This teacher in the Philippines travels three hours across five rivers everyday to teach her students.
While many people in developed nations take school for granted, there are countries whose infrastructure and education system doesn’t allow for all of their children to regularly attend school. Many don’t have a teacher or a schoolhouse nearby, and even more families can’t afford to send their children to school if they are old enough to start working and helping out the family.
This Filipino teacher and her students are a great example of those that are dedicated to school no matter what obstacles they have to overcome to get there. For this teacher in particular, those obstacles include a three-hour walk across five rivers every single school day.
Elizabeth Miranda starts her day very early to make sure that she reaches her students in time. She is the only teacher available in the remote city of Sitio Barogante that can help these children, and she truly believes that her efforts could have a lasting impact on her students.
The school itself is small and all of the children, regardless of grade or age, are mixed together since she is the only teacher available. Many of the children don’t even have food to sustain them for the day, but they are happy to come to school everyday anyway, knowing that their teacher has already sacrificed so much to be with them.
Fortunately, Miranda is not alone in her efforts to cross the rivers to get to the schoolhouse. She recognizes the immense help she has received from community members, including a make-shift life preserve made of inflated tire interiors that help her get across rivers without getting as wet. The community members push the flotation device against the tide by swimming frog style.
Miranda says that her body has become accustomed to the trek. The biggest challenge she faces now are the days when it rains because the flow of the current becomes stronger and harder to cross.
Though the selfless teacher sometimes has doubts about her impact and wants to give up, she says she just turns to her grateful students when these feelings overcome her. As she sees the interest of the students increase, she reminds herself that she’s making a difference in the students’ lives and, hopefully, the community.
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