ChildFund Philippines launches intensive & meaningful interventions to support children against poverty
After four decades of consistently working with local stakeholders to make a difference in the lives of Filipino children, ChildFund Philippines has launched the undertaking of its new five-year agenda, with its main thrust of “building pathways towards a world fit for Filipino children”.
“ChildFund has consistently worked – albeit under the radar for the past forty years – towards the development of healthy, secure, confident, educated, skilled and involved Filipino children and youth,” says Katherine Manik, Executive Director of ChildFund Philippines. “For the next five years, we aim to reduce poverty among the country’s children and youth through strong core programs in the poorest provinces in the country.”
The five-year agenda is ChildFund’s renewed response to problems of poverty that Filipino children face despite the country being among the fastest growing populations in Southeast Asia.
“Poverty has substantial effects on each life stage,” Manik shares. “Early on, poverty-stricken mothers of unborn children suffer high maternal death rates. Upon birth, infants and children aged zero to five years old suffer from malnutrition and delay in psychosocial and cognitive development.
“As they grow older, school children have poor learning outcomes and often develop low self-esteem. Their high dropout rates make them vulnerable to difficult circumstances and limit their chances at life.
“As they mature towards adulthood, many of them become out-of-school youths who are vulnerable to unsafe and exploitative work. These youth grow up with limited life skills, often bringing them in conflict with the law.”
In response to these issues, ChildFund’s five-year agenda provides a more meaningful and intensive intervention, through age-appropriate support programs that respond to children’s needs as they face poverty-caused deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability issues.
“For the zero to five age group we have a program called ‘Batang Malusog at Bibo’, which provides greater access to services and maternal and child rearing education for mothers,” Manik says. “For the six to fourteen age group, we provide the “Batang Matalino at Listo’ Program, which trains teachers on child-friendly methodologies, establishes school-based child protection mechanisms and conducts financial education workshops for children. For the fifteen to twenty-four age group, we have the ‘Kabataang Aktibo at Produktibo’ program, which aims to improve competencies in employment and entrepreneurship, personality and leadership, as well as social involvement. These three programs are supported by a crosscutting platform called ‘Batang Protektado’, which focuses on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, emergency response and situations of armed conflict.”
ChildFund currently has 26 partners covering around 600 barangays in 19 cities and 48 municipalities located in 25 provinces located in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“We’ve been here since 1971, and with our renewed vision, ChildFund Philippines intends to break bigger barriers and build greater milestones, with the supreme goal of improving the lives of Filipino children amidst poverty,” Manik concludes.