The picture taken in a local fast-food restaurant broke the hearts of millions of people all over the world! It captures a single father watching his two daughters enjoying their meal while he ordered nothing for himself.
The snap was taken by Jhunnel Sarajan, and it went viral in the blink of an eye. He wrote on Facebook:
"This is a photograph of a father's love. A depiction of genuine selflessness."
Many people praised the man’s devotion to his kids, even though it means he remained hungry. However, Internet users went further than that. They offered to help this family.
It turned out that the father, Ryan Arebuabo, lives in a slum area in Tondo, Manila. This old part of the city is one of the most densely populated places on Earth, with an average of 80,000 people per square kilometre.
His place is nothing but a 4-square-meter box made of rusty iron and waste. His wife left him after the man suffered a stroke that left him temporarily paralyzed and jobless. Now, as he gained custody over his children, he tries hard to provide for them.
Since the photo emerged in social media, Arebuabo received help from many kind strangers. The help was organized by Sarajan, the author of that life-changing picture, and younger sister, Ria Infante, who opened a bank account for the family.
The father is much happier knowing that he can buy necessary things for his girls, Rose May and Rose Ann. However, he remains prudent about the money, according to Infante.
The ABS-CBN News report that he was proud to install a new roof and a wooden door in their home. Moreover, he could buy two second-hand tricycles in order to increase his profit.
Physical illness is one of the most frequent reasons for poverty. After having a stroke, Arebuabo didn’t have a chance for therapy, and his condition doesn’t allow him to work as hard as before.
There are ways to help families in need. By providing financial assistance, giving clothes, food, and shelter, it is possible to make their life easier. Most often, poor families need urgent medical care and they have a desperate need for a job.
But Arebuabo does not plan to give up because of poverty. He says that not only is his job to feed and dress his daughters, but also to help them reach their dreams in life. Hopefully, one day they are going to have a comfortable life out of the slums.