Sponsored child tutors local children, studies to be a teacher

Cherry, 16, inspires a younger generation to appreciate education as a solution to poverty. We celebrate her contribution and the contribution of countless other educators on World Teacher’s Day, which was October 5.

Story and photos by Crislyn Felisilda, World Vision Philippines. Edited by Shawna Templeton, World Vision U.S.
Published October 5, 2011 at 12:00am PDT

“I love kids. And I also love teaching,” says Cherry, 16, a college freshman studying elementary education, who also tutors to young children in her neighborhood in the Philippines.

Instead of spending her free time like other young people her age, Cherry — a sponsored child — loves to spend time with little ones. World Vision sponsorship made Cherry’s education possible, and she is passing on this gift to other children.

‘Bring out the best in them’

Cherry tutors more than 10 children, ages 5 to 10. Tutorial times focus on reading, math, and science. She also teaches the basics, like identifying shapes and animals.

She believes that teachers shouldn’t be too strictly academic, but include engaging activities to retain students’ attention. “I encourage [the] kids’ creativity through arts, including fun activities that will bring out the best in them,” she says.

“Because of these activities, they’re learning to overcome their shyness,” she adds. “They also enjoy speaking Filipino and a bit of English, too.”

‘I was once like them’

Cherry usually gathers her children on her wooden porch. If a large number of children come, she holds her tutorials under a tree.

“When we do outdoor tutorials, [the] kids have a blast,” says Cherry. “They roll around in the grass and pretend they’re lions in the savanna. They also spot birds and other animals in our surroundings.”

To avoid losing her patience, Cherry recalls how patient her teachers were with her. “That gives me the patience to deal with hyperactive kids,” she says.

She tries different approaches. For example, one child likes to tell stories. “I just let her talk for a while before I proceed with the tutorial. They are young kids, after all, and I was once like them,” she explains.

Charity based on personal experience

Cherry makes no money from her tutorial sessions. She tutors the children for free because she has experienced financial difficulty herself.

Her father works as a company security guard and, like many other villagers, he also does farm labor on the weekends. Her family used to stay in town, but they’ve since moved closer to the farm.

“As the eldest [of four children], my family is expecting me to be the breadwinner when I finish schooling,” shares Cherry.

Sponsorship makes education possible

Cherry tutors local children for free since she has experienced financial difficulty herself.

Cherry is thankful to be a World Vision sponsored child. She regularly receives critical school supplies, bags, uniforms, and transportation allowance that keep her in school, despite financial challenges. Now in college, World Vision shoulders half of her tuition fees.

Her sponsor, Cathy, sends Cherry letters, which inspire her to excel at school. She also receives gifts sent through World Vision. When she graduated from high school, Cherry received a gift of new clothes and shoes, purchased locally through World Vision's sponsorship gifting function.

“I thank Aunt Cathy for her generosity,” she shares. “My sponsor inspires me to achieve my ambition to be a teacher.”

Cherry continues her journey with the children she tutors. “I’m more encouraged by their enthusiasm,” she says. “I pray that these kids will finish their studies through college, in order to overcome poverty.”

Three ways you can help

Thank God that Cherry received an education and is using her gifts to teach other young children. Pray for children around the world who do not have access to basic education. Tragically, 75 million primary-school-aged children are not in school.

Sponsor a child today — or, if you’re already a sponsor, consider extending your love and support to another child in need. For about $1 a day, you’ll help provide children in need with access to life-saving basics like education, healthcare, food, clean water, and more.

You can also make a one-time gift to our Sponsorship Ministry Fund, which helps meet the needs of children who are still waiting for sponsors. Your donation will help provide these children with many of the same benefits offered by sponsorship — like food, clean water, education, and more.