Meet Ma Irene
“Thank you for ensuring a happy, healthy and fulfilling life for every Filipino child. I’ll be forever grateful to be one of your child ambassadors,” Irene says.
Irene, age 21, stands in front of a group of children about to graduate from a Save the Children preschool in the Philippines. She has been asked to attend and talk about her experience with sponsorship. It takes a moment to get their attention, but just like that, her kind smile and gentle voice engage the room. She is confident and happy – and it shows.
As Irene starts talking to the children about her experience as a sponsored child, she thinks back to her own childhood. At 5 years old, Irene was shy and terrified to talk to her classmates. Irene’s mother saw the impact sponsorship had on kids like her daughter when she volunteered with Save the Children. After a bit of convincing from her mom, Irene joined Save the Children’s preschool and summer learning program.
Irene had no idea at the time that both experiences would shape the rest of her life. “Through Save the Children, I was able to conquer my fears and be the best that I can be today,” she says. In high school, Irene continued her experience with sponsorship and became a peer educator, encouraging her classmates and teaching them important life skills. “I was able to become the voice of other children,” she says.
Now, Irene works as a high school teacher in her community. She is working on getting a Master’s in Foreign Diplomacy so she can continue her work and change the future for children in her country.
Thanks to sponsors like you, kids in the U.S. and all around the world have the opportunity to hope and dream of a brighter future.