PHILIPPINES: Donated Educational Books Increase At-Risk Youth’s Chances for Success in School
(MissionNewswire) Students at Salesian-run programs in the Philippines have greater access to history, science and geography thanks to a recent donation of Pearson educational books from World Vision – the result of a partnership with Salesian Missions.
Salesian Missions Tuloy Foundation runs schools, orphanages and residential programs for street children in the Philippines. Here, according to UNICEF, drop-out rates double as children reach secondary school and more than 11 million youth are out-of-school.
Without education, youth struggle to find work and often remain in poverty. Education and providing access to education for all youth are the primary goals of the Salesians in the Philippines.
“A new book in the hands of a student opens him or her up to the opportunities that are available through education. While this is true whether it takes place down the street or across the globe, it is especially powerful in places like the Philippines,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The Salesian Tuloy Foundation provides a chance for at-risk youth to succeed in school. Youth are able to take part in an alternative learning module with five levels of instruction in six subjects. Students progress from first grade through high school. Older youth pursue vocational training in a variety of technologies, including automotive, electrical, welding and woodworking. Salesian programs provide practical vocational skills in addition to standard education, enabling youth to support themselves once they graduate.
There is also a focus on agricultural education for youth in the Philippines. The Salesians run three specialized training centers teaching modern agricultural skills – as well as how to use and maintain light machinery that make filling, planting and harvesting more efficient. The results are encouraging with almost 60 percent of graduates successful in finding employment and 25 percent of graduates running their own farms.
“Education has proven to be an effective means of breaking the cycle of poverty, while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth,” says Fr. Hyde. “Salesian vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools in the Philippines give youth practical skills that enable them to grow into productive adults who contribute by rebuilding communities and stopping the cycle of poverty.”
In addition to residential and educational facilities, youth can also take part in the Tuloy Nature Therapy Center. For those conditioned to life on the street, the 4.7 hectare retreat introduces young people to the beauty of nature. The center also offers youth the chance to learn about farming and agriculture while using its livestock and vegetable garden to help supply food.
Thousands of youth have rebuilt their lives with Tuloy Foundation’s programs. Since it began in 1993 with 12 children, it has grown into a comprehensive program with multiple facilities – all focused specifically on the needs of at-risk youth.
As the needs of youth grow in the Philippines, so do Salesian programs – ensuring every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
In more than 130 countries around the world, Salesian Missions programs range from classroom education and feeding programs to agricultural and trade schools. They have provided orphanages and shelters for homeless youth to more than 3 million. The focus of the Salesians’ work is on making education a reality, even for the poorest youth, while also providing the essentials such as food and housing.
Salesian Missions – Work in the Philippines
Salesian Missions – Tuloy Foundation