Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school

by Philippine American Guardian Association, Inc.
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
Send 130 needy Filipino Amerasians to school
A PAGA beneficiary family
A PAGA beneficiary family

This is our “post - centennial” message to members, donors, and friends, because on November 29, 2021 PAGA reached its 100th birthday!

I can’t imagine that our founders realized they were creating a social welfare organization that would last over a hundred years …

In those days the beneficiaries served were referred to as American mestizos. Their profile and needs are similar today, but they are called Filipino Amerasians. And there are still, 100 years later, many more needy children than PAGA’s resources can provide for.

And now back to the 21st century, where once again, we  highlight the ongoing impact of COVID-19, which is setting all time records in the number of new cases, thanks to the Omicron variant, particularly in the NCR Plus area. Where does it leave the families of our beneficiaries? 

FIrstly, the earner in the ‘typical’ beneficiary’s family is a daily wage worker, supposedly working for at least the minimum wage of P 537/day in Metro Manila. However, many workers have been recalled on a temporary, reduced basis - maybe 3 or 4 days a week and below the minimum daily wage.

Meanwhile, 2021 inflation has been running at approximately 4.5%. So the earnings, severely reduced by as much as 50%, are further diminished with inflated prices on essential family purchases.

Secondly, in addition to the financial stress that families are coping with, millions of school children are hunkered down at home again for a second year of remote lessons that experts fear will simply worsen an ongoing educational crisis.

The Philippines is one of the last countries to delay a return to classroom learning, despite the overwhelming data and other evidence of its superiority to the non-face-to-face methods.

Despite these overwhelming macro challenges, PAGA’s mission for its beneficiaries in 2022 remains unchanged  as “to build the intellectual ability, personality, and productive skills of underprivileged Filipino Amerasian children and accompany them on their journey to becoming meaningful, respected, and actively participating members of Filipino society.”

We are proud of the results of our integrated programs for education, health care, social protection, psychological development, and the opportunities provided for the economic productivity of our beneficiaries and their families, liberating them from social discrimination and the cycle of generational poverty.

Our programs are ‘richer’ than ever before in the financial and other services provided to our beneficiaries. The content of the proven PAGA program has evolved over the years and is based on our experiences with many youth.  Our beneficiaries and their parents are required to sign a letter of agreement with PAGA committing to follow the program requirements and to avail of the services that PAGA provides because only with the family’s commitment and support do we see significant positive results.

The names, dates, and descriptions of these recurring programs and services can be seen in the PAGA Matters newsletters on the https://PAGA.PH website.

The obvious question is “if we have a solution to poverty, why don’t we have several hundred or thousands of beneficiaries?”

Of course the answer is based on our available resources. it costs money (P 30+K per child per year) to deliver our programs and services and we have a waiting list of needy youth otherwise qualified to participate,

We have had continuing success with the GlobalGiving.org online fundraising platform, designed to help NGOs such as PAGA create campaigns and enlist new donors.

We can’t afford advertising so we need you to please tell your friends, acquaintances, co-workers, relatives, and neighbors to support our work. Any size donation is welcome.

More donors are the key - and repeat donations from the loyal donors we already have .

Thanks for helping us grow through your donations and by spreading the PAGA message!

Angeles City beneficiaries
Angeles City beneficiaries
Visiting the PAGA office
Visiting the PAGA office
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Greetings friends and donors of PAGA!

During the past few months of summer break we were pleased to see the advancement of many of our student beneficiaries. Congratulations to 11 Senior High School graduates, 11 Junior High completers, and 3 Elementary graduates.

Together with other students at different levels, they were promoted to the next year/grade level despite the challenges and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. They successfully adapted to the “new normal setup”, with no face-to-face schooling. The highlight of the school year was the attendance of these students through Virtual Graduation and Moving-Up ceremonies uploaded by their respective school in YouTube and/or the school’s social media links.

School is already in session again in the Philippines, as of September 13. A total of 71 beneficiaries are enrolled now. The distance learning mode is still in effect, but responding to the challenges, we will continue to be flexible with our programs to support our beneficiaries in their pursuit of completing the requirements for higher education diplomas.

During the past few months we conducted 4 Webinar sessions via Zoom for 54 of our students with the theme: PAGA Cares: “Student’s Life Learning Experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

This was a venue for students to share their insights and learning experiences with distance learning during the COVID pandemic. Most encountered difficulties but there were also joyful moments during their online class. Many shared about having gained new friends, developed self-confidence, and knowledge, especially on using different applications such as Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Office.

All attendees expressed their thanks and appreciation for the support from PAGA especially the grant of their monthly educational stipend which was a big help for them to access data loads and/or internet connections, complete school projects, and enabled them to move up to next educational level.

On September 18, 2021 PAGA conducted a Webinar for the parents of beneficiaries with the Theme: PAGA Cares “Facts and Questions on COVID 19, Self-Care and Vaccination”. 46 attended, with Dr. John Carlo M. Malabad, MD, PhD, an assistant scientist from DOST-PCHRD as the invited resource speaker.

Also, “PAGA Matters” – the May-June 2021 newsletter, was released and can be found on https://www.paga.ph.

In closing, we’d like to emphasize our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of our donors and volunteers. Please know that PAGA management is aware of the act of support that is made by your donation. We would be unable to continue our work for these worthy beneficiaries without your generosity.

Stay safe always!

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Gregorio family beneficiary receives knee surgery
Gregorio family beneficiary receives knee surgery

Welcome to our 8th update report since we began our partnership with GlobalGiving, and our 4th update, post - COVID-19 pandemic.

