The number of young people, who were left with no choice but to drop out of school, reached more than five million for the academic year 2021-2022.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely affected the education of the Filipino youth today. The lack of tools such as mobile phones and load to access learning materials can be seen as one of the major setbacks experienced by children today. Now, parents search far and wide for means to let their children continue reaching their dreams. Nanay Maria Lina R. Habana is one of them.
Nanay Maria is a mother to five children, one of whom is Ma. Angela, who is in Grade 7 and is studying in Bula National High School in Camarines Sur. According to Nanay Maria, one thing that will make her happy is to witness Ma. Angela achieve her own dream of becoming a teacher.
Fortunately, with Ma. Angela’s perseverance and knack for learning, she became a consistent honor student from the time she stepped Grade 1 to Grade 6. Ma. Angela’s potential became Nanay Maria and her husband’s inspiration to work hard for their children, not only to fill their basic needs, but to support their individual dreams.
The Habanas are known to be hardworking. Nanay Maria buys and sells vegetables and other goods, while her husband works in a vulcanizing shop in Manila to get by with their daily expenses. However, education is a different matter altogether. With huge educational expenses left and right, financial assistance is needed to support their family altogether.
CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank that supports marginalized communities with access to financial products, services, and other social development programs, became Nanay Maria’s partner in their journey to reach their goals in life. In her 12 years of being a CARD Bank client, she has availed the Zero Dropout Program of CARD several times to support the education of Ma. Angela.
The Zero Dropout Program is an educational loan product of CARD MRI that supports students’ education in elementary, high school, and senior high school. Offered exclusively to CARD MRI clients with children or relatives who want to continue studying, this loan has a maximum amount of PhP 10,000 for junior and senior high school. This is applicable to students like Ma. Angela who is currently in junior high school.
The financial aid that the Habanas received for Ma. Angela’s schooling eliminated the anxiety Nanay Maria had towards the education of her children, especially during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the Philippines’ educational system.
Now, Ma. Angela is in Grade 7. Even with schools closed and a threat of dropping out of school looming over the students’ heads, this does not weaken Nanay Maria’s faith in pursuing her and Ma. Angela’s dreams. For Nanay Maria and millions of other CARD clients, here is to more dreams and zero dropouts.
Ma. Angela is just one of the 1,235,768 beneficiaries of the Zero Dropout Program of CARD MRI as of December 2021. To know more about CARD’s educational loan, message CARD MRI at @CARDMRIOfficial or visit any CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, or CARD MRI RIZAL BANK branches or unit offices near you!