Population:101.8 millionLiteracy Rate:92.6%Religion: Roman Catholic (80.9%)
Salesian Missions is providing much-needed help in the Philippines for disaster victims, at-risk youth, and impoverished families. Typhoon Ketsane ravaged the island in 2009 and communities struggle to rebuild. Eleven million youngsters are out of school, thousands of street children are in desperate need of basic necessities, and families living in remote mountain regions have difficulty getting essential medical supplies.
Provide Disaster Relief
When Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines in 2009, Salesian Misions responded to provide relief for more than 800 children and their families at the Tuloy Streetchildren Village in Alabang. Food, medicine, shelter and clothing was made available to residents of four neighboring communities that were submerged in rising flood waters. The youth of the village organized the prepare food, watch children and distribute supplies – underlining that the youth are learning not only to help themselves but also help others and their communities.
More Missions in Philippines
In the province of Cebu, people who live in the remote mountain regions rely on local clinics for their healthcare. However, transporting of medical supplies to the facilities is difficult due to the mountainous terrain.
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has worked with the people of Cebu. Recently, medical equipment was secured and delivered to the clinic, infirmary and hospital – all in need of supplies.
In the Philippines, drop-out rates double as children reach secondary school, according to UNICEF, and there are more than 11 million out-of-school youth.
Salesian Missions’ Tuloy Foundation provides another chance for at-risk youth to succeed in school. Street children are able to take part in an alternative learning module with five levels of instruction in six subjects. Children progress from first grade through high school. Older youth pursue vocational training in a variety of technologies, including automotive, electrical, welding and woodworking.
Thousands of street children have rebuilt their lives with Salesian Missions Tuloy Foundation’s programs. Since it began in 1993 with 12 children, it has grown into a comprehensive program with multiple facilities – all focused specifically on the needs of at-risk youth.
For example, youth who are just coming off the streets receive food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, psycho-social interventions, recreation and education and skills training. They also take part in educational programs, including vocational training to develop job skills. Students undergo on the job training in sponsor companies.
In addition to residential and educational facilities, youth can take part in the Tuloy Nature Therapy Center. For youth who are used to life in the street, the 4.7 hectare retreat introduced them to the beauty of nature. The Center also offers them the chance to learn about farming and agriculture, and the livestock and vegetable garden help supply food.
As the needs of street children grow, so do the programs – ensuring every child has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.
Today in the Philippines, three specialized training centers are teaching youngsters modern agricultural skills – as well as how to use and maintain light machinery that make filling, planting and harvesting more efficient. The results are encouraging: almost 60% of graduates succeed in finding employment and 25% of graduates run their own farms.
In addition to residential and educational facilities, youth can take part in the Tuloy Nature Therapy Center. For youth who are used to life in the street, the 4.7 hectare retreat introduced them to the beauty of nature. The Center also offers them the chance to learn about farming and agriculture, and the livestock and vegetable garden help supply food. For example, students such as Fernando take part in turning the village’s waste into compost for their vegetable and flower gardens. He is proud of the beautiful leafy greens produced in their gardens. He even enjoys having them in his salad for dinner.
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Sandra Kuck has graciously donated this limited-edition print “Kissing Kitty” in order to help raise funds for our missions projects around the world.