Manila, the capital of the Philippines, has gained attention in terms of its poverty, especially the area of Smokey Mountain in Tondo. This has been the location of several enormous garbage dumps over the last fifty years or so, where many people earn a meager living by scavenging through the garbage.

For the children in these impoverished areas education is the most effective way of giving them a brighter future. However, the finances needed are beyond the reach of many families living in these squatter areas. Young Focus’ sponsorship of children to school offers a solution: Providing education from the day they start school until the day they find a job.

The main objective of the Student Education Program is to give children and young people the opportunity to develop to their full potential at all educational, creative and social skills levels, and to have a job following graduation. Since 2009, more than 700 students have benefited from this program. Through this program, Young Focus provides sponsorship and coaching of elementary, high school and college students. In 2015, Young Focus had a total of 450 students from all levels in school.

Some children start going to school, but then drop out because of different reasons and family circumstances. According to a survey conducted in 2013 by Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS), one in every ten or about 4 million Filipino children and youth were out-of- school in 2013.

The Young Focus Love2Learn program is for children ages 8 to 14 who are not attending school. For one year the children receive elementary level lessons with the goal of preparing them for the local schools. Every year there are about 25 students in the Love2Learn program. Since 2011, 125 students have benefited from this program. In 2015 another batch of 23 children enrolled in Love2Learn.