Stairway’s Youth for Change camps leave international students with life changing experience

International students have been attending the Youth for Change Camps since 2000 .  Young people leave the camps transformed, enlightened and inspired.  Read what they have to say. View images

I come away from my stay at Stairway feeling gratitude to Kuya Lars, Atte Monica, Stairway staff, and of course the stairway boys for undertaking such a positive project. I come away feeling hope that such an incredible project can be achieved. Stairway is one of those experiences that you can call game/life changing (and I was only here for five days). My experiences with the stairway boys and Baclayan scholars have been more fun than I can remember for a long time.– Qasim, Harvard student


I thought coming into this trip we might be teaching the kids new things, but after coming back I realized that it wasn’t I who taught the kids, it was the kids who taught me. I learned so much from them, and I know I could never forget any of them. They have become a second family to me, and I know I will definitely come back and see them all. I love them all so much, and I thank them for welcoming me to Stairways and for making my experience the most amazing one I have ever had. I also thank Ate Donna and everyone who helped organize our trip. Thank you all at Stairways. You have helped open my eyes and I know now I will break the silence. I send my love to all the kids.  – Louise, Mahatma Gandhi student

I just wanted to thank you for giving me such an amazing experience- It has truly been the best time of my life. I enjoyed playing with the boys & making strong friendships with them, leaving simply broke my heart. This opportunity has inspired me to work at Stairway or create my own foundation similar to this in my future! I was wondering if its possible for me to visit in the future? I would love that if I could. Tell all the kids I love them! –Nikki, Singapore American School.


Stairway is probably the only reason I will ever wish for a natural disaster. The night before our last day here, we Harvard students were told that we might have to stay an extra day because of a typhoon that would stop the running of boats to Port Batangas. When we were told that we wouldn’t be able to get back, all the Harvard students erupted in a large cheer. This event is largely symbolic of the incredible educational and emotional experience that we had at Stairway.  I learned an incredible amount about the difficulties that street children face and what is currently being done in an effort to help these children. I was blown away by the incredibly talented, kind, and intelligent Stairway children, and I am extremely excited to see what impact they will have in the future. A final thank you goes out to Ate Monica and Kuya Lars for their incredible work, to the Stairway staff for being so welcoming and kind, and to everyone who worked so hard to make the trip possible. It was truly a life-changing week. – Patrick, Harvard student