Through one woman’s determination to overcome chronic poverty, she has grown to transform her life and make the future better for people in her community — especially the children in her Manila neighborhood. Opportunity International client Ana Serrano of the Philippines embodies the power of one person to impact the lives of many.
Ana Serrano survived the first 20 years of her life on a Manila garbage dump, sifting through heaps of trash and dead animals to find food to eat and recyclables to sell. Her parents didn’t have jobs, and Ana and her three siblings were neglected by their family and by society. The food she and her siblings scavenged made them sick. Ana feared that if she stayed at the dump, she would feel worthless all her life. Eventually, she got a small loan from Opportunity Philippines to purchase food, candy, medicine and other goods for her grocery business. She worked hard and was able to pay off the loan in six months and used her savings to buy her own retail shop.
“Poverty makes you dream about succeeding in life. I used to be one of the street children, now I have a family, I have a kind husband, and I have a business,” Ana said. Her story of transformation is awe-inspiring, but what’s most amazing is how her success has empowered her to give back. “I want to help other people, because my heart is soft for those who are poor,” she says. “The street children, when I see them I call out and give them food and water to drink, because I see myself in them.”
With Opportunity’s One Woman Holiday Challenge, you can invest in clients like Ana by starting an online fundraiser. Join the work that empowers her to transform life for herself, her family and the less fortunate in her community. That’s the power of one.