Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone

Almost overnight, thanks to social media, nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera became poster boy for poor children in the Philippines. He's in 3rd grade at an elementary school in Mandaue City. His father died in prison, and their home burned down five years ago. He and his siblings live in a food stall where his Mom, Christina Espinoza, earns $1.77 a day as a domestic helper for the stall's owner. They have no electricity. Instead of begging for money like most street children, Daniel does homework on the street using light from a McDonald's restaurant. That's where medical student Joyce Torrefranca saw him and snapped this photo which she posted on Facebook.

Daniel used to have two pencils, but a fellow student stole one, so he's using his only pencil to finish his homework. He wants to be a policeman or a doctor, and insists on going to school even when his Mom has no lunch money for him. He tells her, "I don't want to stay poor. I want to reach my dreams."

After his photo went viral, donations poured in from around the world. Daniel now has a scholarship to take him all the way through college. He also received school supplies, and his family received cash. His Mom says, "I don't know what I will do with all these blessings. Now Daniel will not have to suffer to finish his studies." Joyce Torrefranca didn't expect "a simple photo could make a huge difference. I hope Daniel's story will continue touching our hearts," she said.

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