To celebrate the JDVSF’s 5th year, we asked the children of St. Martin to share their stories. Here, the words of John Paul, who was 11 when he joined the SMDP family.
“I was a feeble child living in a squatter’s area with my family with little on my mind but playing with my friends. We had next to nothing but things weren’t so bad as they became once my father was jailed for a crime he did not commit. Then everything turned difficult. My mother could not support us anymore, so my siblings and I stopped going to school so we could collect metal scraps and empty bottles or discarded vegetables to sell so we wouldn’t starve. I sometimes saw my mother secretly crying in the corner because of our struggles. She wanted us to finish school and felt life would be wasted if we did not.
That’s when God sent Father Boyet to help us. He brought my siblings and me to live at St. Martin de Porres in May 2003. And there, with his guidance and support, we returned to school, began to heal, and plan for a productive future. Today I am living a life I could never have imagined before St. Martin. I’m now an accounting student at in Quezon City and I live in housing provided by St. Martin supporters. I have learned to be honestly self-reliant and above all, thank God always for all the kind people who believe in me. I am learning a lot through your help.” — John Paul