One in five people in the Philippines are living on less than $1.25 per day. In Cebu City, the urban poor have to contend with appalling slum conditions, living in makeshift slums clustered in and around markets and even in cemeteries, where families can be found sleeping on the tombs. Living in these unsafe conditions, impoverished girls are particularly vulnerable because they are more likely to become victims of violence, sexual abuse, prostitution and sex trafficking, especially if they don't have access to education.
Too often, however, a girl’s education is simply beyond her family’s reach. Expenses such as fees, uniforms, books and other study materials are prohibitive for the poorest families. Many other parents are forced by circumstances to choose which of their children to send to school. Of those impoverished children who make it to school in the first place, many are later excluded or withdrawn because their parents’ meager and irregular income from informal slum activities such as selling street food or flowers cannot be stretched to meet the financial demands of schooling. In 2011, 90% of Filipino children enrolled in Grade 1, but only 72% of them completed primary school. A further 8% of students dropped out of high school.
The solutions we're proposing
W4’s field program is helping girls in the slums of Cebu City to claim their right to an education, enabling them to attend and complete public primary and secondary school, by providing school fees, school supplies and school uniforms.
The impact of giving
It does not require much to ensure that these girls gain an education – which gives them the greatest protection against the dangers of prostitution and sex trafficking. Your vital support helps to provide girls with the educational opportunities they need to shape their own futures and build better lives for themselves and their families.