The Definition of Poor


Kitchen

A kitchen in its most basic configuration

Monsoon season just hit. It’s been raining day and night for about three days now. No let up.

The family’s been preparing food in this makeshift kitchen. No sidewalls. Not even a decent roof. The fire in the stove is hard to keep ablaze. It flickers with every gust of rain-soaked wind blowing by. But, this is what this family can afford.

Money is hard to come by. This family’s annual gross income from all sources is less than P50,000 Philippine pesos…. a year’s income. Their main house is a one room enclosure made of hollow blocks with mud floors. They sleep on buri mats woven from dried palm fronds. No running water. No electricity. Just a kerosene lantern.

Both husband and wife farm an acre of land for a rich person who lives in town. The sweet potatoes turned out okay but the corn crop was not very good this year. There wasn’t much to divide between owner and  tenant farmer. This means this family’s going to have to make some adjustments to their meals, say, just eat two meals a day – if that.

The downpour turns the rice fields into ponds. Frogs, catfish, tilapia and mudfish abound and this is good for the family. It adds to the staple. The father is very entrepreneurial. He has to for him and his family to survive. He catches frogs and whatever fish swims into his traps and sells the ones they cannot eat in the public market. Muscular frogs and red-eyed mudfish can fetch a handsome price.

For the husband and wife, it’s once again time to be preparing the rice seedling plots. Life goes on for this family.

They have one child – a daughter who has shown promise in her earlier school work. This young girl shows ambition. A quick learner she maintained good grades in elementary school. She applied for scholarship assistance from SAS Ai, Inc. and was accepted. She is now a junior in high school. Next year, she will graduate from SAS high school. It will be the realization of her dream.

SAS Ai, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization with a mission to help bright and promising students who come from poor families get a good high school education through sponsored scholarships. Help us send these underprivileged kids to SAS high school. Donate to the scholarship fund.