At the very southern tip of the fingerlike island of Cebu, Philippines, lies the tiny municipality of Oslob Sporting rolling hills and open grasslands the area is suited for upland agriculture as a means of livelihood. Joselita Yrauda was born into an impoverished family in rural Oslob, whose parents like most were farmers. Rural Philippines offers few opportunities for children, especially girls. Schools required miles of walking to reach them. Isolated with few friends, she was admittedly shy and introverted when she and her family were approached by the Sisters of the Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries who told them about their Regina Coeli Education Program and encouraged them to send Joselita to school and offered spiritual guidance and livelihood services to her family.
Even though Joselita knew very little about the outside world, but always being a curious girl, a spark lit within her, and she saw an opportunity to experience the benefits of a formal education. Befriended by the sisters, and with their help by providing a uniform, allowance, and transportation, Joselita set off to school where she showed imagination and a willingness to study. She recollects “one of the Sisters called me Ms. Mangiulawon and, I soon gained confidence and learned to value everything, made many friends, found faith and became closer to God.”
Joselita worked hard, blossomed and advanced in school, eventually being awarded a scholarship from MQHM and graduated high school in 2012. She went on to graduate from college and now at the age of 25, is a professional teacher.
“I am heartily thankful to the sisters of Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries for believing in me so I could reach my destination and fulfill my dream.”
Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries truly believes the poverty and limited opportunities in the mountain areas of the Philippines is the root cause of so many young girls falling victim to the horrors of sex trafficking and prostitution, so prevalent in that country. Most houses are dilapidated, have no electricity or running water and food is scarce. Parents struggle to provide the most basic needs for their children. As a preventative measure the sisters of MQHM developed the Regina Coeli Education Program, and venture into the deepest areas of rural Philippines to reach families, encourage education and provide educational materials and clothing to many who would otherwise not go to school. The program currently administers to 4000 children with a goal of 20,000. Click here to see how you can help.