This is My Life, by Dianne Farinas
Dianne in the First Grade, standing in front of The School in a Cart
Many thanks to an anonymous donor. With the help of all our donors, we’ve been able to transform The School in a Cart from a moving cart to a fixed center. Lift the Lid helped to initiate and continues to fund a Breakfast Program, a Shower in a Cart Hygiene Program, the performing Band in a Cart, the purchase of shoes and uniforms every year, and new this year, an after-school tutor to support/encourage the street children of Quezon City in their education.
As testament, please take a moment to read Dianne’s essay, “This is My Life.” Below her essay are recent pictures of Dianne. We’ve been supporting her and many other children who attend The School in a Cart since 2011.
“This is my life in Cubao.
When I was a little girl, I had many friends. Life became difficult as I grew older. To earn, I jumped into jeepneys to beg using mail envelops. I was doing this so my siblings, we are 7 children in the family, may have something to eat everyday. Even if I no longer play because I am already big to play, I am happy because I have my family.
For a while my parents had jobs but at present they are without jobs. I am studying so I could repay my parents. I am in Fourth Grade in school. Before none of us were happy because no one wants to talk to us. I did not have friends then. Now I am with my cousins and friends. Before we did not have a band to join and a Center to go to. It seems God is saying, “Now you have a Center, a Band and good music.”
Unfortunately, before we do not have friends who sniff solvent but now we have friends who do this. Now, I wish I could help my parents. Being a daughter, it is difficult for my mother to see me get beaten by my father so she tries to prevent it.
Before, we collected garbage for a living but when we met Teacher Nonie and Kuya Iddo (Alfredo) at the School in a Cart we became happy. They encouraged us to go to school, fed us breakfast and a snack after school. We get to enjoy watching programs on television at the Center.
Before, we did not have merienda (snacks), no TV to watch, and were staying at sidewalks subjected to harassment by the Barangay Tanod (Village Watchman.) They dismantled the temporary shelter we put up to make us leave the sidewalk. Kuya Iddo (Alfredo) had to intervene and talked with the Barangay officials. We also met Pastor Lino who helped us. We, indeed, are fortunate.”
Dianne’s original essay in Tagalog:
Dianne making Christmas decorations (2015.)
Dianne in the green skirt, singing in The Band in a Cart (2015.)
Dianne, we’re so proud of your writing and most importantly of the way you care about your cousins and friends who fall into bad times, taking drugs and giving up on school. Keep up HOPE, for yourself and for your family and friends. God loves you and made you to rise above all challenges. With hope you can.
I know I will see you graduate from high school one day and continue on to college or specialized job training. Stay on the right path, and you will set an example for your cousins and friends, as well. You can do it!
Dianne, Your strength in the face of hard times is an encouragement to those around you. Your writing gets stronger all the time and the way you try to help your parents and brothers and sister and friends is an inspiration. Always choose the right thing, even when the wrong thing is easier. Stay in school, keep writing, and keep making music! Never, ever give up. We are cheering you on from the USA.