Poverty Reduction through Education

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Education is vital in poverty reduction. According to the study of Ducanes and Tan (2014), poverty incidence drops to 2.4% in a household with at least one college graduate. Thus, getting a college degree is important, with a 98% poverty reduction indicator in the Philippines.

Caritas Manila, the social services and development ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila, through its education program helps liberate individuals and families from poverty. Formerly dubbed as Educational Assistant Program (EAP), Caritas Manila’s flagship program Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) has assisted over 10,000 graduates.

One graduate under EAP, Johnny Dizon, shares how Caritas Manila helped him through the scholarship program. His mother worked as fish vendor and his father as a newspaper vendor. He experienced going to school without allowance and without eating breakfast because of poverty. There were also times that he would eat only once a day ‘coz their income is not enough for the day. To help his family, he worked at a very young age.

Despite all the challenges, he studied hard and has been a consistent honor student since Grade 1. He was also an active member of their choir in Birhen ng Lourdes Parish in Caloocan City.

His perseverance paid off when he finished his studies. He was the first to graduate in college in his family and worked hard as the breadwinner. Opportunities came his way after he graduate and his dreams started unfolding. Through hardwork and education he gained, he was able to help his family get out of poverty.

“Huwag tayong magsawa at mapagod sa pagtulong sa ating pamilya at sa ating kapwa. Matuto tayong makinig sa mga istorya ng paghihirap ng ating ina at mga kapatid, sapagkat doon natin malalaman kung paano natin haharapin ang ating mga pinapangarap. At higit sa lahat, ibalik natin ang papuri at pagsamba sa ating Panginoon na Siyang pinagmumulan ng ating pag-asa, lakas at dakilang pagmamahal,” he said.

According to Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, Caritas Manila continues to strengthen its education program, extending its help to the poorest regions especially in Mindanao and Yolanda-hit areas.

“As we approach the beginning of school year, we continue to raise funds so we can help more youth with their education,” Fr. Pascual said.

Caritas Manila currently helps 5,000 students nationwide. To know more about YSLEP, visit www.caritasmanila.org.ph or call (632) 563-9311, 564-0205, 0999-7943455, 0905-4285001, or 0929-8343857.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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