Rosemarie is today married and a mother to a three year old little boy. He does not need a sponsor. His mother had one...
She is rather small and thin, talking quietly and gently. Perhaps she is just a bit shy.
I am at Star of Hope school in Taytay, Manila, Philippines and talking to Rosemarie Capilitan. Suddenly, it strikes me that, without help of her sponsors Rosemarie would have never been where she is today. She had probably not even finished elementary school.
BORN AT A GARBAGE DUMP-TODAY A TEACHER
Today, Rosemarie has completed four years of college, studied to become a high-school teacher and works at the school where she was taught as a child. Isn't it fantastic!
Scavanger at Smokey Mountain
Rosemarie grew up in Taytay, an area directly located next to the large garbage dump, "Smokey Mountain". The area is no longer used and has become much better since she was small. Rosemarie comes from a family of "scavangers" as they are called in the Philippines. Both her mother and father worked at the garbage dump, from early morning until late at night. As Rosemarie is the oldest of six siblings, she had to take the main responsibility for all siblings and the home.
Sponsorship Changed Her Life
Rosemarie attended Star of Hope school already when she was six years old, something that she is incredibly grateful for today.
"Without your help, I would not be a teacher today. My parents could not afford to pay for my schooling; we had very little food on the table. I would especially like to thank my sponsors Kristina in Vejbystrand and Tina in Sundbyberg. Without you I don't know where I would have been today."
It shows quickly that she likes her profession and that her students like her. As soon as she enters the classroom the shy and quiet young woman becomes a respected and well liked teacher.
Since 1984 when Star of Hope started working in Pasig city where Taytay is located, the area around the old garbage dump, "Smokey Mountain" has changed drastically. Thousands of children just like Rosemarie have received schooling and today live a decent life, far away from the misery they grew up in. Today there are shops and small industries in the area. There are jobs and the standards of the houses are much better. Still, the area is quite poor, and there remain many who depend on looking for garbage but ... — today there is hope and confidence in Taytay