|Single moms find ‘partners’ in life|
|Written by 4Ps Social Marketing Unit|
|Monday, 11 April 2016 09:46|
For solo parents like Roselyn Victorino of Pasay City and Norelyn Genturalez of Maasin, Zamboanga City, raising their children on their own is a tough responsibility. Both of them share the same hardships and challenges as solo parents.
Both women, however, are grateful that they have found life partners in fulfilling their roles.
“Ang Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), sa pamamagitan ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, ang aming naging katuwang sa pagpapalaki ng aming mga anak (The DSWD, through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program, is our partner in raising our children),” shared Roselyn.
Roselyn’s and Norelyn’s families are beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya, a human development program of the government that provides cash grants to poor families as long as they comply to the program conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for check-ups, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).
“Sobrang hirap maging nanay at tatay. Hindi puwedeng papetiks-petiks kasi marami ang umaasa sa akin. Noong namatay ang asawa ko, kahit anong raket talaga pinapasok ko para suportahan ang mga anak at magulang ko (It is so difficult to be both a mother and father. I cannot afford to take it easy because several people are depending on me. When my husband died, I took on all kinds of jobs to support my children and parents),” Roselyn narrated.
“Lagi ko na lang sinasabi sa aking sarili na kailangan kong maging matatag, hindi agad sumuko, at hindi dapat magpaapekto sa mga problema (I always tell myself that I needed to be strong, not to give up, and not to be easily affected by problems),” she continued.
Roselyn opted to work abroad but had to return back home soon because her two growing up children needed her.
Even without a regular source of income, she persevered to send her children to school. She joined a networking business.
But while her business was just starting to take off, another challenge tested Roselyn’s strength. Her daughter got pregnant. Roselyn had to work harder because no support came from the father of the baby.
Norelyn, for her part, recalled the trying days she and her five children went through. There were times when they would sleep on the ground with only an old linoleum as their protection and eating plain porridge because she could no longer afford to buy nutritious meals.
She used to work as a house helper, while trying to pursue a degree in Elementary Education at Southern City Colleges in Zamboanga City. However, due to her dire financial need, she had to stop schooling and opted to prioritize her children’s needs.
Their lives began to change when Roselyn’s grandchild and Norelyn’s three children become covered by Pantawid Pamilya.
“Bilang isang solo parent, minsan hindi ko alam kung saan ako kukuha ng panggastos sa mga susunod na araw. Kaya naman, nagpapasalamat ako nang maging benepisyaryo kami ng Pantawid Pamilya noong 2012. Malaking tulong ang cash grants para sa pag-aaral ng apo ko. Bukod dito, pinangdadagdag ko rin iyon sa aking negosyo para mas lumago pa (As a solo parent, sometimes, I do not know where to get the amount needed for our daily needs. That is why I am very thankful when we became beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya in 2012. The cash grants greatly help in the education of my grandchild, I also use the cash grants to expand my business),” Roselyn narrated.
She also said that she learned a lot from the Family Development Sessions (FDS) that she regularly attends.
“Sa pag-attend ng FDS, natutunan ko kung paano mas maging mabuting magulang at magkaroon ng mas matibay na relasyon sa aking mga anak (Through the FDS, I learned how to be a good parent and how to develop a deeper relationship with my children),” Roselyn said.
Roselyn is happy that her son, Jervin, 20, will be graduating this year in Applied Physics, while her daughter Precious Karen, 21, will continue her college education. Roselyn attributes these good news to a renewed relationship she has with her children.
As Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary, Roselyn was also provided with livelihood capital assistance through DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), which she could use to further expand her business.
Roselyn continues to receive technical assistance from DSWD to ensure that her family will soon move improve their economic well-being.
Likewise, Norelyn, who became a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary in 2011, is now employed as a lady guard in a resort in Cawit, Zamboanga City, earning P4,000 monthly.
She said that her salary plus the cash grants she receives for her three children are sufficient enough to provide for their family needs.
She recounted that sacrifice and hard work were her weapons that helped her survive the difficult years in her life.
“Ang mga anak ko ang dahilan kung bakit ako nagpupursigi at nagiging matatag. Magutom na ako huwag lang ang mga anak ko (My children keep me strong, I could endure hunger, but not my children),” she said.
In July 2015, Norelyn was one of the parent leaders of Maasin who was selected to undergo training as reading tutors to some students who were assessed to be slow readers. This opportunity enabled her to realize her long- time dream of becoming a teacher.
Like Roselyn, Norelyn said she owes the positive change in her total personality to FDS. Pantawid Pamilya paved the way for her to become a self-confident individual actively involved in helping others.
At her age, Norelyn could not believe that even in a simple way, she was able to impart knowledge as a reading tutor to students at the Maasin Learning Center. She dedicated an hour per week to assist children under grades IV and V to improve their reading and comprehension skills following some teaching modules. She said that the program is not only beneficial to their students but also to them, the parent leaders.
As the lead agency in the implementation of R.A. 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000, DSWD pushed for the inclusion of solo parents to the Pantawid Pamilya.
As of 29 February 2016, a total of 280,672 household-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya are headed by solo parents. ###