Annual treasure hunt teaches new kids about children's rights

August 2012

One of the best ways to get children to learn is through play and what better way to help new Stairway kids to learn about their rights and the environment than with a treasure hunt?  Exciting, engaging and unforgettable, the children followed treasure maps and encountered fun obstacles and challenges.

Donned in colorful costumes, staff and children participated in the full-day event.  "We're amazed that we can work together as a group," expressed the children.  "We give our trust to one another not only in dealing with the challenges, but also when it comes to answering questions." 

At the end of the hunt, the children enjoyed the wonderful treats found in the buried treasure chests.  It was indeed a great day!

Click here to view images.

Scholars return to school

June 2012

Every child has the right to an education which develops their personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. 

Last June 2, Stairway provided for 110 scholars for the 2012-2013 school term..  Preparations for the annual distribution of school supplies and uniforms went smoothly in part because of the help of some of the college and high school scholars who assisted with the packing and listing of supplies.  The distribution was attended by parents and scholars with a range of activities that included a review of the 2011-2012 scholarship program, revisiting the policy and rules of the scholarship program and welcoming of the new scholars.  Aside from school supplies, the scholarship also provides for:  tuition fees, a monthly allowance, Parent Teacher Association contributions, fare allowance, lunch allowance and school projects. 

During the summer break, Stairway provides summer tutorials and workshops for scholars as well as CSAP sessions for both the scholars and their parents.

Click here to learn more about the Stairway Community Scholars Program.

School enrollment doubles with Elementary School Feeding Program

June 2012

We are currently in the third week of the Baclayan Elementary School Feeding Program. Each school day parents of the elementary students cook a nutritious lunch that is served within the recently built school kitchen. Since the commencement of the program on January 9th, daily attendance rates have more than doubled. We hope the feeding program will continue tonot only encourage children to go to school but also support the development of a genuine love of learning.  The Feeding Program will act as a springboard for the continued implementation of Stairway’s mandate: “protection of children’s rights – by empowering children through learning in order to mitigate prejudices and poverty. 

Baclayan is one of the barangays in Puerto Galera that is primarily inhabited by the Mangyan indigenous people of Oriental Mindoro.  Survivingprimarily off of subsistence agriculture and the selling of baskets to tourists, the Mangyan peoples of Baclayan face constant discrimination and poverty.

A change in perspective for police cadets and social workers

June 2012

Stairway’s advocacy arm, Break the Silence, has become a powerful force in disseminating adequate and practical information as well as giving training workshops on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (CSAP) within the Philippine law enforcement.  SFI began trainings in 2006 with educating a few thousand police recruits, career course students and some senior officers from different Regional Training Schools.  A milestone was reached in 2009, when the chief of the Philippine Police National Training Institute endorsed the training to all schools, thus giving the SFI CSAP team access to all 17 Regional Training Schools nationwide. 

From Street to Staff

June 2012

Always with a bright smile on his face, Mark has never shied away from a challenge.  An outgoing and very talented young man, who just turned 18, Mark de Leon came to Stairway when he was 13 years old.  He was rescued from a detention center in Manila.  The conditions of life there were no laughing matter for him.  During storytelling sessions, Mark would sometimes share his experiences about the abuses he and other children endured while in the detention centers. 

The Stairway Project - Not a movie. A movement.

June 2012

Young people helping young people is always something positive and powerful.

A team of students from an American high school in Exeter, New Hampshire are embarking on a project to raise funds to produce a documentary film in an effort to promote global awareness to the plight of street children and Stairway Foundation's work to help them.  The students will travel from the United States to the Philippines in late July this year.  They will stay for three weeks and follow the children under Stairway's program.  An interesting aspect of the film is how the students themselves will be shaped by the experience of interacting with the children and learning about their realities.

For more information please visit The Stairway Project at:

The challenges of the cultural gap-a letter from a volunteer

June 2012

In November I left my home to save the world. It became the beginning of a very special friendship with a group of people, who are very different from myself in many ways. My project at Stairway, mostly concentrated around on the Stairway farm on Baclayan, a mountain about 10 km from Stairway Foundation. Here the locals as well as the workers belong to the Mangyan tribe. I naturally have a lot of experiences from up the mountain, but these are not to be described in the following. However, what I want to share now is my understanding of the social relations and interactions across the cultural gap, which forms a great deal of challenges that we are to face when working as an organisation.

Football facilitates friendships and fun

June 2012

“Beep! Beep! Beep!” The alarm squeals in my ear. I roll over and see it is 4:30 AM. On any other day, I would just ignore the sound and instantly fall back into the night’s imaginings, but today is different. I am full of energy and anticipation, because it is the first day that the Baclayan children will take part in the practices of the local soccer program named Puerto Galera Football Club. It is time to begin my pre-dawn trek up to Baclayan. I flag down a tricycle and am soon engrossed in meditations of the days’ events to the backdrop of the motor’s hum. Upon arriving at Santo Nino trailhead, I embark upon the hour trek towards the center of Baclayan. I began my ascent as the first golden beams illuminate the path that lies ahead.

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