MANILA, Philippines – Eleven participants of Childhope Philippines’ Vocational – Technical Skills Training Project graduated along with other youths from Manila Manpower Development Center (MMDC), December 10, 2018 at the Bulwagan ng Maynila in Manila City Hall.
Nearly 300 graduates attended the ceremony and received their certificate of accomplishment.
The VocTech Project, a partnership between Childhope Philippines, ACC21 and Citi Philippines aims to provide opportunities for better employment among out-of-school-youth, ages 16-20 years old, living and working in the streets of Metro Manila.
The said participants trained on food and beverages services, massage and wellness, and basic grooming and cosmetology. They have completed 6 months training with subsequent on-the-job training in one of the known hotels in Manila.
JayJay Masa, a 20-year old project participant, was emotional during the ceremony while watching his fellow graduates receiving their certificates.
“Sa loob ng naranasan kong hirap at sa pagtitiyaga ko, mayroon kami napatunayan na mayroon pang pag asa para sa amin,” Masa said during the interview. (With hard work and patience, we have proven that there is still hope for us.)
“Halos lahat po ng trabahong kalye ay nasubukan ko na. Mahirap po dahil hindi permanente ang ganun trabaho. Minsan kulang pa kinikita namin para magkaroon ng makakain. Kaya malaking tulong po ang VocTech para sa amin. Magkakaroon na po ng maayos na trabaho para sa amin na matatawag namin tunay na propesyon,” he added. (I think almost of the street work I know, I have already tried. It’s really difficult because the work is not permanent. Sometimes we do not earn enough to have something to eat. VocTech is a great help for us. We will have a chance for a better that we can call a real profession)
Meanwhile, Manila City Mayor Hon. Joseph Estrada and the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW) head Ms. Nenita Tanyag graced the ceremony and provided some loot bags for all the graduates.
“You are about to encounter new and different challenges. You have developed skills, both academically and in trade. You have matured, and you have what it takes to move forward in whatever directions you choose,” Ms. Tanyag told the graduates.
Under the Vocational-Technical Skills Training Project, street children are taught to live independently and responsibly. They attend sessions on values, skills for life, and financial education. They undergo on-the-job training and practice the value of saving.
Childhope Philippines, ACC21 and Citi Philippines aim to raise street children’s confidence and character. The street children are able to support their family needs, while also working on their goals and achieving their dreams.