DAVAO CITY --- All she dreamed of is to have a happy family and a husband who will protect her despite her infirmity.
She is Nimfa V. Gepte, 46, a Pantawid Pamilya beneficiary and parent leader who suffers from poliomyelitis (polio).
Her six children and supportive husband Marcial are the reasons for her smile and strength to live selflessly.
“Pasalamat ko sa Ginoo nga nakabana ko og buotan ug supportive ug mga anak nga taas og pangandoy sa kinabuhi (I thanked God for my kind and supportive husband and for my children who dream big),” Nimfa said.
“Sa wala pa ko na-benepisyaryo sa programang Pantawid, ang akoang kalibutan nagtuyok lang sa pag-atiman sa akoang pamilya. Usa ko ka malipayon nga asawa ug inahan sa amoang panimalay bisag maglisod ko og lihok (Before my Pantawid engagement, my life merely revolved in taking care of my family. I am a happy wife and mother despite my difficulty in moving around).”
To help out, Nimfa sold goodies outside the school of her children. In the afternoon, she would prepare banana ‘turon’ and her husband Marcial sells it in the neighborhood in Tugbok.
“Tungod sa kalisod halos dili nako mapa-eskwela akoang unom ka anak. Usahay gani manlakaw sila sa balay nga walay baon unya kape lang ang sulod sa ilang tiyan kay amoang kita tama ra gyod sa pangkaon usahay kulang pa (Our hardship almost stopped us from sending our six children to school. There were times they leave for school without ‘baon’ and taking only coffee for breakfast since our income was just enough for the food on the table),” Nimfa recounted.
When Pantawid Pamilya came, everything changed. Her children are all in school now.
Jefferson, 19, is scholar in Computer Hardware Servicing (NC2) and Ken, 21, into Commercial Cooking (NC2) under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) funded by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).
Dwight, 20, is a scholar under the Pantawid Pamilya Expanded Students Grant-in-aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) at University of South Eastern Philippines in Mintal Campus.
Nimfa also trained on Basic Carpentry through SLP and Pastry Making sponsored by their barangay. Now, aside from being a homemaker, she bakes pastries like cinnamon roll and Spanish bread for extra income.
“Wala gyud ko nagmahay nga na parent leader ko. Mas nidako akoang kahibalo, mas lipay ko sa akoang kinabuhi tungod sa mga seminars nga akoang naapilan. Gina-share pud nako sa akoang mga miyembro akoang kaalam. Karon daghan nako kaila ug amigo. Ilado nako sa amoang kumunidad (I never regretted to becoming a parent leader. I have enhanced my knowledge. I am happier because of the seminars I have attended. I also share with my members the things I learned. I now know a number of people and I have lots of friends. I am popular now in my community).”
Nimfa and her family are among those poor beneficiaries now empowered because of the programs accessed from the DSWD.
Nimfa challenges women-beneficiaries to stand on their own feet. “We should help our husband in working for our children. We should not see our weakness as a hindrance but let us move forward to give our family a better future.”
Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor families, primarily those with children aged 0-18. It provides monthly cash grants to beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers, and attending the Family Development Sessions (FDS).
Nimfa’s family is among the 233,985 active partner-beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program in Davao Region. (DSWD)