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Ronita with her sons in their one-room home in Quezon City, Philippines (Caritas Australia/Richard Wainwright)

Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign this week introduces Ronita, a young mother of two who has been supported to finish her education and secure work.

Ronita, 22, lives with her husband and two young children in a slum in the Philippines. Her husband works seven days a week in waste disposal, from 3am to 9pm each day. It is exhausting, laborious work, made harder by the very hot climate. 

Despite this, Ronita and her husband are only able to rent a small brick room measuring about 10 square meters. 

Growing up, Ronita’s family faced many challenges. She grew up with her mum, who worked three jobs because Ronita’s father left their family. Ronita has two brothers who married young and never finished school. Ronita left school when she became pregnant as a teenager and was at risk of never re-entering the education system after having her first child at 17. 

With the support of Caritas Australia’s learning and development centre partner in the Philippines, the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), Ronita resumed her studies. She has since secured a job at a call centre, which required a Grade 12 Senior High School Diploma to apply. 

“One day, I hope I will be a schoolteacher, just like Ma’am Jen and Ma’am Grace (her former teachers at FCJ),” Ronita said. “I feel hopeful for the future. Now it’s not impossible for me to achieve my dream. Thank you for that.” 

For details on how to support Project Compassion this Lent, visit

Find out more about Ronita and watch her story here: Ronita’s story.


Project Compassion Week 2 – Ronita’s story (Caritas Australia)