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    Posted January 23, 2013 by
    Metro Manila, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Girls + Education: Your message

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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Teacher VeronicaLon felt compelled to share the story of Nory Anne, a young student from the Philippines she met at a conference who overcame considerable challenges, from poverty to education access, and who is now working as a dressmaker. "Just like Nory Anne, young women should be given more opportunity to acquire skills in education," she said. "Nory Anne is very hardworking. When there were situations that rendered her helpless, she began again and continued. She never stopped. That is very inspiring."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    In the Philippines, where the number of poverty stricken citizenry is estimated at 23 million (Philippine National Statistical Coordination Board, 2009), a considerable number of youths drop out from school due to financial restrictive conditions and choose employment to improve family means and help put food on the table.

    Frequently, in poor rural areas surrounded with low work rate, low production, ineffective technology and insufficient support system, many youths search for work outside of their communities. Work migration increases with numerous young people taking jobs as plantation or factory workers or domestic helpers in other cities.

    Several girls who are not able to complete their education get married and become mothers at a tender age and in consequence of that, face more challenges.

    On November 23, 2012, I met Nory Anne Sedano, 17.

    Sedano comes from a large family that earns a scanty income. Just like most parents, Sedano's father and mother believe that sending their children to school is advantageous - only, it will yield results in the future. For the time being, it involves expenditure of money, time and labor.

    With 6 siblings and the struggle of Sedano's parents, she almost dropped out from school. But because of Sedano's strong will and ambition, she took advantage of a training opportunity that was given to her in school - dressmaking.

    With hardwork, and the help of her school and a local program, she was able to put up a small dress shop. And because of a number of loyal customers who helped her earn income, she was able to support and send herself to school.

    Nory Anne Sedano is from Tobias Fornier, Antique, Philippines. Sedano is single and a dressmaker. Her dressmaking skills helped her graduate at the General Leonardo Fullon National School - with honors.

    When I met Sedano last year, it was during a conference in Makati City, Philippines. She was a guest speaker. Sedano shared her life story and has become an inspiration to many of the youths in the convention.


    When asked what her next plan is, she held the microphone and shyly said "Gusto ko po makapag tapos ng kolehiyo. Gusto ko po talaga... (I would like to finish college. I really want to.)" and after a brief pause, with great dignity, she added. "At talagang hindi po muna ako mag aasawa. (And I really don't want to get married yet.)"


    Photo 1 - Sedano, donning a blouse she designed and created, speaks before an audience.

    Photo 2 - Sedano's graduation

    Photo 3 - Meeting Sedano

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