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February 26, 2016

Emmanuel Velasco lives a peaceful life in a simple nipa hut. But it wasn’t always this way. Emmanuel graduated from school in Bicol, but was forced to move to Manila to find work. His wages barely paid rent and never afforded his family more opportunity. He wasn't making it - like so many who migrate to the city for hope, he was instead trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Now, returning home to the fresh air of the Bicol coast, Emmanuel rides his bike to work. No traffic. No slums. Away from the big city, Emmanuel has found peace and joy like never before. As he works at the coconut oil filtering station on the production line at Dignity, he notices the environment of love and compassion - this is a better place to be. He is grateful to be back home.

Even as a single parent, he is able to sustain the needs of his family, and then some! His daughter, Ecel, is studying Education at Oas Community College on a partial scholarship. His other daughter, Emma, is in 10th grade at the local high school. Before Dignity, less than 1% of the community have the opportunity for any post-high school education, let alone a college degree. He hopes to graduate BOTH of his daughters from college. This is a dream come true. Dignity has changed everything for the Velasco family.


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