A Bright Future for the Next Generation
Original story published May 26, 2017.
Pops of bright color decorate the drawings three-year-old Kristel brings back from school. She's delighted when her mother, Maria displays them on the walls of their small abode, and proudly pointed them out to us during our visit to her home.
As Kristel helped show us around, Maria remarked on her daughter’s budding hobby and penchant for drawing the sun. Despite Kristel’s young age, Maria already predicts that she’ll pursue a career in graphic design one day.
The dreams that Maria and her husband, Jose, share for Kristel and their youngest daughter, Anneth, are more likely to come to fruition thanks to their support network. Vitamins are available from their community’s local health post, and the contributions from Leobarda, Jose's mother, make it possible to provide more nutritious foods for the growing family.
This generational shift in access to healthy foods marks a significant change; Leobarda has noticed a marked difference between her grandchildren’s health and that of her own children so many years ago.
“Sometimes, there was no food,” Leobarda shared, speaking of the challenges she faced. During her years as a mother of young children, vitamins were also unavailable, amplifying her struggle to raise healthy children.
These days, though, Leobarda can channel her energy into caring for her grandchildren and manages the home while Maria earns an income at the nearby clothing factory and Jose works as a machine operator. Her consistent presence makes it possible for her to take the children to every vitamin distribution, and she marvels at their growing intelligence, love of learning, and flourishing health.
Since Kristel received her latest deworming tablet, in particular, Leobarda has noted that her appetite has improved, and she has been more focused in school; creating even more beautiful works of art.The preschooler’s creative interests are no surprise to Leobarda, who shares a lifelong passion for crafting. She sews her grandchildren’s clothing, made Maria’s wedding dress, and is currently teaching Maria how to sew as well.
Together, Maria, Jose and Leobarda work tirelessly to maintain their family’s health and happiness. Their resolve, coupled with the power of vitamins, is stitching a future for the next generation – one that’s already as bright as the fabrics and paintings that adorn their home.
View the original piece and full photography at vitaminangels.org.
Photo credit: Matt Dayka for Vitamin Angels