By Raymond Sumaya, iBIKE Program Director
When we started iBIKE, we met a child named Johan*. He is now six years old. He lives in a slum area in San Isidro, Makati. His mother is a housewife and his mother is a driver. His life was a constant struggle, but he managed to find joy in small moments and made the best of what he had. Despite his circumstances, Johan had an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for knowledge.
Johan’s parents believed in the power of education and encouraged him to dream big. One day, as he was playing in a different part of the city, Johan stumbled upon a small area that was buzzing with activity. It was the place of an educational ministry called “I Believe in Kids’ Education“. Intrigued by the cheerful atmosphere and the promise of learning, he decided to step in. The moment he entered he felt a sense of belonging he had never experienced before.
The program is run by dedicated educators and staff who had a passion for empowerment and transforming kids to Christian leaders in the future like Nathan. They welcomed him with open arms and offered him a chance to join their educational programs. Eager to improve his education, Johan seized the opportunity with both hands.
His journey was not without challenges. Adjusting to structured learning after years on the streets was tough, but Johan’s determination and natural intelligence shone through. With the guidance of patient teachers and the support of his newfound friends, he slowly began to grasp concepts he had never even imagined. Reading, Writing, Science & Math – Johan embraced every subject with enthusiasm. The Bible lessons also had a great impact on him to pray and believe in Jesus.
As time went on, Johan’s dedication bore fruit. His grades improved, and he developed a deep love for reading and learning. At a very young age, he discovered a passion for the arts. With the encouragement of the iBIKE teachers and staff, he improved a lot and made his parents proud. Right now, Nathan is in the last year of iBegin stage (for 3-6 yrs. of age) and next School year he will move up to the next level called iLearn (for 7-9 years of age). We are so glad to see him engaging and developing himself to be a more competent kid that loves and values education.
The story of Johan, the street kid who joined an educational program, serves as a reminder that with the right support, anyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve greatness. His journey from the streets to the iBIKE classroom is a testament to the boundless potential that lies within every individual, waiting to be unlocked through the magic of learning and opportunity.
*Name changed for privacy