HELLO PHILIPPINES, HELLO FUTURE
The Philippines is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, but the positive effects are not being felt by all. Today only 7 children out of 10 complete primary school. To be the new generation of changemakers, children must be empowered and all obstacles to reaching their full potential removed. Transformative education is the answer.
The World Bank has ranked the Philippines as the world’s 10th fastest growing economy and one of Asia’s fastest urbanizing countries. But despite 7.2% economic growth and an urban explosion, almost a quarter of the population still lives below the breadline in slum accommodation.
While action at government level aims to diversify the economy, build infrastructure, and tackle crime and corruption, ordinary people struggle with more basic issues, like how to put food on the table or a roof over their heads. Many impoverished rural people live in bamboo huts while more than a third of urban populations are slum dwellers. 12% of families are at risk of hunger and more than 10% send their children out to work. Close to a million young people work in dumps, plantations, or in small-scale gold mines and some 250,000 boys and girls live on the streets, either to support their families or to escape physical and domestic abuse.
Young people and urban residents therefore face many barriers. 28% drop out of primary education and risk poverty and malnutrition at home, or ill-health, substance abuse and sexual exploitation on the streets. Those who succeed in completing their schooling face a scarcity of well-paying, stable positions. Youth unemployment stands at an alarming 28.1 percent, more than four times the rate for adults. At a time of economic expansion, young people could be the lifeblood of the country’s future. But to benefit from the window of economic opportunity which is apparently “closing fast”, and to fulfill their potential to be the country’s “demographic dividend”, they need more access to quality education, to adequate learning facilities, and to better opportunities for promising graduates.
This project aims to give young people in the Philippines an opportunity to go to school, use their creativity and resilience to get out of poverty. By offering at-risk children and vulnerable adolescents a programme of transformative education, followed by vocational training and formal employment, we will be setting the wheels of change in motion. Our actions will transform individual lives, give a voice and an equal future to young girls, and empower Filipino families of the future.
To help the Philippines reap the benefits of its large population of young people, Costa Crociere Foundation has put together a three-pillar programme to transform the lives of hundreds of young people.
In the first stage, with Purple Centers Foundation’s expert and qualified assistance in educational, child and family development, 500 children, aged 7 to 18, were enrolled in education. Pupils were picked from the Philippines poorest areas and given support to return to school after dropping out, or encouraged to develop a love of learning for those who never started education. Daily classes are run plus additional weekly tutorial sessions to help students keep up to speed with school work. Life skills sessions are offered monthly while access to the IT lab is available through the week. All participants receive free health checks and medicines, plus uniforms, books and all materials needed to start school as well as an allowance for additional school costs.
In a difficult work environment, a basic education is not always enough to break into the labour market. For this reason, the second tier of the project will offer 50 young adults specific work-based learning opportunities in the culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, food & beverage services, and housekeeping services. The vocational training will be delivered by the same prestigious institution that trains Costa Crociere’s own crew members.
To conclude, in stage three, the highest qualified graduates to come through Tier 2 will then have the chance to be fast-tracked straight into a permanent position as a crew member with Costa Crociere.