While other students across the country ride cars or motorcycles to school, 10-year-old Ruben Nayusan and his siblings have to walk for over an hour and cross not just 2 rivers but also 4 mountains – and they are barefoot most of the time!
Every single day is a challenge for the students like Ruben who come from the Kalanguya group of Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya in the Philippines – and Ruben had even quit school in the past because the challenges had been too overwhelming for the young boy.
This year, however, Ruben vowed to persevere so he could finish his studies and grow up to become a soldier or a policeman to help bring his family out of poverty. It does not matter to Ruben that at age 10, he’s much older that most of his classmates in Grade 1 (most are still 6 years old) because he’s determined to have a better life, something that is often equated with finishing school.
Thus, despite the dangers of walking the slippery cliffs and crossing rivers which could sweep them away if they aren’t careful, Ruben and his friends and siblings go to school each day with renewed determination that someday they would have a much better life.
Watch their story here: