Margaret Ascenzo (US)
I left my home in Chicago, Illinois to serve as a Fidesco volunteer in Tondo, Manila for a year with a NGO called Life Project 4 Youth. My mission is to work with young mothers living in slum communities here to provide them with the professional and practical skills necessary to gain stable employment.
Each day, the young women come to our Life Project Center and receive training in Business, Computer Skills, English and General Knowledge, as well as participate in a business project to gain experience. My job title in the center is “Life Coach,” which describes my role as not only a supervisor, but as a source of encouragement and support as these women work to create a better future for themselves and their children.
In name, the program here is just a business training center, but the opportunities offered go much farther than professional advancement. The women at the center are given the chance not only to work but to dream; they are able to think beyond the mere survival of each day and think about the way they would like to live tomorrow. While there are many obstacles that we face as a team to make each woman’s dream possible, with each challenge given to us we come to better understand the motto that guides us here in LP4Y: I CAN’T BUT TOGETHER WE CAN!