Jericho Goes Back to School

Jericho family

Sponsorship Program Rescues Filipino Youngster from a Life of Begging on the Streets

NapacorIn the suburbs just south of Manila, Philippines, lies Napacor, a community of shanties with no electricity or running water. Ironically, Napacor is built around an electricity tower and is named for the power company that owns it.

ER partner IT Tender (http://tender.iteams.ca) runs a “drop-in” community center adjacent to Napacor and serves the community’s approximately 70 families with the goal of empowering children to become educated and responsible leaders.

One of those children, Jericho, has been part of IT Tender’s weekly Night Life program since it was launched in 2013. Night Life allows children living in local squatter communities to visit the drop-in center, bathe and Jerichoenjoy a hot, healthy meal.

IT Tender staffers were aware that Jericho wasn’t attending school. They also knew he was begging on jeepneys, the ubiquitous buses of Manila’s public transportation system, and using a lovely singing voice to boost his cause. (This YouTube video, posted by a jeepney passenger, has garnered more than 200,000 views: http://youtu.be/awMQm4Fp9PA) IT Tender discourages children from begging, but couldn’t help being impressed by Jericho’s resourcefulness – he begged, he explained, so he could buy clothes that his family couldn’t otherwise afford.

IT Tender uses Night Life to refer children on to another one of its programs, Sponsor-A-Child Now (SACN). SACN helps children like Jericho return to school by covering the costs of uniforms, supplies, transportation and lunches, and providing extracurricular activities such as educational field trips and family retreats.

This year, thanks to a new sponsor, Jericho was able to enter the SACN program and enroll in grade 6. He graduated from elementary school in April, is no longer begging and dreams of becoming a doctor. As long as he remains committed to the program, his sponsorship is expected to continue through his high school years.

“I am grateful because I was chosen to be a sponsored child,” Jericho recently told IT Tender staff. “I hope I will learn so much from you and the program. May God bless you.”

Learn more about IT Tender at http://www.extremeresponse.org/our-partners/asia#b2. If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to school, your support can be set up through Extreme Response by contacting IT Tender’s John Coffey at john.coffey@iteams.ca.

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