A year ago we started the June report by saying "The whole world has changed since our March update".

In addition to severe and widespread poverty, what's really changed still, and most challenging to PAGA and its mission, is the public educational system, which is our beneficiaries’ springboard to becoming successful and contributing members of Filipino society.

There are about 29 million students enrolled from the pre-primary to the tertiary level  in the Philippines and in mid-March last year public schools were closed to all of them, and they remain closed today. Face-to-face instruction is forbidden, and even an exploratory program to look at reinstating limited classroom instruction is on hold.

Nowadays, students use a combination of distance learning 'modalities' ranging from TV broadcasted lessons, printed 'modules', and online resources.

Children under 17 years of age aren’t allowed outside of their homes under the quarantine restrictions, but at-home education is not easy for many of these students and their parents. The home environment is often crowded with a quarantined, multigenerational, family. The schoolwork, particularly the printed modules, can be difficult to complete and the parents or elder siblings are often unable to assist with the content. Around 3 million students have dropped out in the first year of distance learning for various reasons, including the difficulty of studying at home.

But we at PAGA have doubled down on our support for the beneficiaries enrolled in school, such as it is!

We have provided dozens of students with tablet computers to assist in their online learning. We are providing financial assistance for the basic survival needs of the poorest of our students’ families. We are rewarding all continuing students with a P1,000/month financial incentive IF they maintain satisfactory progress in their studies. Our social workers are in close, sometimes daily,  contact with our beneficiaries’ families to assist in obtaining health care or meeting other pressing needs.

Failure is not an option, and sincerest thanks to all of our donors for enabling the increased support required to help our students’ ongoing progress towards their educational goals!

Ignacio family beneficiary volunteers as fireman
Ignacio family beneficiary volunteers as fireman

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Greetings donors and friends of PAGA !

The months of November, December, and January have been busy ones for PAGA and its beneficiaries.

The return to school was on October 5, with no face-to-face instruction permitted. Online classes are being conducted but are challenging for some of our learners due to the cost and inadequacy of internet access. In addition, printed modules are made available for students where this is the best alternative.

As of November, approximately 90 PAGA beneificiaries are enrolled and participating in our current educational program. This program provides a minimal financial incentive to the student's family (approx. $USD 20)  for each month that is successfully completed. This payment, though modest, is significant to the student's family finances, and creates buy-in from the families towards supporting the education of their children.

3 PAGA families from Pasig, Cainta, Rizal and Bulacan were affected by Typhoon Ulysses on November 12, 2020. Emergency financial assistance was provided to help repair damage to their houses and for essentials,

December was always eagerly awaited by our beneficiaries as PAGA conducted holiday gatherings for the beneficiaries and their families. These were great events for all of our youth and their families to bond with each other and the PAGA staff and trustees. Games, food, and modest gifts were distributed to the attendees.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented these celebrations due to the health protocols of the ongoing quarantines in the Philippines. But the PAGA staff arranged for pickup or delivery of holiday gift baskets to them as an alternative, to permit the families to celebrate in spite of the restrictions.

January brought the hope of a better New Year for all of us - so we can soon focus only on our mission to support the education and employment of our needy Filipino Amerasian beneficiaries.

And without your help it wouldn't be possible, we are deeply grateful for you, our donors.


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Our last GlobalGiving report, dated June 25, 2020, covered the arrival and entrenchment of the COVID-19 pandemic, from whose effects we are still reeling.

Since then, we have ‘reformatted’ our delivery of services to PAGA’s beneficiaries to comply with the government’s evolving health protocols, and continue to spend the majority of our budget on combating the direct and indirect impacts of this invisible enemy.

One major change is the cessation of face to face learning in the Philippines’ school system, which will now employ various modes of distance learning, including online.

Due to health requirements, interactions between PAGA staff and beneficiaries are being conducted by Zoom teleconferencing, cell phone calls, text messages, and social media messaging.

PAGA social workers continue to facilitate psychosocial interventions, as necessary, to those families experiencing anxieties related to their income loss, and fears for the school enrollment of their children. The social workers help them plan and explore possible resources available.

PAGA was grateful to be the recipient of a hardship grant in the amount of USD $ 1,000 from GlobalGiving which will be used in support of our most vulnerable beneficiary families.

On July 8, PAGA’s Executive Committee approved the immediate payments of PHP 1,000 to approximately 20 families in desperate need due to their near total loss of income by the COVID-19 lockdown. The first payment was made in early July, a second payment during the first week of August, and another in September due to the ongoing need.

Also approved was a proposal to provide all officially enrolled students’ families with a monthly financial stipend of PHP 1,000 upon resumption of school on the new start date of October 5, 2020 and continuing through the end of the school year. The purpose of this is to provide some incentive income to students for attending school, partially offsetting their associated expenses and most importantly to reduce the parental pressure on our students to drop out and work.

This program has had an immediate positive impact on the number of youth enrolled in school.

Sixteen students began schooling prior to the October 5th official start, and have already benefited by the start of the monthly PHP 1,000 in the second weeks of September and October 2020.

In late September PAGA received approval of its application for a Beacon Grant from Elks National Foundation. This grant was in the amount of USD $3,500, to be used for the acquisition of 34 tablet computers for our High School students’ online learning needs.

Please donate to support PAGA’s assistance to these needy biracial Filipino-Amerasian children and their families. Indicate “COVID-19” on your donation and we will allocate 100% directly to our beneficiaries..

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Organization Information

Philippine American Guardian Association, Inc.

Location: Makati City, NCR - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PAGA_PH
Project Leader:
Terry Haas
Makati City, NCR Philippines

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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