The last few months of 2022 were quite exciting. Young Focus started to plan a new center in Cavite - this is a new relocation area 40km south of our present centers in Tondo, Manila. Many people from Tondo have been relocated to Cavite by the government.
Just before Christmas 2022 we started with the construction of this new center. It should be ready by July 2023 - just before the new school year 2023-2024 starts. More to follow soon!
Another special event in December was a Christmas party we organized for the school drop-outs children. The Christmas Party was a lot of fun with games, prizes, performances and food! During our this party we also had a goodbye for our dear teacher Rebecca, who has spearheaded the Love2Learn program for 11 years! There were tears of sadness, but there was also joy and gratefulness as we expressed our appreciation as students and co-staff. Rebecca has seen literally hundreds of school drop-outs go through the Love2Learn program, children who were then able to enroll into elementary school… some even reached college!
Nevertheless, the vision of reaching out tho the school drop-out children continues. Even in the new center in Cavite, we are planning to set up a special program for school drop-outs. Unfortunately more school drop-outs have been recorded in the Philippines since the pandemic. More help is needed to get these children back into school. Thank you for being part of that vision! And a very happy year to you all!
At the end of August, schools opened up again in the Philippines and now face-to-face classes are allowed after more than 2 years of distance learning! As Young Focus we are excited about the new opportunities, but how much more the students and teachers!!! Studying face-to-face will even be a completely new experience for the younger children!
The pandemic has really set back children’s development and caused an increased school dropout rate in the Philippines. Dropping out of school totally eliminates their future opportunities. Many youth will turn to scavenging as their source of livelihood. The goal remains to support these young people through whatever challenges lie ahead. After being shut out of their schools and having to deal with the limitations of distance learning for so long, how will it be for the students to return to ‘normal schooling’, what kind of academic challenges will they be facing, how far behind will the educational levels have fallen, how ready will the schools and the teaching staff be? Young Focus is committed to giving the poorest of the poor the opportunities to enroll in school. We invited students and their parents to visit our centers: they registered for the new school year and received school materials, uniforms, shoes and, of course, a school bag.
As Young Focus, we are so glad we have the resources to support our beneficiaries, whatever the educational challenges they may face in the future. And those resources are there because of people such as yourself.
Thank you for partnering with us and the children!
Thank you so much for the continuation of your support of our programs here in the Philippines!
You could almost imagine a deep sigh of relief echoing around the world as many countries slowly but surely make their way out of the pandemic and into a post-Covid-19 era. And, whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like for a society, it most certainly includes children being able to go back to school. For the Philippines, however, this is still not the case, at least it isn’t for most of Manila’s public schools. No one seems to know when every school will be able to open their doors to their students again. The hope is that it’ll be possible when the new school year starts in August 2022. (But, even then, it’s anticipated that it won’t be full time face-to-face learning, that online/distance learning will have to continue.)
In the meantime, in Young Focus we’re starting to include face-to-face sessions in our programs once more. Though we still have to limit physical gatherings somewhat for the sake of Covid safety protocol, the students are SO THRILLED to be able to come back to our centers after having to stay away for so long.
Thank you again for your giving. You are part of the reason Young Focus is still able to be here to support these amazing young people…
On behalf of the Young Focus team,
Paul van Wijgerden
Dear friend of Young Focus,
We just want to express to you our gratitude for being a donor of Young Focus! Times have not been easy for NGO's around the world to keep going the last 2 years, but through your donations we can manage the challenges here at Young Focus!
First of all a happy and a healthy 2022! We had a great closure of 2021. Young Focus has distributed 1000 bags with delicious goodies to all our beneficiary families, as well as to many others. It’s so good that these families and individuals had something special to enjoy Christmas!
Our center for school drop-outs has not been fully functional due to the Covid restrictions, so we took the opportunity to do some renovation.Thanks to a donor from the Netherlands, we have renovated the back of our center. The wall needed to be replaced, as well as a new floor, roof and kitchen constructed. These photos show the amazing before-and-after differences!
From this center we distribute weekly our modular teachings to all the school drop-outs. In combination with online learning we can still reach the kids with education. More than 200 children are now enrolled in the different programs.
The local government does not allow yeat the online classes but we are very hopeful for 2022 that face to face classes will return.
In spite of the challanges, you continued your support. Again a BIG thank you! Will stay in touch!
Paul van Wijgerden
Dear Young Focus friends,
Greetings from Manila!
In one way it’s perhaps a bit strange to say that we're excited about the new school year 2021/2022, as we’re facing huge learning issues and challenges in the educational establishment at this Covid time. The schools are still closed in the Philippines and, for the new school year, our students again have to rely on the online systems and written modules of distance learning.
Nevertheless, we learnt a lot last school year and were somehow able to adapt. Our staff have become creative with online classes and have developed more techniques in streaming lessons which keep the students' attention. So many young people in the Philippines have lacked a proper education these last 18 months, but we are doing our best to fill the gaps, giving coaching to our beneficiaries as well. Not only the children but also their parents are given extra education through life skills sessions, including even, for example, instructions on how to use Google Meet on their cell phones. Although throughout the different lockdowns and restrictions the children have been prohibited from leaving home, adults are allowed to visit our centers, so we have been able to meet with the parents in small groups.
Young Focus has just launched a new campaign. We want to support the children and give out PREPAID internet cards so that they can load their mobile phones and ‘surf to their schools’, as well as attend Young Focus online tutorials. Free PREPAID cards will not only practically help them, but will also motivate and encourage them to participate in their online lessons and not be left out of the educational system. See link below for more information.
Thank you so much for your continuing support! We will stay in touch!
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