The population of the Philipines, at around 105 million, is comprised of approximately 40% children and youth. Although the Philippines economy has been growing steadily for 3 years, the rate of poverty remains relatively high at 3.9% in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 53.7% in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). More than 13 million Filipino Children- more than a third of all children in the Philippines- live below the poverty line. Most poor Filipinos have low levels of education and are from large households where the breadwinners are engaged in informal employment. The highly urbanized metropolis of Metro Manila is home to the elite, a growing middle class and a still very significant lower class or extremely poor Filipinos. The poorest Filipinos are marginalised in nearly every aspect of life. Their access to housing and basic infrastructure is often very limited, with them frequently living on extremely impoverished communities or in the street. Access to basic services, such as health and education is often hindered by lack of financial capacity as well as inadequate skills to negotiate bureaucratic structures. Employment opportunities are limited, especially for those without education and a very large number of Filipinos subsist through informal employment such as street vending, driving pedicabs/tricycles and manual labour. Such employment is often unsafe, unregulated and underpaid, leaving families struggling to survive despite working extremely long hours, often in very difficult conditions. The rate of teenage pregnancies is rising significantly in the Philippines with an estimated 196,000 teenagers getting pregnant each year. Approximately 500 teenage girls give birth in the country every day as more adolescents engage in pre-marital sex. The Philipines also has one of the fasted growing HIV epidemics in the world with young people between 15-24 age group being the fasted growing group of newly infected HIV patients. Both teenage pregnancies and the HIV epidemic can be attributed largely to the lack of adequate reproductive health education for young people, cultural beliefs and practices as well as a lack of access to effective contraceptives.
Bahay Tuluyan (BT) was founded in 1987 by a group of concerned individuals in the aftermath of the Marcos regime. The organization began as a program for street children. Today, BT has grown to a recognized non-government organization preventing and responding to abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines. The organization is committed to building a world where every child’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled. BT operates from three sites, all of which it owns. These are in Malate (Manila), Victoria (Laguna) and San Antonio (Quezon), delivering social services at the grassroots level and 11 child-centered programs on the street and in communities. The programs fall under four focus areas: 1. Resilient Children (e.g. Drop In Center for children, Bridge & Formal Education Program), 2. Empowered youth (e.g. Independent Living Skills Program, Youth Leadership Development Program), 3. Safe Families (e.g. Family Support and Reintegration Program for children, Alternative Family Care Program offering shelter for young people), 4. Child-Friendly Communities (e.g. Children’s Rights Education Program, Children’s Rights Advocacy & Research Program). BT also runs two major social enterprises: a guesthouse in Manila and farms in Quezon and Laguna. Both are also a venue for youth practical (on-the-job) training programs, mainly for out-of-school-or-employment youth, to help them gain valuable skills and income before transitioning into formal education or employment. BT has a strong and stable management, Lily V. Flordelis, is its Executive Director since 2000 and Catherine Scerri, its Deputy Director, an Australian national, who has been with BT since 2003. Both are leading a team of around 35 staff members and have shaped the strategic vision of Bahay Tuluyan in the last years through dynamic collaborations with and empowerment of children, young people and the community.
EMpower’s 3rd grant will enable BT to invite 80 disadvantaged youth (out of school and out of employment) from Manila to participate in their Independent Living Skills Programmes (ILSP). ILAP provides youth with various training modules related to personality development, relationships & reproductive health, nutrition & wellbeing, carer preparedness, entrepreneurial skill, and social responsibility. Youth will also have an opportunity to access vocational and on-the-job training (in hospitality and agriculture-SEYA). In addition, BT will upgrade its curriculum for the agriculture vocational training programme, as well as finalise and translate told for improving the implementation of the hospitality training (known as Task Cards); they will also develop a longer term monitoring system to measure youth’s resilience.
Primary Location: Manila, Philippines
Funded Since: 2018
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