DID YOU KNOW?
Manila is the world's most densely populated city, with 111,002 people per square mile.
Our work in the Philippines
In communities where we work in the Philippines, we invest in the lives of children and youth to build the healthy environments they need to find a path out of poverty. With your help, our programs can make an impact on their lives and help them envision a future they never thought possible. Below are some of the challenges facing children in the Philippines and the ways we work to create lasting change in their communities.
The Philippines ranks ninth in the world for stunting (reduced growth rate) among children. As you can imagine, most of those affected live in poverty. Malnourished children lack both the quantity and quality of healthy food they need, and too often eat processed, nutritionally deficient foods because they are easier to find and cheaper to purchase.
Our approach to malnutrition starts early, by screening every child and identifying those who need intervention. Monitored supplemental feeding in our community center helps kids gain their strength and reach their appropriate weight-height ratio. Nutrition classes teach parents how to cook healthy meals on a budget.
of at-risk children were rehabilitated to normal weights through our Nutrition program
The importance of healthy behaviors
Proper hygiene may seem like part of an everyday routine we take for granted. But for children in poverty, teaching and reinforcing these healthy behaviors can be a life-and-death matter. Each year, 2 million children die from preventable diseases that could be solved by simple practices like hand washing.
The chances for youth to break out of poverty are few. Lack of formal education holds them back — depriving them of marketable skills and the right mindset for the workplace. Without help, youth often give up and turn to drugs or petty crime.
Our Career Readiness program teaches teens job and life skills to help them succeed. The Into Employment® program connects talent with opportunity by training teens for in-demand jobs and then placing them in those jobs through agreements with local employers. Youth Health Corps educates teens about the dangers of drug use.
of Into Employment® program participants were placed into jobs with the skills they gained
The importance of employment
Many children and youth in our communities can’t envision a path out of poverty because they’ve never been given the tools or seen an example of success. Providing them the confidence and job skills to contribute to their local economy is crucial to helping youth picture a future where change is possible. Life-skills workshops, vocational classes and employment prep courses put the youth in our programs on track to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. And, our employment initiatives grow each year as youth become more involved in their communities and local employers see the positive impact of our programs.
Drugs, alcohol and teen pregnancy
In the Philippines, children and youth often feel hopeless to change their circumstances. Surrounded by generational poverty, life seems to offer no other options. The need for belonging results in teens experimenting with alcohol or drugs and becoming sexually active before they are ready. Without proper support, they risk becoming yet another generation trapped in poverty.
Through programs including Sport for Development, Leadership Training, and Social and Financial Responsibility, children and youth develop self-esteem, learn the importance of teamwork and the importance of giving back to their communities. The Adolescent Health Corps educates their peers about the importance of smart decision-making about drugs and teen pregnancy. Confidence grows as children develop leadership skills, understand their responsibility as citizens and take an active role in their communities.
of participants said their Sport for Development program created a safe, caring environment
The importance of empowerment
In many impoverished communities, children have never seen an example of a person or families pulling themselves out of poverty. That’s why it’s crucial to give children the confidence to create lasting change in their life. Our programs foster social responsibility through leadership, life skills and employment training workshops so children are empowered to make an impact for the next generation.
Although school is compulsory through grade 12 in the Philippines, many children still miss out on educational opportunities. Underfunded schools often lack qualified teachers, proper supplies, even toilets and clean water. The importance of social and emotional skills are not emphasized, leaving children and youth with only basic knowledge.
Our community centers act as libraries and study halls, giving children and youth a safe place to focus on their schoolwork. Tutoring programs are available for children who have fallen behind and need help catching up to their peers. And in some cases, we provide uniforms, books and scholarships to help children stay in school when it isn’t otherwise possible.
of tutoring students were able to finish their school year and move up to the next grade level for the second year in a row.
The importance of education
A lack of education increases the likelihood a child becomes involved in drugs, gangs and other risky behaviors. After dropping out, it’s hard to go back to school or catch up to your peers. Many children or youth in this situation struggle to find jobs and without stable employment, the cycle of generational poverty continues.
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Note: Children with the “Most Needy” red flag are facing the least stable living circumstances and fewest resources. (more)
Our 67 community centers worldwide are hubs for activity and achievement as well as safe havens for children in our programs. See what’s happening at our community centers.
Laufer Family Community Center and Youth Resource Center | Bicol
With a community center for younger kids and youth resource center for teens, this campus helps thousands of kids with age-appropriate programs, including separate health and dental clinics, a library, computer center, playground, covered sports court and dedicated spaces for meetings and program activities.