Driven by Love

The sun is blazing hot and the heat rises from the pavement as Nita wipes the stream of sweat from her face. Clouds of dust billow over her swollen feet as she continues with her broom, tirelessly cleaning the street for pennies a day. Her husband is working not far from her as a construction worker, rubbing his aching back as the demands of a strenuous job collide with his aging body.

This elderly Filipino couple is driven by love, and when asked how they can work in such conditions at their age, Nita simply answers, “When a loved one is depending on you, you will overcome anything – the pains in your body, your old age. Fulfilling their need is your inspiration.” That inspiration is their granddaughter, Marielle.

Fourteen years ago Marielle’s parents divorced, moved away, and started new families without ever looking back. They left their three year old daughter Marielle with Nita and have not been in contact since.

Raising a Small Child

Nita and her husband were forced back into the world of raising a small child, which was a job they felt blessed to have. They loved Marielle and cherished each moment with her. She was their world and they did everything they could to take care of her and give her the life that she deserved, which included prolonging their retirement.

When Marielle was in 1st grade they were introduced to International Needs in the Philippines. The family was overjoyed when Marielle became sponsored and they had help with her school fees.

“IN has always been a big part of our lives”, Nita said. “I took care of her ever since she was little, until now that she’s studying. My husband and I are really working hard for her studies and we are glad that we are part of IN.”

Marielle is now in her fourth and final year of high school, and after graduation she has an excellent chance of going to college. This would be a dream come true for her hard working grandparents. Marielle wants to pursue a degree in Tourism so that she can get a career to support her grandparents and pay back their love and dedication that got her this far.In an age when Nita and her husband are supposed to be enjoying a peaceful retirement, the couple has made a promise to spend every last drop of energy they have to raise their granddaughter and secure a better future for her. For Nita, a future where Marielle can enjoy a life filled with amazing opportunities is all the inspiration that she needs to clean the streets.

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Marielle with her grandmother

A Brighter Future

Through child sponsorship, International Needs educates children and helps them form a brighter future. The program works not simply as assistance, but rather as a way to impact the child and her family holistically. The four developmental goals focus on education, leadership and social development, health and physical development, and values formation. There are also seminars and workshops for parents and caregivers that address issues such as nutrition and parenting.

Marielle and her grandparents are an excellent example of how sponsorship changes lives and families.

Do you have a story about how your own life has been changed through sponsoring a child? We would love to hear it! Please email us and share your thoughts and experiences!

Click here to sponsor a child in the Philippines!