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Former 4Ps beneficiary and ESGPPA grantee now a Public School teacher

Education is one of the effective weapons to fight poverty.

This was the belief carried by Kimberly Velasco Jumuad as she grew up in the coastal area of Dipolog, Zamboanga Del Norte.

Kimberly came from a poor household with five members. She was the youngest of three siblings. Growing up, she saw the struggles of her parents to sustain their family.

“I grew up witnessing the hard work and sacrifices of my parents which are evident through their sweat, their white hair, their skin discoloration nanglagum na agi sa kainit (burned from the scorching heat). The pain and exhaustion every time they went home from their respective works. And it pains me a lot that I couldn’t help them during that time,” Kimberly recalled.

“We had salt for viand, we mixed soy sauce with oil so it would look/taste like adobo because we couldn’t afford to prepare adobo; fermented anchovies, we had salted fish especially during typhoons because we used to live in a coastal area. So we got by with fermented anchovies for a week or two. Sometimes we would cook sweet potato leaves so we can have soup that’s sufficient for our big family, ” an emotional Kimberly narrated.

Despite the challenges, Kimberly’s determination to help her family did not falter.

“Reflecting on our situation has pushed me to decide that I should craft my own life story. That one day, I should have a stable job that will enable me to help provide for the needs of my family as the breadwinner. They were my inspiration to move forward and strive harder in my studies. I can still vividly remember how we were able to survive the stormy times that our family experienced,” Kimberly said.

Government scholar

It was during the second semester of her first year in college when her life changed. She became one of the students chosen to become a grantee of the Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA).

The ESGPPA is a program implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

It is an educational grant that prioritizes the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) by giving them the opportunity to get free college education.

Scholars of the program are deemed to have better chances of getting employment which will, in turn, help improve the lives of their families so that they will become self-sufficient.

Aside from educational assistance, the program also featured seminars and other activities to facilitate learning and adding skills to scholars such as financial literacy and budgeting skills.

Grateful for the opportunity given to her by the program, Kimberly shared her testimony during the Orientation on the DSWD-Department of the Interior and Local Government Joint Memorandum 001-2022 or the Local Government Unit Support to 4Ps Implementation on May 11 in Zamboanga City.

“I am where I am today because I have made it through college. Education has enabled my family to break the cycle of poverty. It was because of the program that I was able to graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English, at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University, Dapitan Campus. I was able to take my licensure examination for teachers and thank God that I passed,” Kimberly pointed out.

“The program helped me enrich my life story. That is why I am forever grateful to all the prime movers of the said program, to the ones who crafted it and delivered it to us,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly is now a licensed professional secondary teacher working at the Department of Education (DepEd), Dapitan City Division.

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