Young Focus has 4 main programs:
- School Sponsorship for students between the ages of 6 and 20
- Love2Learn – special education for ‘out-of-school’ children
- Stepping Up – micro-finance and skills training project for older students
- Family and Child Care – training for families and day care for malnourished babies
The School Sponsorship Program is for students at elementary school (primary school), high school (secondary school) and college/university/vocational training. You can sponsor an individual child through their schooling.
To sponsor a student through elementary and high school, you pay € 20 a month ($ 27.50 / £ 19 / php 1,300). College/ university/ vocational training costs € 40 per month ($ 55 / £ 38 / Php 2,600).
What does Young Focus do specifically and what is done with your sponsorship donation?
Individual sponsoring and coaching form the basis of what Young Focus does to help young people from squatter areas. This approach consists of:
- Financial support to cover school expenses
- Use of the Student Center
- Individual coaching, social and medical assistance
- Extra education, training and workshops
1. Financial support to cover school expenses
- Elementary school: Young Focus provides basic items such as uniforms, shoes, schoolbags, pens, notebooks, as well as school fees and expenses for special projects.
- High school: high school students have the same kind of school needs as the elementary students, only the costs are a bit higher.
- College/ university/ vocational training: Tuition fees, basic school supplies and transport costs are much higher.
2. Use of the Student Center (see photo above left)
- Computers: students can use the computers at the Student Center to do homework and work on school projects.
- Library: students can make use of reading and educational material in the library.
- Study area: the Student Center provides a quiet area for students to study.
- Fun & relaxation: the center is also a place to enjoy ‘hanging-out' with friends (playing chess, making music, etc.)
3. Individual coaching, social and medical assistance
- Individual coaching: mentors and social workers focus on the educational and personal problems of the students.
- Family: social workers focus on the social and practical issues that may arise (can the family afford it if the child goes to school instead of working and earning money).
- Medical care: With the help of a partner organization a medical clinic has been set up on the garbage dump, where a doctor and 2 nurses work. They provide medical assistance not only for the students, but also for the Child Care babies.
4. Extra education, training and workshops
- English and mathematics: most children are behind in these subjects even when they go to school. Yet these subjects are of vital importance for any education in the Philippines.
- Life skills training: Young Focus mentors the children on such things as career choices and basic social skills through workshops, camps and individual coaching.
Why is Young Focus involved in school sponsorship?
Young Focus works in the slum areas in and around the Smokey Mountain II area in Tondo, Manila, the Philippines. This is a densely populated area with extreme poverty. Many children and adults live from scavenging through the garbage or charcoal burning.
Young Focus believes that a good education opens the doors to a better future for these disadvantaged children. However, an education costs money and remains out of reach for children whose parents simply do not have enough finances. These are often the children who have to work to provide for their parents, as well as younger brothers and sisters. They scavenge for recyclable garbage or make charcoal.
But children should not have to work like this; they should be able to play and learn. Their childhood should help them prepare for their future, in a healthy and happy way.
The School Sponsorship program offers an opportunity for this to happen.
From elementary school right up to finding a job, we want to do everything possible to discover and develop the children’s talents. Our goal for the children is that they be given ample opportunity mentally, socially, spiritually and intellectually to develop into healthy adults, without the scars of child labor and abuse.
Children are therefore sponsored through elementary school (6 years), high school (4 years) and college, university or vocational training (2 to 4 years depending on the academic level).
These children’s families have to deal with many social and financial problems. By equipping both the children and their parents during the school years, Young Focus aims to increase their chance of breaking free from the vicious the cycle of poverty.
For the children who need more than school sponsorship we also have two special projects Love2Learn and Stepping Up:
- Love2Learn: special education for ‘out-of-school’ children
- Stepping Up: micro-finance and skills training project for older students to support them and their families during their education