Jerrefyl sits at her desk, trying to decide what color to use in her drawing. She is a brilliant student who studies hard; her favorite subject is art. She picks up a colored pencil and starts to fill in her landscape with green — her favorite color.
Art has become an escape for Jerrefyl — a way to create something beautiful in the midst of her troubled life. It’s the same reason she likes to go to school. She studies hard so she can someday escape the challenges she knows all too well.
Jerrefyl is a part of the Ati people group — a poor, indigenous community living in the Philippines. These people lack many basic needs, due largely to the fact that most of them are uneducated. Although the local public school is free, Ati kids frequently drop out early on because they face overwhelming bullying and discrimination because of their ethnicity.
The 15-year-old’s home life hasn’t been easy, either. Her father is often away working on a cargo ship, but when he is home there is little peace. Her parents’ marriage is tumultuous — with five children and so little money, the situation is tense. To escape the conflict, Jerrefyl was sent to live with her grandparents.
Her life became more peaceful , but Jerrefyl’s dream of attending school was still that for a long time — just a dream. She knew she couldn’t face the daily teasing and ridicule she would experience at the community school.
That’s why Jerrefyl was overjoyed when she found out she was going to be able to attend the Malay Agape Sunshine Academy. This Christian school is dedicated to ministering specifically to the indigenous Ati people. It allows Ati children to learn about the love of Jesus Christ and also helps provide for the children’s most basic needs.
However, in order to guarantee that Jerrefyl can remain at the school and continue her education, she needs the help of a child sponsor. Right now, Jerrefyl is able to attend the academy thanks to generous donors who help support kids who are waiting for a long-term sponsor … and she is grateful. But she would love to have a sponsor of her very own — someone she can write to, pray for, and depend on to ensure she has the opportunity for a better future.
For Jerrefyl, a member of a people group that is often overlooked, this would be an incredible blessing.
Jerrefyl shares a lot in common with most typical teenagers. She loves to play basketball, her favorite food is spaghetti, and she looks forward to Christmas all year long. But she’s focused on her dreams for her future. Jerrefyl wants to study nursing so one day she can care for the impoverished people in her village, many of whom cannot afford medical care.
Here’s where you come in. For $35 a month — just over a dollar a day — you can support Jerrefyl or another child in the Philippines who still needs a sponsor! You can make sure that child is no longer at risk of losing access to an education and other necessities. And you can help him reach his dreams.
When you sponsor a child at the Malay Agape Sunshine Academy, you do more than just provide a basic education for a boy or girl. You also help provide life-skills classes for the student’s parents and expose them to the love of Christ. By sponsoring a child in this region, you impact the entire family.
Sponsorship has the ability to change lives, and right now, you can invest in the future of a child from the Ati community. Your support can give kids like Jerrefyl the encouragement they need to build a beautiful life.