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Jose Rudy and his wife, Myrna Magbanua reside in the Philippines. They have three beautiful children – Rowena (12), Angelica (10), and the youngest Marvin (8).
Rudy and Myrna met in Manila, where Myrna worked as a high-speed seamstress in a T-Shirt company and Rudy worked odd construction and masonry jobs.
When Rudy broke his back, slipping on some stairs, he was reduced to doing light jobs; reducing the amount of money he could earn for his family. Myrna continued her work in the T-shirt factory, earning a meager three dollars a day, just enough to buy rice and some side dishes. Most of the time, they ended up staring blankly at one another, wondering where to get the family's next meal. At times, there was no income at all. Their children became sickly due to lack of food and nutrition.
"We have no choice, we need to survive," said Myrna.
The SHARE project came to their village, brought by Heifer International and Heifer's project partner Coastal Core. The couple readily signed up and Myrna attended all training activities and meetings with Rudy acting as her alternate.
They received their animal gifts: a goat doe, which they named Mickey, and a female water buffalo, whom they called Tisay, along with vegetable seeds, fruit trees and farm tools. Mickey has already given birth to two kids and the children named them Carlo and Vinnie.
Rudy & Myrna passed on Vinnie to their pass-on family, along with vegetable seeds, fruit trees and farm tools. Now they are waiting for Tisay to give birth so they can complete their pass on within this year.
The whole family is very happy with the gifts they received. "These gifts provide security for the education of our children. There were a lot of changes in the way we decide and think ever since we attended the Cornerstone Workshop," said Myrna.
"We may not have a big income as of now, but we are sure where to get our next meal and we will no longer go hungry," said Rudy, "and if we do borrow money from outside, we are confident that we'll be able to pay our debts."
"Truly, Heifer gifts answer genuine need and provide justice," Myrna said. "I hope Heifer International will continue implementing projects like these so more families and communities will benefit."