Single mother Annafe has not had an easy year, but she is still holding onto hope! It is hard enough raising two children with no partner, and being pregnant during the pandemic made things even more difficult.
She moved in with her mother and father who both lost their jobs due to the lockdowns. The family survived off of sweet potatoes and bananas when there was nothing else to eat. “We had nights where my mother and father would go to sleep with empty stomachs,” Annafe shared. “I wanted to sacrifice a meal for my younger siblings, but I couldn’t because I was pregnant at that time.” She worried about giving birth in the hospital, afraid she or the new baby might catch COVID-19 there. Thankfully, both mother and baby are healthy.
The saddest time was when Annafe’s grandmother caught COVID-19 and passed away, and the family could not see her or hold a funeral. “It was a very mournful season in our life, most especially for my mother,” Annafe said.
Recently, things have started looking up for the family. Annafe’s father and mother both found jobs. Although the pay is low, they are grateful to be working again and happy that they can eat three meals a day.
When restrictions in the community were loosened, Annafe was invited to join the Transform program! Every week, she received food packs that she could cook up into nutritious meals. As a young mother, she found the health lessons very helpful, especially those on child care and development. The training also corrected some of her misconceptions about COVID-19. “I now know how to prevent getting infected, and because of that, I am more capable of protecting my family from it [the virus],” Annafe shared.
Sitting through the business lessons, Annafe dared to dream again. With two young babies to care for, she is not in a position to run a business, but she is taking note of everything she is learning. She plans to start a business and join the Transform savings group as soon as her children are old enough. In the meantime, she supports her younger brother who has joined the savings group. He has already saved PHP2,000 (US$38.20) and is working with the group to build a small dry goods store.
Annafe now sees hope for her future and for her children. “I saw God move in our lives in the past few months, and in his perfect time, I know I’ll be able to accomplish all of my goals.”