To help more street children to help themselves

by Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc
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To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
To help more street children to help themselves
Street educator teaches music to street kids
Street educator teaches music to street kids

Louie is a man of the streets, and Luneta has been his playground.

He spent his childhood scavenging for plastic bottles and selling them to help feed his family.  He would also beg for money so his family could survive.

Now, Louie still goes around the streets of Manila but with a higher purpose --- to share his passion for music with the street children he cares for.

ROCK-ED

Louie used to join Childhope Asia Philippines’ Street Education program for street children. He attended alternative education sessions --- where he learned about reading, writing, children’s rights, good values and spirituality. He enjoyed watching videos that taught him about important life lessons.

But it is in music where he truly found himself.

“I was very excited to hold a guitar. I had always wanted to be in a band and play,” Louie said.

So he tagged along when his friends invited him to join a RockEd program in 2009. It is a project created to teach music to the Childhope street kids by the employee volunteers from Deutsche Bank Group’s Deutsche Knowledge Services (DKS).

 “The lessons covered guitar, bass, piano, drums, dance, and vocals. We would go to the DKS office every Saturday to learn how to play,” Louie said.

DKS says its Rock-Ed is based on the belief that music plays an essential role in empowering children and helps them discover their own music talents as well.

Little did Louie know that he would develop a passion for music, and a yearning to share it with other children like him.

MORE THAN MERE MUSIC

Through Rock-Ed, Louie and his three friends formed a band.  But what he cherished was the bond they shared. They called themselves ‘Abstract.’

“Di ko alam na magiging solid kaming apat. Abstract yung tawag sa amin kasi magulo, kanya kanyang interpretasyon, pero may nabuong harmony (I did not think we would be that close. We called the band ‘Abstract’ because we were very different people, to each his own interpretation, but there was harmony”), Louie said.

Louie was in fourth year high school and his bandmates were also studying. There were difficulties in juggling school work with practice and personal problems, but they pursued their dream. ‘Abstract’ was able to release an extended play (EP) with four songs representing the voice of street children’s hopes and dreams.

PASSING IT FORWARD

Six years later, Louie still finds himself fascinated with the power of music. Only this time, he shares this with street children who have no idea how to play tunes. Every week, he goes around Manila to introduce the wonders of music to the street kids.

“Masaya akong ibinabahagi yung nalalaman ko, hindi lang sa music kundi paano din ako na-mold as a person. Overwhelming na makita silang natututo. (I am happy to share the knowledge and skills I have not only about music but how it helped shape me as a person. It’s overwhelming to see that they are learning,” Louie said.

Louie said the street kids are slowly building their confidence through practice and determination. He said it’s hard to get their attention at times, but they are learning the values of respect, discipline, and having a positive attitude. Louie said music also helps in protecting the kids from vices or addiction as it diverts their attention to more important things.

As a full-time teacher for Childhope Asia’s mobile music school, Louie said he has a lot of dreams for the street children he serves. He said had he decided to give up on his dream to pursue music, he would still be the same kid lost on the streets.

“Kailangan matutuo kang maikasabay sa takbo ng mundo, at sa genres ng buhay. Wag kang susuko para maabot ang pangarap (You need to learn how to go with the flow, with the genres of life. You should not give up in achieving your dreams),” Louie said.

“Mabigat naman na mawala ka sa mundo ng walang nakikinabang sa iyo. (It’s hard for me to bear leaving this world without making a difference. In my simple ways, I hope to encourage street kids to set goals, to attain a better life,” Louie added.

Street children hone their skills in music
Street children hone their skills in music

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Group Counseling session
Group Counseling session

To be able to monitor the behavioural of the street children participants, counselling is part of the sessions that our Social Workers is conducting among them. After a series of counselling sessions, the street children demonstrated the following positive behavioural changes for the past reporting period:

  • Their understanding on the severe implications of living on the streets increased.
  • Their thoughts and behaviours toward others greatly improved.
  • They were no longer as hesitant to disclose their deep-seated problems with our social workers.
  • They realized the dangerous effects of misusing psychoactive substances.
  • Their performance in school and in their Alternative Learning System (ALS) classes noticeably improved.
  • They realized that they are not hopeless and that there are concerned citizens/groups willing to help them.

 

In addition, the street children enrolled in Childhope’s Educational Assistance Program (EAP) have been closely monitored by the social workers through regular home visits and school visits. The school visits help social workers to better assess their situation and performance in school during the academic period.  Consultations with their homeroom teachers were conducted to ensure that the students attended and participated in class. Children who had difficulties with their studies were consequently provided with counselling together with their parents so as to guide the latter in better supporting their children with their studies.

