UNHCR Education Project, Philippines
In the past four decades hundreds of thousands of people on the southern island of Mindanao have been forced to flee their homes because of one of the world’s longest conflicts. An estimated 100,000 displaced people are in central Mindanao alone, and an average 30,000 more are displaced each month.
More than 38,000 are under-18 and of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Education is vital to this group, but a lack of facilities and the poor economic situation of families mean that school attendance rates are very low.
With the support of a €100,000 donation from the Lebara Foundation, the UNHCR in the Philippines is further opening up access to education for displaced communities through a programme of support and training.
Birth registration documents are needed for children to qualify for state welfare and education, so the UNHCR has helped more than 23,000 people to get them. It has also funded the construction of three new Children’s Learning Centres and two new classrooms in an existing school, where several hundred primary school children are now being taught.
Adult education is also a focus, particularly for women, so the UNHCR has run vocational training with 3,519 youth and adult females, with financial support to help them establish their own businesses, empowering them to enhance their own future prospects.