Our partner, SAO Philippines, is a long-term Christian partner committed to generations of Filipino children nurtured to realise their God-given potential to serve.
Various rural and coastal areas in five different areas of the Philippines.
How child sponsorship works here
SAO Philippines staff meet with communities and encourage them to form groups for parents and children. They help select a local volunteer who is trained to help and monitor the groups.
SAO staff visit parents’ homes, and chat to them about supporting the child clubs for all families in the community.
Another important aspect of the program is working together with the local government and community volunteers who support the activities of the children's and adults' groups and build the knowledge and skills of the group members.
The Children's Clubs
Children's clubs are formed in each community where SAO Philippines is working. Each club has about 30 members and from within the group, the children select 10-20 members to become child partners (the children who represent the program and their community to Australian supporters).
These groups are an important part of the program, as they allow children to participate in the program, contributing their ideas, implementing activities and reporting back on the impact of the program. And the clubs are also really a really great space to have fun and form friendships.
The clubs are organised so that children of a similar age are in the same group and they can choose activities and training that is most relevant to them. Some of the clubs are learning about eating a balanced diet and about basic hygiene like brushing their teeth and washing their hands.
The children are keen to build their confidence to speak out on community issues that affect them. They are also actively ‘recruiting’ other children to come along to the children's club meetings! They see the potential that they have for changing their whole community.
Parents and other community members are part of adults' groups. These groups focus on collecting savings, so they can give loans to the group members for income earning projects. They also have the opportunity to learn about topics like nutrition and health care and some have requested some small business training to help boost their income.
Duty Bearers Committee
SAO Philippines and the local government have also formed a network of duty bearers that come together to discuss all the different projects going on in the communities. This helps everyone to share information and make sure that projects are most effective, not overlapping and leaving gaps.
"My family is happier and we have a much closer relationship." - Roselyn
Life for Roselyn and her family hasn’t been easy. Struggling with the stress of poverty, her father turned to alcohol. Her mother had to provide for the family without his help and Roselyn’s family began to crumble.
Things began to change when Roselyn’s parents took part in a marriage enrichment program run through the program. Her dad resolved to stop drinking and to learn more about fulfilling his role as a father. Her parents are both part of a self-group that continues to support them.
This project facilitates parenting and family workshops, helping parents understand their responsibilities and learning how they can better provide a safe, peaceful and nurturing environment for their children.
Far from struggling to survive, Roselyn’s family now run a small business growing and selling vegetables and meals at a roadside stall, and Roselyn grows flowers to attract customers. But the biggest impact of the program has been to her family life. “My family is happier and we have a much closer relationship.”