Stairway Foundation Where: Puerto Galera, Philippines Partner since: 2012 (current agreement runs until 2017) Current level of engagement (April 2016): medium www.stairwayfoundation.org
ABOUT: Stairway’s programs are geared to promote and protect children’s rights, and inspire children and youth to develop to their fullest potentials and capabilities. Stairway’s key programs are: Break the Silence: campaigning, network building and training for the prevention of child sexual abuse and the Community Education Assistance through which Stairway runs a school feeding program at the Elementary School in the Iraya community, successfully pulling most of the indigenous children into school. Stairway also provides scholarships for around 300 youth from the Puerto Galera area that show a high level of financial need and an interest in continuing their education in high school and to acquire valuable life skills. All Iraya elementary graduates have preferential access to the scholarship program.
NEED: While the tourism industry has brought in jobs and pockets of financial wealth in Puerto Galera, a large number of the population still live in abject poverty. Poor out-of-school youth are much more likely to fall prey to the tourist-related sex industry that thrives in parts of Puerto Galera. Among the most vulnerable children and youth in the area are the Iraya, a sub-group of the Mangyan, local indigenous group. Having been pushed away from their ancestral lands, many of them now resort to doing daily labor work, begging in the streets or selling small objects to tourists. Iraya are hugely discriminated, with young girls at immediate risk of trafficking and young men often blamed for local crime.
WHAT WE DO: In 2012 Firetree provided a loan to secure land in Puerto Galera on which the Stairway Learning and Resource Center was built. The funds from the yearly repayment of this loan are fully re-invested in the Community Education Program. We have been partners with Stairway since our inception and supported the expansion of the Break the Silence program in Asia. We are also committed to supporting the development of a new strategic plan for Stairway for the coming years.
Copyright (c) 2017 All rights reserved by the Firetree Asia Foundation.