Ronnie remembers a happy childhood with summer breaks spent among the mountains of his grandparent’s home in Aloran.
“Thirty-plus grandchildren would gather there and we always had fun: helping out in the rice fields, selling snails to pig farmers, making my grandma’s signature lemon cupcake and biscuits, climbing trees, and jumping into rivers,” Ronnie says.
It was the kind of childhood that every child should have; one that’s safe, fun and full of love.
Today, more than three decades later, Ronnie is ChildFund Australia’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer and is helping to ensure every boy and girl gets to have a childhood.
His lola and lolo have since passed away, and his mother now lives in Sydney and has dedicated much of her life to promoting social justice and human rights. Elmer is the captain of an international cargo ship, and Mercy and Joven run their own businesses.
“They’re living well,” Ronnie says. “Most of my uncles and aunties are now living decent lives in the Philippines.”
Ronnie says sponsorship has had a “profound effect” on everyone in the family, including him.
His goal today is to help children in developing countries have the same opportunities he and his family had, so they too can create fulfilling lives for themselves.
It is, after all, he says, ingrained in him to share the gift of friendship wherever he may go.