What are you doing today for the betterment of the nation tomorrow?
This is a question that I often ask myself as I scroll through my social media timeline, my eyes quickly scanning through the many protest posts. I stop myself from joining in the noise, it is quite easy to share my opinion but to act upon it is another story.
This is the reason why the advocacy of 14-year-old Dhaline Joy Rayo is a heartwarming tale. Dhaline, along with her parents Danny and Jacqueline, and brothers Jefferson and Aaron, were awarded with the distinctive Jollibee Family Value Awards in 2013, where they were recognized for their efforts of building a community where over 100 students are given the opportunity to complete their education through God’s Light Academy.
Their cause started out with a simplistic yet life-changing vision, “We wanted to provide better learning opportunities while planting seeds of hope in our communities. Our measures were full stomachs and peace of mind for our beneficiaries for we believed that this will help them achieve more in the classroom and build up their confidence to pursue their individual goals.”
Their community of 100 students were provided with snacks, uniforms, fare stipends, and supplies. Working as a family, they focus the spotlight on education and after they’ve won the award, they encouraged others to support the cause.
For young Dhaline, being able to shed light on a cause that was so close to their hearts meant a lot, “Helping others achieve their education has always been a dream of ours but to be able to share this cause to others in a way that encourages them to do what they can, no matter how small or big the step is enough of a reward for us.”
The wise beyond her years continued on to say, “The story is no longer just ours. It belongs to everyone who has seen the value of education. My father told us before that sharing one’s life is the most meaningful gift you can extend to others. After all, it is not wealth that helped us commit to education, it was our hopes for those children in need.”
Today, God’s Light Academy is able to sustain the schooling of over 100 children through the support of growing beneficiaries. With the help of Dhaline’s family.
Dhaline reminds us that wanting to change a nation doesn’t begin with sharing our opinion but our courage to act, no matter how small the gesture maybe.
For Dhaline and her family, their focus continues to be on upholding the welfare of the youth because it is the youth that will run the nation one day, “As a family, this is what we believe will change the nation, this is the small part that we can do.”