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Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a society where children in poverty, who work hard, could rise to middle-class status? Yet many children who are born into poverty struggle to make ends meet as adults.

In the Philippines illiterate parents cannot afford to send their children to school. School should be free but it is not.

Filipino children that are unable attend school are compelled to work 10-hour days for less than $2 to help support the needs of their family. This keeps the cycle of illiteracy passing from one generation to the next. Close to a million Filipino youths work as garbage scavengers in public dumps. The working conditions are filthy and have serious effects on the health of those individuals. Other children work in farms, plantations and fishing; in dangerous mines; on streets; in factories; and in private homes as child domestic workers.

These children have jobs that place them in immediate physical danger, risks that include exposure to potentially harmful chemicals or sharp tools, and other dangers that may be less obvious but no less risky. Children are often forced to work long hours with few breaks, taking a toll on their physical development. Others are abused by their employers, both physically and psychologically. Over six million (6.8M) Filipino children are illiterate. In the Philippines, these illiterate people, many are single parents. To pay $25.00 a year for schooling is impossible, therefore, illiteracy is passed from one generation to the next. Some leave their family, where you will find these unschooled children in the streets begging.

Their diet consists mainly of rice with an occasional bit of fish or meat mixed in once or twice per week. Daily they have to get water from the only deep well in the area to bring home since there is no city water. They do not have any electric power. These Informal settlers (squatters) live in the barest of circumstances.

In the Philippines there is no minimum wage in the fishing and farming industries. When a family barely survives on less than two dollars a day, there is not enough money for food let alone anything else.

According to the Local Government unit of Escalante City:

· About 22 percent of households were living in makeshift housing or were informal settlers.

· About 49.8 percent of the households did not have access to safe water supply

· About 47.5 percent did not have access to sanitary toilet facilities.

· About 71 in every 100 households were living below the poverty threshold.

· At least 55 in every 100 households had no sufficient income to satisfy their food needs.

Sadly, this is why illiteracy is passed on from generation to generation.

By DreamStreet North

What can we do?

“When individuals learn how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers, they have the power to lift themselves out of poverty, lower health care costs, find and keep sustainable employment, and ultimately change their lives,” according to ProLiteracy

The Hesser Foundation believes that to end the cycle of illiteracy we must allow all children to go to school. There are those children who do not want to live the life of their parents.

If you give a person a fish, they will eat a meal.

If you teach a person to fish, they will eat all their life.

We want them to be independent when they graduate.

We want to stop them from going to big cities to wind up in poverty and on the street begging.

What we do.

We attack the problem with a fourfold attack.

· We have been providing Tuition for our students.

· We have been providing School Supplies for our students.

· We have been providing Tutoring and computers for our students.

· We send your help to our unpaid volunteers so it goes directly to the benefit of the children and not through some government agency who will take a portion for themselves.


Your donations provide directly to the school’s, the money each year, for the child’s school charges. Public education is supposed to be free, but the families still have to pay for all these “hidden expenses” such as food, uniforms, and other miscellaneous expenses.

School Supplies

Without the money for basic education age-appropriate supplies like text books, pencils, erasers, paper, rulers, scissors, crayons and glue children from developing countries are often turned away from school because they cannot fully participate.

Each year your donation will supply the needed items for the students.


Our local volunteers help the children with their school work individually and in study groups because their illiterate parents cannot. We have also provided computers for the students to use at our volunteer’s home.

"Because we are poor, my grandparents cannot afford to send us to school. My grandparents are fisherman and they are getting old. My parents broke up and they left us with nothing. I want to continue to go to school so I can help my brothers and sisters as well."


What is the outcome?

When someone receives an education, these hard-working children who want to rise above their circumstances become the teachers, health care workers, science, technology, engineering and mathematicians we need so badly in their country and all over the world. With a better job they help their siblings and their parents as well. They can plan a future, get married and their own children can have a normal childhood.

Because of the rate of exchange, in the Philippines your money will go farther!

We can provide supplies and keep one child in school for $25 a year.

What do we expect from the child?

· They MUST keep their grade average up.

· They MUST not miss school without a very good excuse.

· They MUST cooperate with the teachers and volunteers.

Imagine what it would be like if YOU could not:

· Fill out a job application

· Read a road sign

· Read food labels

· Read a story to your child

Our offices are donated, we do not take salaries and we have family living there who assist us in making sure all the money goes directly to helping the children, and not filtered through others managers who would take a percentage.

Yes, there re good charities which help the poor and will help people through a crisis.

You can have pride when you give a donation to us.

Where else can you change a child's life for $25?

Please share this blog with your friends and visit our website at:

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