Education helps youth like Arvin fight poverty
Education empowers women like Marisela
Education transforms communities like Leticia’s
Arvin King Cariaga
Arvin had all the support his family could give, but before he found Vittana, he was unemployed, broke, and worried. Arvin knew without a degree, his prospects for employment and a better life looked bleak.
To Arvin, getting a job was about more than money. He wanted to make his family proud and take care of them the way they had taken care of him. He wanted to contribute to the family’s income and give them freedom to travel by buying them a car — a rare luxury in the Philippines where less than 3% of people own one.
Help arrived in the form of five Vittana lenders who united to provide Arvin with a $465 loan. Today, he is well on his way to reaching his dreams and providing for his family. His loan enabled him to complete a program in food science and technology at Central Luzon State University. After graduation, Arivin repaid his loan and went from being unemployed to earning $9/day.
“My number one priority is to make sure my family benefits from the education that’s already changed my life,” he said. For an 18-year-old chef, that’s a lot to take on. But Arvin knows he is now equipped to cook up the life he has always wanted.
“I know I can achieve my own dreams with this education—as well as the dreams of my family.”
Arvin King Cariaga, Philippines
Marisela Hurtado Vichica
Marisela was a struggling single mother who wanted to study law. Inspired by her aunt to get a better education for herself and her children, she applied for and won a full-ride scholarship at a national university in Nicaragua. But between her work, studies, and caring for her children, Marisela couldn’t maintain the 95% GPA required to keep her scholarship. At 27 years old, with three children to care for, Marisela dropped out.
Now in her early thirties, Marisela was expecting a fourth child and working as a seamstress to provide for them. Her dreams of practicing law were all but lost until she heard about a student loan program through one of Vittana’s partner organizations. With $800 from Vittana lenders, she completed her studies in 2010 and got a job working in a regional court as an assistant in civil law.
Marisela wants to advance her career and become a federal judge, but for now, her focus is on her children. “I tell them that education is the most valuable thing in life,” she says. With her increased salary, Marisela can provide her children with an opportunity she never had; the chance to go to school and get an education before they start families of their own.
“I tell (my children) that education is the most valuable thing in life,”
Marisela Hurtado Vichica, Nicaragua
Leticia Godoy Gimenez
From a young age, Leticia wanted to be a social worker and help vulnerable people in her community. But the path ahead wasn’t easy and her dreams were almost lost because she didn’t have the money to go to school.
Her father was a builder and her mother was a cook. When it came time for her to go to college, they applied for financial aid and scraped together money for tuition. Making the payments was difficult but when her father was injured and couldn’t work, it was impossible. Desperate to continue her studies, Leticia resorted to selling her possessions on the side of the road.
Just when it seemed that Leticia’s dream was slipping beyond reach, she applied for a loan through a Vittana partner in Paraguay. After graduating and paying back her loan, Leticia reinvested in her brother’s education to make sure he had the same opportunity she did.
Giving back to those around her didn’t stop with her brother. Leticia started helping her father and mother too. She said she wants to give her parents everything they deserve for years of hard work. She is also determined to help her community by creating a foundation for homeless and abandoned children who live on the streets. Vittana’s loan is graduating her, her family, and her community beyond poverty.
“Education is very important, so that... one can write, know oneself more, and know everything that surrounds them. It is fundamental so that one can survive in this world,”
Leticia Godoy Gimenez, Paraguay