US$668.00raised of $650.00 goal
Good day everyone!
I am Anecharcon Niez Licardo, mother of 4 young children from Barilli, Cebu, Phillipines.
Pre-pandemic life seemed pretty good for us. We lived each day, worked hard at our jobs, enjoyed time with our family, felt fairly secure in our ability to provide for our young family with enough to get by in life. However, the past 14 months our lives have been flipped upside down. Fourteen months ago both my husband and I were permanently laid off from what we thought were secure jobs. With a young family of 6, it didn't take long to use up the little savings we had managed to gather with basic daily expenses.
In a blink, we went from being able to feed, clothe, access healthcare for our family to literally nothing. Months passed without either of us being able to access new work, our bills grew and it became impossible to even be able to provide 1 single meal a day for our children let alone other basic needs to support a family.
Many days my husband and I survived only on water to nourish our kids first but we were determined to figure this out. More time passed, with no new opportunities. The bills backed up, we lost electricity to our home, we gave up our mo-ped which helped us go further out in search of work/food and had to move into another space with extended family to simply try to get by.
Without income or any more savings we could not purchase food, so I started to spend some days out searching for non-poisonous food in the forests and asking for others for some leftovers to give my family a simple bite to eat. I reached out to extended family, friends, former co-workers and even those I have connected with here on facebook trying to gather any sort of support, loan, food I could, to help us get through another day all while also searching for work. We went from living life to barely surviving.
We tried to do it on our own for some time but eventually I felt I had to ask for support in ways I have never previously needed. I have asked in ways I did not feel I knew how but did so - imperfectly perhaps - but to support my family I had to try. I am grateful for all these experiences as difficult as they have been. I have learned to see how strong I am, that I am not afraid to ask for help even though it feels hard to ask but in a time of need and that I will turn over every stone possible to be able to again support my family.
I know I would not be where I am without all the guidance and support I have experienced along the way. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have hit rock bottom more times than I can count. This pandemic journey has felt endless and hopeless on many days. So many times I had moments of defeat and wanting to give up but my drive for life, for the love of my family I got back up and kept trying again, looking for and praying for new solutions, new ideas, new opportunities.
Never did I expect lockdown to last a year. Some days I am not even sure how we have survived this far, but am grateful and blessed for all who have offered support, guidance or some funds to aid us through another day along the way.
However, a year of lockdown, still out of work, still no government support, still no regular way to provide for even the basics of survival for my family and bills, I know many can appreciate the emotional, mental & psychological challenges this has brought to myself & my family.
In January, my husband still unable to find local work, left us to go in search of work to a bigger city. He's only been home very briefly to visit the kids but we are still waiting to hear what he is able to do or find. We have sold belongings of what we could to get a little more to support our family and are now even out of things to sell.
In March I made the difficult choice to also go beyond our small area to a bigger city to try and find work as bigger cities tend to have more opportunities. I was only able to make this decision as my younger sister and mother were willing to care for my 4 kids while I went on this mission. Leaving my kids was heart breaking but the thought of all of us starving and homeless became unbearable. I used what was left from my phone sales job earnings and some loan from a friend for a bus ride to the city. I slept on the streets for over a month in search of opportunities and I when I found one I was so grateful and excited to finally get to work again. A friend kindly sent some support so I could sleep in a bed instead of the streets to help me be able to do well at work and sleep safely at night.
My job's employment condition was my first month was a training period which ended with a test. I worked hard each day and did all that I could to do well but unfortunately did not pass my test as the company felt my English & product knowledge was not strong enough and once again I was laid off. I have technically earned a month's pay but will not receive it until May 15.
This was a devastating hit to myself and my family, again I needed to ask for help and support. This news led me towards a deep depression, even for a moment I felt like my only option was to end my life. But thankfully and God willing I realized if I gave up, then really what would happen to my kids, what am I teaching them by throwing in the towel and who would take care of them and lead them to a better way of life? So in that moment I decided I was down but I was not out. I pulled myself back up and started job hunting again. A new opportunity emerged on May the 7th (2 of my son's birthdays - this was a sign that I needed). I had a successful interview and was hired to go to Australia for 5 years as a Cucumber harvester as long as I can provide the requirements by May the 20th the cut off deadline to commit.
Here in the Phillipines to get hired into any job I have come across we must complete a full sheet of requirements like government papers, completed & passed medical examination and other legal papers saying I am able to be employed. Due to a flood in our home I had to replace all of these papers to start getting interviews which was an added and unplanned expense. I am so very grateful for those who have extended a hand in assisting in these costs as without them applying for work is not possible.
Going abroad as you can imagine is a sacrifice of missing my kids but being able to begin life again independent, not needing to keep reaching out and to finally be able to support my family and repay my debts I feel I need to go as job options here are scarce anymore. As of now my husband still is not in a solid paying position to support us and I feel I am no longer in a position to wait and see if or when he can assist us I feel called to take this big action. Taking care of my family is my top priority, I need to be able to access basic needs of food, shelter & medical care without having to keep asking for more from others and hope to be able to help others one day as I have been so kindly helped along the way.
I would like to accept this opportunity as a way to move forward in life. I have all my paperwork requirements due to all the support I received to get them as this feels like my only hope right now to be able to get our feet back on the ground. I am whole heartedly grateful for every bit people have given generously as I know life is expensive and your assistance throughout this past year will never be forgotten.
The company KZ Jeiz James books & pays for my flight, food, accommodation & sponsorship visa to work at the farm but to assure employees do not turn back or quit before the contract ends we are required to provide a cash bond of 20,000 pesos (about $500 USD) as a hold until the contract is complete and then returned to the employee upon completion of the work. My anticipated pay on May 15th will be able to cover a portion of this expense but not completely. Since it will be at least another month before more pay will come depending on when I can start working some of this pay will go towards feeding my family throughout another month.
Without work, regular income and a completely depleted savings I am asking for assistance to raise the difference of the funds to help me complete my requirements which I need to submit so I can begin working as soon as possible. The companies deadline is May 20 so I need to act fast as the harvest begins soon.
If you are able to assist me this one last time with any amount of support you feel you can send either as a donation or a loan that I would repay over my first few pay's my family and I will be forever grateful for this chance of a better life.
Donation/Loan Links Below
Anecharcon N. Licardo
Cebu City Philippines 6000
Bless you all, Anecharcon Niez Licardo (Charm)
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