The Strength of Family in times of Adversity

Even though times are rough for Jerraline's family, they still prioritize nutrition for their children. Learn how vitamins help mothers like Rowena, by providing children like Jerraline with vital nutrition.

By Amber McEldowney

According to her mother, Rowena, 2-year-old Jerraline is active and very animated when she is with her older brothers.  She loves to dance and sing with her ‘kuyas’ (older brothers).  Jerraline also imitates her mother, doing chores and writing things down.

Jerraline’s good spirits are a welcome relief to the family. Rowena explained that times have been hard recently, as Jerraline’s father, Geric, does not currently have a contract for his construction job, and money is tight.  Though she recently opened up her own sari sari store using a loan from the government, Rowena is considering looking for a another job to help create additional income for her family. 


Regardless of the financial hardship, the family tries to eat three meals a day.  They receive a cash grant for rice, and they usually eat fish and vegetables. Rowena said that despite having limited food, she prioritizes the children’s nutrition, especially their lunch for school. Rowena believes that education is the way out of poverty and has always encouraged her children to do well in school. Being in good health is essential to regular school attendance, so she makes sure to bring Jerraline to receive vitamin A and deworming tablets regularly. 

Even when times are challenging, Rowena tries to find opportunities for everyone to have fun. Not long ago, the family celebrated the birthday of one of Jerraline’s brothers, they went to the nearby beach where they enjoyed pancit, boiled cassava, kinilaw (ceviche), smoked fish and fruits. The whole family was happy to get away and reminded to give thanks for the blessings the year held.

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