In its drive to empower the underprivileged communities, CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), a social development organization, strengthens its various education programs to help millions of its clients have better lives. One of these programs is the Zero Dropout that has already reached more than hundred thousands of children of its clients. Among its beneficiaries is Liza Constantino.
Liza, from Dagupan City, has been a member of CARD for more than four years. Through the education assistance of CARD, Liza was able to send her youngest child, Aizy, 7, to grade school. “I used the educational loan assistance given by CARD to provide the school needs of my youngest. Aizy is just a first grade pupil, but the school expenses are not easy to earn,” said Liza.
Liza is a deboner of bangus (milk fish) and her husband is a tricycle driver. She invested her first loan in a frozen food business. She wishes to invest her new loan in a tricycle to help her husband drive his own.
Although she is still young, Aizy is aware of the struggles of the family. “When she saw me tired coming from work, she says ‘I will do my best in my studies to give our family a better life.’” Aizy dreams of becoming a doctor someday while her other sibling, who is in fifth grade, wishes to be an architect.
Aizy’s two older brothers were not able to finish their secondary education because of the financial distress of the family. “Though my two eldest children are now also working as deboner, I hope that my other three children will have the opportunity to earn their degrees,” said Liza.
Liza is hopeful that her children will be able to finish their studies. “Today, I am confident that my two children will be able to finish their elementary schooling because of CARD’s assistance,” said Liza.
The Zero Dropout Program of CARD MRI is one of the education programs of CARD MRI that aims to help poor families send their children to school and eventually help them graduate from elementary.
According to the survey result in the 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), about four million Filipino children are out-of-school, in which 3.5% of population aged 6-14 is out-of-school children. Most of them came from families who are living below the poverty line and do not have the capacity of sending their children to school. Most out-of-school youths in the country tend to look for a job at a very young age to help their families survive their day-to-day challenges.
“While the number of out-of-school children/youth in our country decreased, we aim to completely tackle this problem in the country. We firmly believe that education is a powerful weapon to eradicate poverty,” said Founder and Managing Director Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip. “Ensuring that our clients can provide early childhood education to their children is their stepping stone to help them get out of poverty. We know that elementary education is just the beginning, but we are also strengthening our education programs for high school and college students,” Alip added.
CARD MRI provides various educational programs to help its clients get out of poverty. It also provides other financial services and community development programs aiming to improve their capacities and eventually transform them into responsible citizen of the country.
A mother of five, Liza Constantino do everything she can to provide the needs of her children.