A young student in the Philippines found inspiration in an unlikely place, and like most people her age, she snapped a photo.
The picture is of a young boy, crouched on his knees on a dirty sidewalk, studying at a makeshift table under the glow of a McDonald’s restaurant. Since Joyce Torrefranca posted the photo to her Facebook page, it has received hundreds of likes and fifteen hundred shares.
Ms. Torrefranca, a fourth-year medical technology student at Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU), told Sun.Star.com she took the boy's picture because she was inspired by his dedication to his schoolwork.
“It’s unusual to see a kid studying in an environment that is not conducive for learning. Despite the smelly streets, noise produced by jeepneys and inadequate lighting, his dedication to study inspired me,” Torrefranca said.
The boy’s name is Daniel Cabrera. He is nine years old and the second youngest of six. His mother, Christina Espenosa, is a widow, according to the Sun.Star, who spoke with the family.
Ms. Espenosa told the Sun.Star that the boy helps the family by taking care of his youngest brother when the children are not at school.
When asked by local media what he wants, Cabrera answered that he would most like a coloring book and electricity in his home, so that he can draw and study there. According to the World Bank, roughly 83 percent of the population in the Philippines has access to electricity.
Cabrera’s mother added that he wants to be a policeman or a doctor when he’s older.
“I am so thankful that he concentrates on his studies. He goes to McDonald’s to study because there is no electricity in the food stall” where she works, she said. The family is also sleeping in the stall after a fire destroyed their home, the Sun.Star reported.
After the photos had gone viral in Cebu, the island province where Cabrera and the photographer live, a local social welfare officer visited Cabrera and his mother, according to ABS-CBN News, inquiring about what assistance the office could offer the family.