In the Philippines, young people living at the margins face many challenges like poverty, high rates of different forms of violence, abuse and neglect, lack of access to education or sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) or high unemployment. Many of these issues are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has triggered extensive lockdowns with a significant impact on the local economy. Government support for vulnerable populations has been widely very inadequate. One important way to stem this vicious cycle, build resilience in the long term and guarantee that young people are not repeatedly victimised is to ensure they become and stay self-confident, healthy and productive.
Bahay Tuluyan Foundation (BT) was founded in 1987 by a group of concerned individuals in the aftermath of the Marcos regime. The organisation began as a programme for street children. Today, BT has grown to be a recognized non-government organisation preventing and responding to abuse and exploitation of children and young people in the Philippines. The organisation 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-centreed programmes on the street and in communities.
BT chose to equip children and young people with important skills related to personal development, to lead healthy relationships, to safeguard their SRHR, to learn financial literacy skills, to get prepared for a professional career with job readiness skills, and to gain first practical vocational skills and a capacity to earn a livelihood. A comprehensive pathway, even more needed in times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic that will deepen the huge already existing socioeconomic imbalances in the Filipino society.
Programmes fall under four focus areas: 1) Resilient Children: e.g. Drop-in centre for children, Bridge & Formal Education Programme), 2) Empowered youth: e.g. the Independent Living Skills Programme (ILSP) or the Youth Leadership Development Programme, 3) Safe Families: e.g. Family Support and Reintegration Programme for children, Alternative Family Care Programme offering shelter for young people, 4) Child-Friendly Communities: e.g. Children’s Rights Education Programme, Children’s Rights Advocacy & Research Programme.
BT also runs two major social enterprises: a guesthouse and café in Manila and farms in Quezon and Laguna. Both are venues for youth practical (on-the-job) training programmes, mainly for out-of-school-or-employment youth, to help them gain valuable skills and income before transitioning into formal education or employment.
EMpower’s 4th grant to Bahay Tuluyan Foundation (BT), at the same time our first multiyear grant to them, enables the organisation to run its vocational training programme in hospitality and agriculture as well as its Independent Living Skills Programme (ILSP) for 160 young women and men 15 to 24 years old. The programme empowers young people living at the margins with first practical skills in vocations and with important life skills (e.g. to lead healthy relationships, to safeguard their health, to manage their finances), and job readiness skills. For those most in need, additional services are offered: specific case management services, support to access the public health insurance system, support to secure decent accommodation and to access education. BT also focuses on ambitious objectives to further increase the impact of the programme on young people’s lives. The team is, amongst others, testing and evaluating and /or developing task-based, learner-centric vocational training curricula, conducting a revision of ILSP programme in the spirit of gender mainstreaming and increasing the number of partnerships providing training or work experiences to young people.
Primary Location: Manila, Philippines
Funded Since: 2018
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