 

Moreover, through Financial Education sessions, the street educators continue to educate street children on the value of money and its proper use, and motivate them to develop the habit of saving for future use. The coordinator is currently coordinating with China Bank for the opening of their savings accounts. He is also assisting the children in securing pertinent documents for their accounts.  This quarter, six (6) youth were selected and formally enrolled in the new batch of participants for the service skills training program.

Hotel and Restaurant Service Training
Hotel and Restaurant Service Training
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A New Journey

Rodalyn or Rod as her friends call her is just another passionate girl with big dreams. Like many kids out there, her dreams are free and without limits. What sets her apart, though, is her drive to actually get up and take the first step forward.

But, Rod wasn’t always like this.

There was a time when Rod didn’t even know what it was like to dream. As a child, life was a constant struggle for her. At such a young age - a time when her only problem should be finding the perfect outfit for her dolls, she was much more worried about whether her parents and seven siblings would be able to eat a full meal before the day ended. Due to extreme poverty, she had to help her parents sell vegetables and collect litters on the sidewalks. And because of this, she was never really given an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment. 

As luck would have it, Rod stumbled upon some of Childhope’s educators while she was walking down the street with her mother. Just as expected, she became quite eager to join after she found out that she was going to receive food if she listened attentively. Little did she know, she was going to receive much more than that.

As soon as her educators realized that she had great potentials, they encouraged her to join the Alternative Learning Sessions and become a Junior Health Worker (JHW). According to Rod, this was when she first realized she still had hope. This was when she started dreaming.

While the Alternative Learning Sessions allowed her to finally attain her elementary school diploma, being a JHW helped her tremendously in developing the skills she needed to reach for those dreams. Aside from learning how to help her fellow street children out with their health, it also taught her to become an effective leader and role-model to them. Through this, Rod realized that she needed to become much more careful with her actions and serve as a positive source of inspiration to those children.

Eventually, she found the courage to join the activities she always dreamt of being a part of. Her life ultimately revolved around theater, choir, dance, and sports. She couldn’t be happier.

Her struggles have finally come to an end.

Rod has just graduated from college. One of her dreams now is to find a wonderful job in a safe office environment, so that someday she could buy her family their very own house and hopefully get them off the streets.

“I want, I can, and I will succeed” – this is Rod’s philosophy in life. She believes that while everything may seem difficult and unattainable at first, if you really have this determination to go after your dreams wholeheartedly, then you will eventually get there. She’s a living proof of how the power to change your course of life purely lies in your hands.

“I may not be rich, but I know that I can still help and make a difference, no matter how little it may be.” While Rod is already very active in the community, deep in her heart, she hopes to someday become a licensed social worker so that she could set forth to touch the lives of the poorest of the poor children in the Philippines.

The question is, will you help her achieve this dream?

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The Street Kids Carolers
The Street Kids Carolers

The Christmas season is the one time of year when the air is filled with joy, laughter, love, light, and, of course, music. One way Childhope likes to celebrate Christmas is by sending out the street children choir to sing carols and bring holiday cheer to our friends and partners.

For four (4) years now, our little group of carolers has been given the chance to share their talents with those who happily open their doors to them. While our social workers in Childhope work hard to train them, our kids definitely work twice as hard, just so they could make the people around them happy.

The kids are truly grateful to be given this opportunity. We at Childhope also wanted to show our appreciation to them, and so we made sure to thank them and shower them with loads of presents at the end of this Christmas journey. Thank you so much once again to everyone who supported our street children this year. You are truly a blessing!

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Tutorial Session
Tutorial Session

For the School Year 2015 – 2016, there are thirty-seven (37) street children beneficiaries of the Educational Assistance Program (EAP). Below is the breakdown of EAP beneficiaries according to grade/ year level:

  • Elementary          – 7 street children
  • High School        – 19 street children
  • College                – 11 street children

One (1) of the EAP beneficiaries, had finished his 2-year course of Industrial Skills Training Program under Technical Vocational Education and Training Center at Don Bosco Technical Institute. He also finished his On-the-Job Training (OJT) at Subic Drydock Corporation last June 2015. At the moment, the child is attending Basic Safety Training and complete all the requirements for his OJT as a seafarer.

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Organization Information

Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc

Location: Manila, N/A - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ChildhopePH
Project Leader:
Mylene Lagman
Resource Mobilization and Communications Manager
Manila, Philippines
$73,594 raised of $90,000 goal
 
1,299 donations
$16,406 to go
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