Two years ago, we decided to help send to school three relatives aged 14-15. This practice of extended families and helping them is common in the Philippines. Their environment in the province is one where education is not taken seriously, thus we took them with us to Manila. These are teenagers who has lagged so much in learning such that the multiplication table is something that is alien to them. These are kids who will only study the night before major exams and we even have to push them to do so. “Porma” , love (sex) life and public adoration are more important to them than anything else. These were the reasons why we were strict to them because we already had the foresight on what will happen to them if we just let them be.
Unlike their life back in the province, everything is laid out for them in their new life with us. They only had to do one thing: study hard, which they find very difficult to do. They did not see all the good things handed to them because the old ways in the province were too much to resist. All chose to go back. The first two went back after a year and the other one chose to also leave after spending two years with us. After a year back in the province, I’ve learned that one almost got someone pregnant and the other was already complaining how difficult life is. Unfortunately, I always keep my word such that when I say this is a one-time opportunity for them, there is no going back once they leave. Aside from being hard-headed, these kids are not stellar students who are contented with their below average performance in school. I always believe that good grades in school does not mean you will do good in life but the very basic skills to help someone succeed such as basic math and communication should be well ingrained in every student. These are lacking in them and I can honestly say they are hopeless cases if they will not change their ways.
One of the most important lesson I learned from this experience is that helping is good but it should only be given to deserving people and not only because you are related to them. Teach them to fish on their own and if they are not willing do so, let them go. It takes time, effort and money to help and it is no joke to help raise kids who are not your own. If you are on the receiving end, appreciate all the love and care given to you. Don’t take people for granted because the opportunity they are giving you may be the last chance you have for changing your life.
To put an end to all this, we are more than happy that life has been pretty much stress-free for us and we want it to stay as it is. Good riddance to all of you. 🙂