A homeless boy who was photographed studying in the street by the light of a McDonald’s in the Philippines is receiving help from around the world.
In June, college student Joyce Torrefranca posted two photos of 9-year-old Daniel Cabrera studying on a wooden stool in the street to her Facebook page with the caption, “I got inspired by a kid.”
The photo was shared over 7,000 times and gained the attention of local news station ABS-CBN.
The station located Daniel at a restaurant near where the photo was taken and learned that the boy, his mother and two siblings have had no permanent home since a fire destroyed their house five years ago.
Daniel’s mother, Christina Espinosa, told the AFP that she and her three youngest children live in her employer’s mini-grocery store. Every night, the third grade student uses the glow of the nearby restaurant’s lights to complete his studies.
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.”
After seeing his story, local politician, Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, gave the young boy a scholarship to help him reach his dream – others have donated school supplies, a school uniform and a reading lamp.
“We’re overjoyed. I don’t know what I will do with all of these blessings,” Espinosa said.
The city’s social welfare office said it is overwhelmed by the aid that has poured in. “Our problem is how to manage all this financial assistance,” social welfare office chief Violet Cavada told AFP.
Torrefranca took to Facebook to share that she was amazed by the reaction to the photo.
“I didn’t think that a simple photo can make a huge difference,” she wrote. “Thank you guys for sharing the photo. With that, we were able to help Daniel in reaching his dreams. I hope Daniel’s story will continue touching our hearts so that we will always be inspired and motivated in every situation we face in life.”