Simple lamang ang aking pangarap bilang isang ina. Ito ay mapag tapus namin ang aming 7 anak, at mag karoon sila ng maayus na trabaho, at higit sa lahat ay ma bigyan namin ng maayus na bahay ang aming pamilya. (My dream as a mother is simple. It is to see our 7 children finish their studies, find stable jobs, and most importantly, to provide them with a decent home that we can call our own.)”- Madelene Marquez

Selling kangkong is the main source of income for Madelene’s family. She has seven children and they do not have their own house. They are currently living in a land they work for wherein they plant kangkong as part of their livelihood. The kangkong they harvest will be peddled by her two daughters Christine and Mayline. They had to endure the heat of the weather so they can earn extra income aside from her husband’s occasional work.

Madelene preparing the kangkong and other vegetables that they have grown in the land they are living in.

Despite the hardships they face, Madelene is very grateful that her children are diligent and helpful. Her family has been her inspiration to work hard for a living. She has sometimes thought about moving abroad to provide a comfortable life and financial security for her family. The desperation to lift her family out of poverty is very strong, but her husband did not agree. Instead, he promised to work even harder in exchange for her staying in the country. The couple worked harder in the fields and planted vegetables other than kangkong to sell.

The Marquez family’s simple dream seemed very difficult to achieve due to financial  difficulties. However, having stable jobs, education for their children, and a comfortable home became more attainable when they became part of the 4Ps program. According to Madelene, “Hindi sapat ang salitang Malaki, sa mga tulong na ginawa ng programang 4Ps sa aming pamilya, lalong lalo na sa aking mga anak”. (The word ‘big’ is not enough to describe the help that the 4Ps program has given our family, especially my children) There has been a significant change in their lives since they became part of the program.

Madelene with her child happily waiting for their vegetables to be sold.

Currently, Madelene still sells vegetables to save money. Her children help her sell during holidays. Madelene happily shared the fruit of their vegetable selling, their house which she can now call theirs. They all contributed to building the house, with her husband leading the construction and her daughter Mayline taking the initiative to buy hollow blocks with the earnings from selling. In one week, her daughter can buy 10-15 hollow blocks. Because of the program, the Marquez family can save money that they can use for other needs, giving them a comfortable life.

Madelene is also very grateful for the Family Development Sessions (FDS) as they have given her the opportunity to learn as a mother and a member of her community. Through their combined hard work, along with the financial support from 4Ps and the lessons from the Family Development Sessions, Madelene is gradually achieving her aspirations.

Madelene’s house before becoming a 4Ps beneficiary.

Madelene’s house now.