A recent graduate Kariza reflects on her life path

Having just graduated, Kariza realises how lucky she was to have been sponsored through Children of the Mekong. Discover her wonderful projects for her future through her testimony!

My name is Jo Kariza Celeste de Asis, I am 24 years old. I currently live in San Roque Baclayon, Bohol. I obtained my bachelor’s in social studies from the main campus of the State University of the Island of Bohol in March 2019.

Actually, studying education wasn’t my first choice, but after having studied that subject for four years, I realised the beauty of being a teacher. The future of students depends on those who will teach and educate them: the teachers. As I recently passed the national teaching exam, I reflected on what kind of teacher I wanted to become. I want to be a teacher who not only passes on knowledge but who also strives to build the character of each student. 

For four years, Children of the Mekong helped me achieve that dream. It is thanks to Children of the Mekong that I was able to go on to University. Children of the Mekong supported me financially until I got the diploma I dreamt of. Mr. Laurent Challan Belval is my sponsor. Each year, for Christmas and at the end of the semester, I sent him letters to tell him how beautiful my life was, and how grateful I was for his support. Having been supported by Children of the Mekong helped me realise two things: the first is that there still are people ready to help those who need it most, the second one, is that God is good because He gave us those wonderful people who are ready to give help. 

Thanks to Children of the Mekong, my parents didn’t have to carry the burden of sending me through school. They didn’t have to worry about my school fees or other expenses because Children of the Mekong was here to support me. 

I was able to take part in the ‘Asia Youth International Model United Nations’, thanks to Children of the Mekong, who allowed me to attend this conference which changed my life. Participating in this event made me feel more responsible, not only as a teacher but also as a leader, who will guide students and young people on the right path.  The event helped strengthen my confidence, my ability to think critically and my abilities as a leader, which are necessary to shape the youth, which is the hope of our country. I learned to express my thoughts and my ideas in a crowd of people from many different countries. I hope I was able to represent Filipinos well. I hope this event will send me on the right track to achieve one of my biggest dreams which is to enable disadvantaged youth to stay positive, to come out of the hiding place that is poverty, there is light out there, and people ready to help, just as Children of the Mekong helped me.”

Jo Kariza Celeste de Asis