Of the 13 million primary school-aged children throughout the Philippines, approximately 2 million do not attend school each year.  Unfortunately, participation rates in public schools have decreased since the new millennium, rather than increasing as anticipated. According to the UN, it is estimated that only seven out of ten first graders will reach the fifth grade.  Rates after the fifth grade are even worse, as only sixty-seven percent of primary school-aged children will finish elementary school and only sixty percent of students who enter high school actually graduate. [1] It is believed these rates are even lower in more impoverished areas such as the slums of Bacoor, Cavite, where CHF focuses its efforts.

It can be argued that of the many barriers to education, poverty is the greatest hurdle a student in the slum faces.  While public schools are free, there are small fees that students must pay to attend school.  In addition to this, students must also pay for school supplies and uniforms.  Though it only costs approximately $20 USD to cover these costs for one student each academic year, it is simply more than what many impoverished families can provide, especially in the slum of Bacoor.  Nearly half of the population in the Philippines lives on less than $2 USD a day, with approximately a quarter of the population living on less than $1.25 USD per day.  Rather than sending their children to school, countless parents must resort to putting their children to work in the streets selling items like candy and cigarettes in order to help support their families. But, a life on the streets can often lead to a life of criminal activity, including prostitution and drug addiction. [2]

With your help, the children of the slum of Bacoor stand a chance at overcoming the cycle of poverty that plagues them, by ensuring they have access to education.  Together, we can help these students grow into healthy, educated adults.