“It takes a village to raise a child” is an old proverb that illustrates the crucial role that an integrated community plays in rearing a child. The message remains relevant to this day, as active involvement is strongly needed to deliver genuine positive impact for poor Filipino children.
This fundamental tenet inspired the latest youth advocacy of PhilSeven Foundation Inc.—the corporate social advocacy arm of Philippine Seven Corp.—as it brings valuable opportunities closer to street children via the Gulong Ng Karunungan Mobile School Project.
While espousing a fun, alternative learning model, PFI’s Mobile School, through the GNK and Mobile Day Care Project, aims to enjoin stakeholders and partners in community in helping address government’s problem concerning disadvantaged children—specifically out-of-school youth and street children on and off the streets of a PFI-identified city-beneficiary—by providing them safe and accessible learning venues.
A survey conducted in 2002 found out that one of the factors that determine the visibility of children on the street is their being away from school. Their unique circumstances all the more make it difficult to integrate them into the formal education system, according to the study.
If not properly addressed, the proliferation of street children will continue.
By bringing GNK services to barangays and streets, youth street dwellers are directly provided with basic education through DepEd ALS and/or ECCD, values formation and promotion of good hygiene, health and nutrition services through medical check-ups and supplementary feeding, and responsible parenting sessions and learning.
In partnership with the City Government of Malolos in Bulacan, PFI successfully launched the GNK project at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center. The formal signing of Deed of Donation for the turnover of two Mobile School multicabs was led by Mayor Christian Natividad and PSC president and chief executive Jose Victor Paterno.
Working closely with the Malolos CSWD and DepEd local division, PFI’s GNK Mobile School cabs will be used for the “Supervised Neighborhood Play” program which targets Day Care children (3-4 years old) of market and ambulant street vendors in Barangay Caingin and Barangay San Vicente. To date, 60 indigent beneficiaries are enrolled in the one-year program.
Apart from the GNK multicabs, PFI further bolstered its efforts by donating learning materials, school supplies, bags, and uniforms, as well as the conduction of supplemental feeding programs in the said barangays.
“As our way of giving back to the society and reaching out to communities served by 7-Eleven stores all over the country, the GNK’s mission is simply to provide opportunities like basic education, feeding, and health services for the marginalized youth sector. Through this long-standing advocacy, we hope to inspire multi-sector participation and of course develop more partnerships to create the needed transformation in our society,” said PFI agency head Israelita Ferrer-Lequin.