Bemel Grace Arnaiz, a 15-year-old girl from the conflict-torn town of Makilala on the Philippine island of Mindanao, has been able to attend school for the last three years because of a sponsor from Japan.

In 2010, she was offered a scholarship by the Mindanao Children’s Library Foundation, a nongovernmental organization, after its founder, Tomo Matsui, found out she belongs to a big, poor family that gets by only on farming.

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