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#87 – Mobile Book Reading

Summary of the Situation

In the Philippines, many children and young people are missing out on the opportunity for an education. The government has under-invested in education for many years and has not attended adequately to the educational, social, and emotional needs of low-income children, including indigenous children, as well as those with disabilities and special learning needs. The COVID pandemic worsened this situation. The health crisis shut down many schools and instruction was available through distance learning via the internet or TV broadcasts. In October 2021, a new “blended” learning program was launched, but access to computers and the internet is still required. Millions of Filipino families and children don’t have and can’t afford access to computers and the internet, so they are being left behind. The Filipino government estimates that 4 million out-of-school youth (OSY) were not able to participate in classes in 2020-2021.

The Sister’s Response

Since its founding in 2001, Salvatorian Pastoral Care for Children (SPCC) has formed, trained, and empowered Child Rights Advocates (CRAs) in several dioceses throughout the Philippines. These lay Leaders are considered the “eyes” and “ears” in their local communities. As CRAs, they do advocacy and programming work for the care and protection of children. Over the years, they have developed strategies and interventions that address the unique needs and circumstances of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in their parishes.

The Salvatorian Sisters and the Child Rights Advocates have developed a program called the “Book Reading Program”. In order to bring this program to more children and places, the “Mobile Book Reading Program” was established. By making books accessible to vulnerable and disadvantaged children, this program allows them to find joy in reading, offers them a positive influence on education, and helps them develop psycho-spiritual growth. The Mobile Book Reading Program is also a supplemental program for the parish-based women and children protection program. It is already in existence in several dioceses, and the Sisters are hoping to replicate this program in the Diocese of Cubao. A total of 100 children from two different parishes will be the beneficiaries of the Mobile Book Reading Program.
SPCC is sponsored by the Salvatorian Sisters.

Budget Needed for One Year:
1. Books
(12 pieces x 5 parishes)
2. Book Reading Beneficiaries Food and Grocery Packages and Medical Kit
(150 children)
3. Evaluation of the Program
4. Allowance of Book Reading Program Coordinator and Documenter (13 months x 2 persons)
5. Transportation
6. Book Reading Session
(150 children x 2 parishes x 9 sessions)
7. General Assembly of Book Readers and Children Participants and Adult Facilitators and Sisters
8. Formation and Training of Book Readers and Facilitators
(2 parishes)

The rate in US Dollars:  $ 7,650

Systemic Impact

Inadequate investment in and unfair access to education for Filipino children; Disenfranchisement of children who are indigenous, poor; and those who have special needs

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