MANILA, Philippines – More out-of-school youth (OSY) in Manila City will be given opportunities to learn and earn through Project Bamboo, a partnership project funded by the Asian Community Center (ACC21) for the empowerment of street youth in Metro Manila through alternative education, service skills, and livelihood trainings. Childhope Philippines is one of the organizations in the Philippines that have been assisted by ACC21 in implementing their Project Bamboo program. This education program aims to provide opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, employment, and civic engagement to OSYs.
Thirteen OSYs who had been receiving technical-vocational training for the previous six months graduated and received their certificates on October 5. They successfully completed the Barista and Food and Beverage (F&B) courses. According to Melchor Amante, Project Bamboo’s project coordinator, graduates will be connected to local businesses for job opportunities as well as other organizations and offices for further education and entrepreneurship opportunities.
One of the F&B graduates, Joana Dela Torre, stated that after completing the course, she felt more confident in applying for jobs to help support her sister’s education. “My plan was to pursue a college education but there were challenges so I tried this opportunity. To my fellow youth, don’t lose hope. Grab opportunities like this for us to learn and have a brighter future,” Dela Torre said.
Jeffrey Jimenez, a young father with one daughter, said he is hopeful that he can provide a good future for his family as a beneficiary of the program. “This program is a big help for me to reach my dreams for a good future,” he said.
Education Programs Aimed to Strengthen Youth Development Alliance
Having the valuable experience of working with Childhope in the past years, ACC21 voluntarily joined and started a partnership project with the organization; which is armed with long-term experiences, know-how, and vision in organizing and rolling out projects for street children.
Formerly known as Street Youth Empowerment Project, Project Bamboo provides street youth with the opportunity to address their economic needs in less, if not non-hazardous ways. It also aims to provide street youth with vocational and technical skills that would allow them to become gainfully employed or to establish their own business enterprise in the future. These will help them to become financially independent while they are on the streets and when they finally decide to leave the streets and be on their own.
Moreover, the project will also be incorporated into already-existing interventions provided by Childhope for a more holistic approach to help street youth to break the cycle of poverty. With this assistance, more than 100 upskilled OSYs are now employed, starting businesses, and continuing their education since Project Bamboo began.
During the Project Bamboo graduation ceremony, Michio Ito, CEO and President of ACC21, pledged his full support to the collaboration for the OSYs to prosper and move towards improving their well-being despite the hazards of poverty.
“I look forward to a much stronger and lasting solidarity in the future after this batch of graduates who are now prepared to meet the challenges ahead, a second chance that will build themselves to live comfortably like all the others who have specialized themselves on their own chosen careers in the academic work,” Ito said.
Aiming for Sustainable Health and Education Programs
Childhope ensures the continued delivery of its health, livelihood, and education programs and services for street children through different fundraising strategies; as well as grant proposal writing to other funding agencies.
Childhope and ACC21 are committed to working with different organizations, companies, and institutions which provide financial and in-kind support to the project and to the street youth participants; which may include free training and availability of resource persons. At the same time, both organizations will jointly and separately continue to conduct advocacy sessions to create awareness among the different stakeholders who can provide continuous assistance to the project.
Finally, this joint proposed project mainly focuses on ensuring the financial sustainability of its beneficiaries by providing them with vocational and technical skills as well as livelihood trainings to help them earn income and become self-sustaining. In the long-run, successful graduates of the project will also be requested to become resource persons to new batch of participants, which will help us to ensure the continued implementation of the proposed joint project.
Support Out-of-School Youth Education Programs Today
Our out-of-school youth have a hope and a future. Through our partners’ kindness, we were able to bring aid, security, and education to these kids. Be a part of this family today and leave a mark to these OSY’s lives. Support our initiative to provide quality education and together, let’s bring hope and a better life to them. Donate to Childhope Philippines now.