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The Ultimate Gift- The Chance at a Brighter Future
$250 raised
4% of $7k goal
6 contributors
6 Years running

The Ortile family live in a small fishing village in the Philippines. I first heard of their story back in early 2011 and have visited them several times during trips to the country.

Initially I was impressed by their warm nature and sense of hope. As time went on I came to admire their determination to survive, their enduring faith and their ability to face whatever destiny had in store for them with graceful acceptance. Nowadays I feel indebted to them for what I have learned from being part of their journey.

When I first met Pedro and Gloria they had four beautiful children – Jayson, Peter, Justin and Angel. They lived in a basic hut, no running water and no bathroom. Jayson had been diagnosed with orbital rhabdomysarcoma and he and Pedro had were relocated to Manila where Jayson was able to undergo a rigorous regime of cancer treatment.

Gloria remained in the village with the other children, doing laundry when she could to pay for food. In March 2012 tragedy struck when baby Angel suffered a fatal asthma attack. Just four months later the family suffered their second heart-wrenching blow, they had to say goodbye to Jayson who lost his brave battle with cancer.

Today, the family still lives in their simple hut. Peter and Justin study hard at school, often on an empty stomach. Gloria is kept busy by the newest addition to the family, baby Kokoy. Due to the rise in the commercial fishing industry and a life of hard labour taking its toll on his body, Pedro is unable to earn enough to keep his family afloat.

Losing two children in a few short months is a tragedy of unimaginable magnitude; I cannot even begin to comprehend just how difficult it must be to survive that then go on to face each day not knowing what future lies ahead for the three little smiling faces looking up at you.

This family has taught me the importance of finding the silver lining that lies amongst even the darkest of clouds and it’s time I help them find their own silver lining.

Pedro is a keen pig farmer and believes that if given the chance it could be his pathway out of poverty. With $7,000 we will be able to set up a pig farm for the family, organise basic business training for Pedro and Gloria, as well as buy enough pig feed to keep them going until they start making a profit. Funds raised will also go towards every day costs to help the family get back on their feet, health care, the children’s education and repairs to their home.

Pedro and Gloria have never asked for anyone’s help. Today I ask for help to give them the ultimate gift – the chance at making a real future for themselves and their children.

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