A chance encounter between a student in the Philippine city of Mandaue and a young homeless boy diligently doing his homework by the light of a McDonald’s restaurant has touched of a viral wave of support that hopefully will change the boy’s life forever.
Third-grader Daniel Cabrera and his mother Christina Espinosa, who were left behind by a father and husband that died in prison, live in a wall-less food stall because their house burned down. Despite these difficulties, Daniel, 9, does his homework every night on a home-made bench using his only pencil. This was how Joyce Gilos Torrefranca saw him when she took a photo that has since gone viral. Daniel has received scholarships and support from Philippine politicians and people around the world.
He lives in a food stall with his mom Christina, a widow who only earns 80 Philippine pesos ($1.77) a day
The photo inspired thousands of people, and he has since received scholarships and help from social workers
Daniel Cabrera in School
In a radio interview, Daniel explained that he hopes to one day become a police officer “to help the Philippines.” He said doing so would fulfill the wishes of his late father.
“He is a very studious and determined boy,” Espinosa told AFP. “He would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I have no money to give.”
Daniel Cabrera doing his homework outside
A local politician, Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, has given Daniel a scholarship, and Espinosa has been given grants from sponsors to start her own business, ABS-CBN reported.
The family have also received donations of money and food from local law enforcement and are working with a social worker to see how else they can be helped, according to the TV station.
A fundraising page has been set up for Daniel, intended to reward the young boy’s dedication to his studies by encouraging people to help fund the young boy’s education.
The page has already generated ₱22,900 (around £329) and is nearly halfway towards its target of raising over ₱50,000 (over £700) for helping Daniel’s school career.