In the fight against poverty, we are thankful for our local staff here in the Philippines. They are the ones at the frontlines, doing what it takes to reach communities in need. Most of them know first-hand the struggles our participants face. In fact, Jason of our General Santos base was even a participant in our Transform program before!
“I was one of the troublemakers in our community,” the now 20-year-old confessed. “A lazy boy, a slack off, full of bad behavior. In short, I was someone who surely did not have a bright future.”
As a high schooler, Jason hung out with his friends and caused trouble rather than going to class. His relationship with his family was strained, especially with his father who he described as his “mortal enemy.” He ended up dropping out of school and had no direction.
All of that changed when one of his neighbors invited him to join a special ICM Transform program for out-of-school youth. His curiosity got the better of him, and he decided to attend the weekly sessions.
A life Transformed
Jason learned about money management and small businesses, how to lead a healthy life, and how to build strong relationships. He went into the program hopeless but felt himself slowly changing. He decided he wanted to walk a new path away from his old life. As his first step to this new life, Jason went back to school and tried to fix his relationship with his family.
After high school, Jason felt a desire to serve God and share how his life had been changed. Just a few weeks later, someone told him that ICM was hiring! Jason applied and was hired as a livelihood trainer.
“I was so excited when I finally got the job. I enthusiastically imagined the things I would do in the communities and I remembered the memories I had from when I was a participant,” Jason recollected.
Now as a livelihood trainer, Jason gets to fight poverty by spreading hope to others who are also in desperate situations. He remembers one Transform graduation when the participants surprised him with a gift to show their gratitude. The gesture touched him so much that he had to hold back his tears. Jason’s transformation is now transforming others!
“I’m so thankful to God that I’m able to share what I have experienced before with other people like me,” Jason said, “those who are hopeless and need help.”