Education has become a privilege rather than a right. An annual poverty indicators survey dated in 2018 reveals nine percent of Filipinos aged six to 24 are not attending school.
One of the many reasons behind this is the high cost of education, and other financial concerns that force them to eventually look for jobs instead. It’s a pretty sad story, but it’s more than that. From cultural to social to economical aspects of our country’s workings, education is vital. That’s why the lack of it can get more detrimental than we think.
Though what our country needs might be a total overhaul in our education system, plus an improved game plan in eradicating poverty, we cannot deny the impact of voluntary acts from ordinary citizens. There are non-profit organizations that offer free services and invite volunteers to help kids read, write and more. And they’d love it if you join the table.
Childhope paves the way for street children, whom UNICEF defines as inadequately guided boys and girls under the age of 18 who have made the street their home or source of livelihood. Childhope’s banner program Street Education and Protection (STEP) believes in “education without borders,” thus follows their efforts to teach children to read and write.
Holistic development is what they aim for here, so don’t wonder if you see the kids shooting hoops in the charity’s own sports festival too. Since no one’s too young to learn lessons for the real world, Childhope also lets volunteers teach certain “survival tips” to these kids. One is how to do basic first aid. How cool is that?
Getting a hard-earned diploma is one of the best feelings there is, so just imagine how it would feel if you can help someone attain that with flying colors? Project PEARLS scholarship and volunteer programs might just be the route towards that. The organization believes that giving the poorest of the poor access to education is the key to break the poverty cycle. Children from slum community Helping Land, Tondo; Batia, Bulacan; and Zamboanga Sibugay are given arts and crafts classes, skills training sessions, field trips, and more.
Aside from this, Project PEARLS also offers feeding and health care programs. If you’re feeling generous, you can also celebrate your birthday with the kids.
How does co-creating a better future for children by transforming public schools sound like? A free afterschool program for public school kids, AHA Learning Center provides supplementary learning avenues. This encompasses English proficiency, Math assessment, and values formation. Their values formation course follows F.I.N.E., which include “real world tracks”—financial literacy, innovation and technology, nutrition and health, and even environmental conversation.
From tree-planting to coding, AHA Learning Center’s volunteer program is definitely multifaceted and fun to a fault.
Not only does this organization give hope to children by educating them—it also gives hope because of its origin story. Streets to Schools wasn’t born out of grandiosity, but of the good ol’ dedication of three junior high school students from University of Santo Tomas. Just like us, STS wants to see the kind of Philippines where quality education is given to less privileged individuals. It’s what they deserve!
Fueled by United Nations’ ideals, Streets to Schools aims to bring the out-of-school youth back on their game. From arts and crafts to digital arts (deck making? Why not?), STS upholds gender equality, good well-being, and peace in all activities.
Even in some parts of the city, lack of access to education is already evident. Now, can you imagine what it looks like in far-off areas? Good thing ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development) was established to give an alternative learning system to the impoverished youth in indigenous communities.
Students of ALCADEV include Lumads, the largest indigenous group in the country. Up to this day, the Lumads still stand up to fight against a large number of human rights violations, including school bombings. That’s too harsh to even think about, but that’s the sad reality. Aside from the lack of appropriate social services, nine out of 10 Lumad children have no access to education.
Not only does ALCADEV educate to improve the lives of the children; they also aim to make this ripple effect reach the children’s families and their community while injecting self-organization and further establishment of their cultural identity.
Of course, education doesn’t end in reading, writing, and other typical school subjects. Learning the arts also means education. Good news, PARC is all for that, and all for the youth.
With PARC Foundation’s grassroots program PARCaralan, children, particularly the underprivileged ones in San Juan and Tondo, are given free classes. Music? Dance? Theater? You name it. The organization beleives that through acquiring these skills can develop self-confidence, thus motivating them to become responsible members of the Philippine arts community.
Last May 3, the Scout team together with the rest of Hinge Inquirer headed to Gotamco Elementary School in Pasay. For a whole morning, we built bookshelves, fixed tables and chairs, and repainted classrooms. This is one of rED’s core missions—to improve the learning environment of public school students in the Philippines.
Although the organization doesn’t directly “teach” kids, they nonetheless help youngins get quality education. In a study by University of Newcastle, it is revealed that school environments do influence a student’s concentration, mood, and motivation. So, cheers to rED for finding ways to make things work out.
Art by Tyra Monzones