children with the help of printed assignments. She herself only studied up to first grade. Her partner Eleno had only fared a bit better, reaching second grade. 

“We can’t even read a simple English sentence. So how can I teach our children the lessons for Grade 4 and Grade 6?” she said in her native dialect.

Volunteer Coaches to the rescue

In seemingly hopeless situations like this, ICM partnered with the Department of Education to ease the burdens of many Filipino families. Volunteer coaches (previously trained in our Family Academy program) were tapped to bring hope to families struggling to educate their children. 

Tita’s family outside their home located in a small barangay in Zamboanga del Sur

Tita credits Wennie, their FA coach, with the change she sees in her children. They not only learned to read and write but also improved their characters and started to dream.

“When my children got closer with Wennie, I started to hear about what they want to be in the future. I can sense that they developed a hope that they would have a brighter future, and I really appreciated that.” 

Tita also learns while FA Coach Wennie teaches Elypaul and Christina

The change extends to Tita as well. Wennie taught Tita new methods to positively discipline her children. Her relationship with her husband also improved, and they have learned to communicate better. Tita calls this change in their family “extraordinary”.

Elypaul, 7 and Christina, 10


“I choose to become a better me so I can be a better partner and a better mother,” Tita shared. 

In a dark situation like this pandemic, hope survives. We are thankful for the support of all our donors that help bring this hope to families like Tita’s. 

Anyone can make a difference in the lives of the ultra-poor. Click here to get involved!


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