UPDATE to Original Article Below:
We initially thought we would have enough money to fund scholarships, but our donations just don’t support the program. We sent four girls to college for one year thanks to a one-time donation from a businessman in the U.S. We have decided to just support our dental program and purchase supplies for the elementary school as donations allow.
However, if anyone is interested in sponsoring a high-school graduate to go to college, we can put you in direct contact with a deserving student. Just send us an email.
The Value of Education
In the Philippines, most students graduate from high school at the age of sixteen. For many, this is the end of their education. There are few opportunities for those from poor families to attend college.
Girls often have to stay at home and assist with their siblings. Many will end up having children of their own at an early age without any form of income to support the additional dependents. This is an unfortunate reality. For girls that do try to find work without a college degree, the pay can amount to less than $50 U.S. dollars per month for work as a maid. In families where fishing is the main livelihood, the boys must assist their fathers. Going to college is not an option.
Due to these types of circumstances, the cycle of poverty is perpetuated and continuously repeated.
World Aid to Focus Charity on Education
Since Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines, volunteers from World Aid have been facilitating projects to benefit the children of the small Island of Hilantagaan, off the northern coast of Cebu. Most families who reside there depend upon fishing to make a living. Unless they have a relative working abroad, it is very difficult for them to send their children to college.
Our previous focus has always been on basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. In areas of exteme poverty, these issues are the immediate problems. However, efforts to supply basic needs only provide temporary relief and do not address the underlying cause of the hardship. Since we are a small group of volunteers with a limited budget, we have decided to focus more of our efforts on education.
A child who remains in school is obviously much less likely to end up on the streets. Going on to complete a college degree or attend technical school is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty many are locked into.
In the rural areas that have community colleges, it is possible to sponsor a student for approximately $1,000 U.S. dollars per year. This includes tuition, board, food, school supplies, uniforms, shoes, etc. Think about that for a minute. Four thousand U.S. dollars can fund a bachelor’s degree and help break the cycle of poverty.
For the younger children, they often do not have the necessary school supplies which they need to learn. Their families just cannot afford to purchase the basic necessities. One of our students has been using the same notebook for several years. She told us that she writes small so her notes don’t take up too much space. When it comes to education, it shouldn’t have to be this way.
Currently, we are re-focusing our efforts on three key areas.
1. Providing school supplies to Hilantagaan Elementary School children
2. Providing dental care to Hilantagaan Elementary School children
3. Providing scholarships to graduates of Hilantagaan High School to attend college
Check back regularly to find out more and how you can help.