There are many things to notice in this picture, but perhaps what stands out are the things you wouldn’t normally notice.
This photo was taken in the Philippines and there might be things that are unfamiliar to you if you live in a developed country.
In fact, there are several things you might think are wrong here.
First, did you notice the electric fan behind the father? What’s wrong with it?
It doesn’t have a cover.
That’s wrong for most people, but to this family it’s perfect. Other homes in the neighborhood don’t have a fan at all to keep them cool in the sweltering tropical heat.
This fan doesn’t have a cover because it used to be junk. The father in this picture picked it up after somebody threw it out into the street. He fixed it to make it work again.
And don’t think the uncovered fan blade could hurt anyone living here. They’re used to it and know better than to get too close to the fan.
Next, how about the tin roof? Did you notice that it doesn’t have a ceiling?
This should be wrong since a bare tin roof could scorch the ones living here when the sun heats it up. But again, it is just right for this family because in the Philippines, it could rain anytime and any kind of roof covering is very helpful.
How about the cute girl in the white dress? Her name is Sarah and she is a sponsored through our Child Sponsorship Development Program. I’m sure you noticed her since she is the main subject in the photo.
You might be wondering why she is wearing a beautiful dress at home. She is so cute in her new dress and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. But why is she wearing it at home with nowhere to go?
The dress is brand-spanking new and was just delivered personally by a friend of her sponsor who came from South Korea.
And there is one more thing you might not have noticed. Other than the fact that it’s partially hidden behind Sarah, you might not have noticed the father’s hand on her shoulder. If you look closely you will see that it is definitely the hand of a man who works hard.
Sarah’s father rarely wears a shirt as neat as the one in this picture because he works as a scavenger. That means he scours piles and piles of trash to look for scrap metal to sell.
As a scavenger, he walks around all day looking through “searchable” trash and earns an average of P200 (US $5) a day from selling what he finds.
For the family, receiving the friend of Sarah’s sponsor is a special occasion, which was why the father wore something special. The family can’t wait for Sarah’s sponsor herself to visit someday.
Perhaps the most noticeable things in the photo are the big smiles on the family’s faces.
Filipinos are a happy-go-lucky type of people and are known to love having fun despite the surrounding poverty. Several sponsors who have come to visit have noticed this among Filipinos, especially in the families of children in our program.
Something you may have noticed is that Sarah and her family are happy — and Sarah’s sponsor in South Korea has something to do with it!
We originally published this post on April 30, 2013.