Chance pic of boy studying on street proves life-changing

The reaction to a chance photo of a Filipino boy studying on the street by the light of a McDonald’s restaurant has shown the power of social media.

Daniel Cabrera, 9, was photographed doing his homework outside a McDonald’s outlet in Mandaue City, Cebu, by medical technology student Joyce Torrefran.

There is no lamp in Daniel’s home so he chose to study near a McDonald’s – using a makeshift wooden desk – because of the large amount of light beaming out of the store.

Every morning, Daniel walks a kilometre to school, arriving for his first lesson at 8am.

But once there he has to be careful to avoid the bullies, who have already stolen one of only two pencils he has.

So Daniel keeps a set of rosary beads in his bag, hoping that it will ward off the bullies and that no one will take his remaining pencil.

Daniel’s father died three years ago, and his mother barely makes a living as a street vendor and doing laundry.

The family lives in a wooden shack where Daniel and his siblings take turns to sleep on wooden benches.

There are no proper walls or electricity, making it very exposed during the cold winter months.

Ms Torrefranca posted images of Daniel on to her social media accounts, writing that she felt “inspired” by the boy’s dedication to his studies.

The photo was shared more than 7000 times from her Facebook page and has gained mass media attention.

Since then, a fundraising page has been set up and has raised enough money to pay for Daniel’s education all the way through college as well as provide him with more books and his own study lamp.

His mother is overjoyed and said “Now, Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies”.

The donations have been so generous that some of the money is going to help other children in similar situations.

Despite strong economic growth in recent years, a quarter of the Philippines’ 100 million people still live on less than one dollar a day, with giant slums dominating the cities.


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