Sharing with you this wonderful heartwarming success story written by Eli Fossum, a former ALIG member and charity coordinator.
Jhuan Paulo Clavecillas, our Filipino “son” from Tunasan in San Pedro/Laguna Graduated this June 3, 2016 from DMMA College in Davao with his degree Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT) and is soon ready to start his career as Deck Officer onboard international merchant- and offshore-vessels. With this young man’s strong motivation and hard work over the last 5 years, he even managed to graduate with the Academic Award “Cum Laude”, clearly demonstrating his personal qualities, skills and dedication.
As for too many Filipino youngsters, Paulo’s way forward from he was born on May 8, 1992 was not set to be easy. As one of five siblings in a poor San Pedro/Laguna family, his father disappeared when he was four, leaving his mother Portia alone with all the responsibilities for her 5 children.
With the constant struggle to meet even their basic needs of tomorrow, the siblings were separated and not all of them grew up together. As many other underprivileged children in this country, Paulo grew up with a strong sense of responsibility and at an early age had to help out to secure the family’s small daily food rations.
It was actually when he as a small boy together with his brother were sent to harvest mussels in Laguna to support the family’s daily fight to add some extra flavour to their small portion of rice, often representing their only daily meal, that he learnt how to swim!
As a result of this Paulo was even taken out of school for a period, in the small family’s struggle to survive and only graduated from High School at the age of 18, two years later than normal.