Sponsored friends in the Philippines cross a river to get to school.
Aug 20 2014

Back to school in the Philippines

Sponsored friends in the Philippines cross a rice field to get to school.

When you were a kid, how far did you travel to get to school? Perhaps you walked a few blocks, rode your bike or went to the end of your street to wait for a school bus. Sponsored friends Mary Rose and Jovelyn live in a rural part of the Philippines. The girls and their classmate walk 3 kilometers to school each day. That’s a bit less than 2 miles. While the distance isn’t far, the path they travel has some unique obstacles.

Recently, Tristan John Cabrera, communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines, walked with them to document the journey on their first day back to school.

Sponsored friends in the Philippines cross a rice field to get to school.

From left: Mary Rose, Jovelyn and their classmate. The three girls live in an agricultural area of the Philippines, and they must cross through neighboring rice fields on their trek to school.

Sponsored friends in the Philippines cross a river to get to school.

This gives a whole new meaning to “over the river.” Wet rocks can lead to treacherous footing. The girls find it’s easier to cross the river with bare feet than with flip-flops.

Rice fields are water-filled and muddy, so finding a boundary wall to walk on makes the path a bit easier.

Sponsored friends in the Philippines cross a river to get to school.

The three students have one last river to cross before reaching their destination. When asked how their first day of school went, one of the girls replied, “Well, it was tiring. We have to walk across the rivers and walk in the middle of rice fields. But when we reached school we learned something and played with our friends. The satisfaction we’ve gained is more than enough to compensate our efforts.”

Help students in need have more first days of school by supporting Education.

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