Manila Case Studies

Below are past student case studies, these are told in the words of the student.

From Rag to Riches

Who can say that one child from a very less-fortunate area in this world is now a professional teacher? But now he already reaches his dreams. Is it possible that poor children can be a successful one? Yes, it is possible. Do you want to know how?

Hi! My name is Jewel Peter A. Bolos, who has a dream to become a teacher. I live in Manila, Philippines; to be specific; I am living with my family at Payatas, Quezon City. To be honest, Payatas is the place that you will never want to be there, simply because Payatas is a place where full of garbage and a place which has many unfortunate people. We are living near dump sites and have so many flies nearby.

I can proudly say to you people that I am one of the products of “Cashew Tree House Learning Center”, they are the one who gave me hope and knowledge that not only rich people can go to school. When I was studying there, they sponsored for our studies not only me but all the children who can’t afford to go to school. They mold us to have a better future and they insisted to us that we could achieve our goals and we can move our family from poverty into a better life. They gave us much better foods to it, we are not only eating foods from garbage but only eating delicious foods came from them. That is why we are so thankful to have liked them.

We are so thankful to have them because now I am a certified licensed professional teacher, working as a teacher at Papaya Academy Inc., a school that giving free education for the Payatas children. I really love to teach them because I know the feeling of being them and the situations they have. I am really thankful to God also because he used different people to help us and to all people that can’t afford to go to school to have knowledge. They taught us that poverty is neither a hindrance nor obstacle to reach our dreams and to have a better future.

I’m an English teacher and adviser of grade 4 pupils. After I graduated as college, I did not go in teaching profession because I worked as a call representative or as a call center agent. I chose it because of money to help my sister to finish her studies. But after months, I took board exam and luckily I passed it, and I resigned my first job and seek job in teaching. And that is the reason why I’m teaching in Papaya Academy now.

My sister is also one of the products of Cashew Tree House and Papaya Academy. She is now a graduating student taking education, major in pre-school. It was not quite hard to help my sister to finish her studies because Papaya Academy gave them a scholarship in college and they are called “Apple Scholars”.

We are so lucky and blessed to have people like you, who are willing to help poor people even we are not in a same country and nationality. I wish that you can help more people in the Philippines and to the whole world. Again, thank you very much.


Our Chairperson Kay MacKay visited our Projects in Manila in February 17, below is a blog of one of her visits to Payatas –

Today, Mayanne and Irene, our social workers, took us to visit 4 families of our residential children at Mango and I want to share the story of Mrs R and her family.

We care for and educate two of her 10 children in Mango; one has been with us for over ten years and the younger sister four years Mrs R is a widow and works as a scavenger on Payatas dumpsite. Two of her older children have got partners and blessed her with five grandchildren between them. Altogether there are 16 people living in the squat she and her husband built many years ago. Recently an NGO helped them by replacing the tarpaulin roof with a corrugated iron one which provides some protection from the typhoons. The entire accommodation is about 10 foot by 10 foot in total and in order to sleep, they must lie on every surface and floor. There is no bathroom or running water.

Mrs R starts work by climbing the massive mountain of rubbish at 4am to try and find the best pickings, she had just arrived home when we visited at 4.30pm. I cannot imagine trawling through the rancid rubbish in the sweltering heat for 12 hours a day. She has no choice. She had large bags of plastic today but collects anything that she can sell to the Junk Men. She told us her weekly income is between 2-300 pesos- equivalent to £3.30 – £5. She told us that often the family could not eat at all in a day because they have no money to buy food but will always feed the babies first. Decisions about food or paying for school for her other children is really no choice at all, so education is minimal. Despite these hardships it is clear that the family bonds are very strong, one of the daughters who lives in Mango accompanied us and was delighted to see Mum and siblings. Another son, had previously been a Mango student but he explained via the social worker that he missed his family too much and could not bear to be away from them. I also heard how he was not committed to his studies while at Mango so it was better for him to return home.

This is absolute poverty and I saw utter despair in this lady today. I hope and pray that one or both of the daughters at Mango will continue to do well at school and be the first to gain their passport out of poverty, breaking the cycle for them and their future generations.

Kay MacKay

Chairperson. Children of the Dump.


Our sister charity Asian Student Christian Trust, provides monthly updates on news from our projects in the Philippines. To read these please click on the links

ASCF-Monthly- Report-April 2016