Our programs are tailor-made for the specific needs of the communities we work with, giving children and youth the opportunity to develop intellectually as well as creatively and socially
Young Focus’ “DNA” is all about education: educating children all the way from preschool to college. Young Focus believes that education is the most effective way to end poverty in a child’s life.
Different programs meet the many needs children experience in poverty. The approach depends on their age, their history, their capabilities and the scope of the family’s needs.
See the programs below that address the different needs.
Child Care / Infant care
The Child Care program focuses on 0 – 2 year olds who are behind in their physical or mental development. The aim is to improve their health and work with the mothers who receive coaching on how to bring up healthy children.
In 2015 20 babies attended our child care program.
Every day, parents come to our Child Care center with their babies and our staff work with the child and the mother on specific areas of development. Most of the children are malnourished which is why there is a lot of emphasis on nutrition and teaching the parents how to make healthy meals, as well as on play to stimulate physical and mental development.
Child Care PLUS / Early Childhood Education
Young Focus’ early childhood education program is for children aged 3 – 5 years old. The main objective is to provide quality education which helps the child’s social/emotional, physical and cognitive development. It also provides them with nutrition, life skills, play and basic education.
Almost 300 children aged 3 – 4 attend Young Focus classes in our preschool daily. Another 125 five year olds are enrolled in kindergartens at the local schools, which is compulsory. Young Focus provides school materials, books, as well as uniforms for the 5 year olds, and there are extra educational activities on Saturdays. They also receive meals and nutrition training for parents, life skills, play and basic education.
School sponsorship for elementary, high school and college students
For students aged 6 to 20+, Young Focus provides school fees, uniforms, books and other school materials. These are items which are required by the local schools, but families often can’t afford them. In addition, Young Focus runs compulsory tutorials for all sponsored students in the program at the Student Center, which has a computer room, a library, classrooms and recreational areas for students to use. Currently 600 students attend school.
Financial constraints, as well as educational and social support limitations are the main barriers for children in Tondo wanting to complete their education. Young Focus provides the necessary support for students and their families, whilst also offering after school activities where students can participate in writing classes, arts and music lessons and dance groups, building students’ confidence and providing a space for them to grow as individuals. Compulsory tuition classes are held at the Student Center.
Once Young Focus students graduate from college, Young Focus uses its network of companies and contacts to support the graduates in finding a job. Young Focus college graduates (Young Professionals) manage their own group and activities, with support from Young Focus staff. The alumni meet regularly and become excellent role models for their peers, and act as mentors for the (younger) students. They also prove that breaking away from the cycle of poverty is possible in their community.
This program focuses on children who have dropped out of elementary school due to poverty and a lack of educational and social support. Young Focus provides tutorials for these children for 1 year before re-enrolling them into the local schools, and works with the families to solve any problems that might get in the way of the children completing their education. In the school year 2016/2017, 80 children enrolled in our Love2Learn program.
Love2Learn students are aged 10 – 15 and due to personal, family or financial reasons, have stopped going to school. Young Focus runs daily classes for these children where they are brought up to speed with their peers so they can re-enroll in a regular school. As well as these daily classes, Young Focus also works with the parents to instill the importance of education and motivate them to support their children in completing school. The Love2Learn students can also take part in all Young Focus extra-curricular activities.
YoUNgLI (Young Unlimited) program works with the most vulnerable 15+ year olds who have never received an education and are often addicted to solvents. They are provided with a safe space to hang out and receive training in hygiene, education, personal coaching and life skills with the aim of recapturing their love for education and re-enrolling them in school. 40 youth take part in the program. In early 2016, 23 YoUNgLI participants enrolled in local schools or education programs
‘YoUNgLIs’ are some of the most vulnerable and at-risk youth in the Smokey Mountain area where Young Focus works. Often they live alone, i.e. without parents, and some have children of their own to support as well. Staff first focus on meeting the YoUNgLIs’ basic needs of food, hygiene and health. Then staff begin to provide opportunities, space and time for personal development, discovering their talents and educating them. The objective is to recapture their vision and desire for education, and to assist them in enrolling in school again, or in finding a job training program.
Many children in Tondo are malnourished, so Young Focus provides nutritious and healthy meals for all children in the Love2Learn and Child Care programs. In addition, teaching on nutrition, health and hygiene is given to all mothers, as well as tailored daily training for a specific group of mothers who form the Nutrition Core Team.
Approximately 450 children from the Child Care center and the children from the education program ‘Love2 Learn’ receive a daily nutritious meal from Combat Malnutrition when they are in class. The training for mothers is a vital element to the program so that children can eat nutritious meals at home as well, and mothers have a better understanding of how to keep their children healthy. The objective of Combat Malnutrition is to eliminate malnutrition and promote healthy eating, educating mothers on how to cook good meals within their budget of around $4 USD per day for a family of 4.
Young Focus gives training on health, hygiene, family planning and parenting skills to all parents of Young Focus students. Engaging the parents is vital so that they have the skills, social support and knowledge to bring up their children in the best way possible and can support them during their studies. Family Care works with more than 1,000 families.
Individual and group support too is given to the parents, as well as teaching them the importance of education, empowering them with knowledge on how to deal with difficult situations, and providing a support network for them to tap into. Counseling is also available for parents who need help on specific problems they may be facing.
Students are trained in making jewelry that is sold, thus providing financial support to cover any extra expenses (such as food and transportation costs) during their studies. Even when students receive support for education, there is still a risk that they will stop going to school or college because they have to work instead and support the family income.
The jewelry is designed by a professional artist. The products are sold online and at boutique shops in Manila and abroad.
Batches of 30 college students per year participate in the Tondo Creations program.
See www.facebook.com/tondocreations.com for more information!
What now? What do I do?
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