Empowering resource-poor families to send their children to school

They moved from their impoverished hometown to the crowded, almost-12-million-person capital city of Metro Manila in search of a better life. Finding Manila's high cost of living too impossible, they moved again to San Roque, a coastal neighborhood about 10 miles outside the city. Settling there was illegal, but it was better than going all the way back home.

This is the story of many families in the Philippines.
After squatting in San Roque for generations, they received
government-issued yellow cards as proof of their right to be there.

Even after all of this, money isn't easy to come by in San Roque. Most men work as subsistence fishermen, pedicab drivers, construction workers or carpenters. Their wives supplement this meagre income by selling home-cooked food, sweeping streets, washing other people's clothes, or cleaning houses.

Even children often quit school and go to work at a young age to support the family.

FH has been working in San Roque since 2006, collaborating with local agencies to bring these education-focused programs:

  • Children's health fair
  • Training for health advocates
  • Provision of school supplies, uniforms and tuition, as needed
  • After-school tutoring
  • Training on the protection of children against abuse
  • Training on disaster preparedness and disaster relief
  • Training on biblical values for children and their parents
  • Organizing and developing local leaders

Cosmetology training helps moms support their families

FH is helping families in San Roque become self-reliant by teaching women marketable skills.

In partnership with a local non-profit, FH provides five-day trainings on basic cosmetology: nail services and hair cutting, coloring and perming.

Successful graduates receive a certificate to offer services and a kit of supplies to help get their businesses going. Those interested can go on to the next level for certification in basic reflexology, massage, facial cleansing, hair relaxing and salon management.

This new program is just getting off the ground, and graduates will be monitored to make sure they're practicing what they learned.

So far, 26 mothers have completed the training, providing more income for an estimated 130 family members.

Now, children in these families have a better chance of going to school and having more food to eat, preparing them to pursue a future free from poverty.


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