Education Support Program – Update
2017 was a very successful first year for our #BeAChild’sBetterFutureBuilder program. A million thanks to all of you who contributed to sending 25 children to school, who without your support would inevitably have slipped back into child labour.
The program was designed to support ex-child workers with transport and school expenses so they could return or not drop out of full time education. During the early days of the program it became clear that some children were missing school because of a lack of food at home (particularly rice which is the staple in the Philippines). We therefore re-evaluated the distribution of our financial support to address this issue, increasing the focus on our livelihood assistance support to children’s parents. This resulted in regular rice on family tables and a reduced reliance on outside support by improving self-sufficiency. This was achieved by helping the parents to start a small rice-retailing business, which is now doing well and providing a small income for those families involved.
We started the program in October 2017, part way through the school year, which was completed in March 2018. The chart shows how your donations of PHP 86,700 (US$1,670) were spent over the support period. This equates to an average of only US$12 per child per month at school! A little really does go a long way in the Philippines! The new Philippines school year starts soon in early June and our target this school year is to save around 50 children from dropping out of school through our education support program, so we need to raise around US$6,000 to make that happen. Our revised donation page on the website allows you to direct your money specifically to this cause if you wish to do that. Remember, just US$12 enables a child born into extreme poverty to attend school.
We must also mention our local partner NGO, CAJDEN, who have great experience working in this area, and who have helped us with identification of recipient children, careful disbursement of funds, establishment of livelihood programs for parents and ongoing monitoring and evaluation with recipient communities and schools. We are in awe of their incredible hard work and dedication.