Amongst the rubbish pile in the urban slums of the Philippines, I once asked a kid what made him happy. He looked at me as if I should have known the answer. "School," he replies right before he left to play. I smiled back at him. I should have known.
When the strongest typhoon hit the Philippines and displaced hundreds and thousands of kids, I knew it was time to leave Africa and focus my attention on the Philippines.
Education in the developing world is a complex system of interconnected realities. With my finance background, I thought to tackle education by addressing the obstacles that keep kids out of school, mostly, poverty.
We believe that an educated child, given the chance, can have the lasting impact to change their community and their nation. This opportunity is lasting and can be passed on generationally. And although we've made great changes to the Philippines, we won't stop until every child is in school... Call us crazy, but we truly believe that this is possible.
To transform the Philippines, we invest in local leaders and organisations to ultimately lift themselves out of poverty -- Poverty being the leading causes of school drop-off rates. We know that poverty is complex. Because we don't believe in a one solution fits all model to end the cycle, we use a holistic approach...and we start with economically empowering the families through entrepreneurship & training while making them accountable for the success of their children's education.
We ensure that families then be accountable for their child's education, the key to their future.
We believe that real and lasting poverty alleviation will ultimately come from an empowered community. By empowering a community, we make them active members in ensuring that every child becomes educated through secondary school.
In the end, our core belief is that education reduces poverty, empowers a community and reduces preventable diseases.. but we start with the parents. Together, we can make a lasting change.
Alex is a former Deloitte public accountant who switched his focus to international development and non-profit work. He has experience working with NGOs in Vietnam, Cambodia, and India. During his spare time he provides remote business mentorship and consultancy to entrepreneurs in Uganda. His interests currently consist of micro-finance, social entrepreneurship and non-profits.
Allysa is a mechanical engineering major at Columbia University and a current member of the Columbia Varsity Archery Team. Before working at the Philippines Foundation, she helped propose a plan in class to come up with a design for solar panel shed in Africa to house the batteries that supplied the community with electricity. She also volunteered at the Special Needs Archery Program, teaching kids with disabilities how to play the sport.
Michael served as CFO of his UAV marketing solutions startup, EagleSight prior to his work at The Philippines Foundation. He regularly engages in community service and philanthropy through his fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi. Michael also volunteers at the Amanda Foundation, aiding in the rehabilitation of abused dogs and cats. He studies finance and supply chain management at Northeastern University.
Evelin Weber is the founder of The Philippines Foundation. She is also a Patron of A World At School & FACES -- both UK-based and has been active in conservation in Africa. Prior to starting her Foundation, Evelin worked as an investment banker in New York City and London. She studied at Syracuse University and INSEAD (France).
Edison is a New Zealander from a Filipino heritage. After working for 8 years in legal/public sector as a Former prosecutor and police officer, he migrated back to the Philippines to start an organic coffee and cacao farm. Edison has experience with various NGOs in the Philippines and in the growing Philippine startup community.
Before endeavoring on a project, we conduct an in depth quantitative and qualitative research analysis to understand the needs of each community. By having the community tell us what they want, we get them to buy in and invest in their own development. We interview community leaders and ask them "What is it you need?".
We believe that people are not the cost, but our partners. We make the community active members in our development so they become stakeholders in empowering their communities. Our program helps communities of families to identify new businesses within primary and secondary markets by providing hands on financial literacy workshops & leadership training.
Poverty alleviation is multidisciplinary, we recognise that this requires a time investment in order to create lasting change. With 7,000 islands, we know that each region of the Philippines has its own culture, needs and sensitivities. That's why we only work with locals because who would know you better than your neighbor?
We empower parents through entrepreneurship to be able to transform their lives for generations come. We tie entrepreneurship to their child's education. Once we implement a program, we follow up with our members to ensure that the impact we create is generationally sustainable.
The world of social change and media making is intimidating and a difficult one to navigate. After several years of trying to put a finger on the pulse of what is needed in this community of artists and activists, we have refined five key services that we hope will support and nurture the creative activist spirit in every individual we come into contact with. Check out our services below.
Education is the key that can unlock the potential of every child and transform lives. It improves health, promotes equality and helps to end discrimination. But 59 million children still don’t go to primary school - and hundreds of millions more are not learning. The world owes it to them to keep the promise of education for all. There are many obstacles including child marriage, child labour, conflicts, lack of teachers and inadequate funding.