Youth for Change 2013-transforming humanity

Youth for Change 2013February 2013

Not only were the Lego blocks a huge success with the Stairway kids, they were also a wonderful way to engage students in discussion about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Throughout the months of February and March, we welcomed students from international schools in Manila, Singapore, Korea and Cairo. Students from Korea had the added benefit of spending a few days up at the Stairway farm in Baclayan before they came to the Stairway campus.  During their stay in Baclayan, the students interacted with Mangyan students, learned about Mangyan culture, planted trees and learned to make Coco Jam.

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Lego blocks spark Stairway kids' imaginations

Lego donationFebruary 2013

LEGO which is a shorten version of leg godt (play well in Danish) was a tremendous hit with Stairway kids. Last February, six large boxes of colorful Lego bricks arrived in Stairway igniting the children’s imaginations and ushering in endless hours of creative fun. These timeless plastic toys were donated by LEGO.

Daughter Flash



Cocojam: A taste of childhood

altFebruary 2013

Finding sustainable ways to maintain an organic farm is always a challenge.

The Stairway farm up in Baclayan provides fresh vegetables for the feeding program at the Mangyan School.  However to keep the farm running, we are looking into alternative ways to develop products that can compete in our local markets.  One of the greatest successes has been the production of COCO JAM!  Seemingly, no one can resist the taste.  Labour intensive, but well worth the effort, the farm can produce about 40 jars a month.  But these jars have no time to reach outside of Stairway because they are consumed before they can be sold!  Everyone in Stairway can attest to this.  “It tastes of my childhood!” says one guilty person who had just spread a spoonful of cocojam on a slice of bread.  One wonders why there isn’t more cocojam available in the market, since there is coconut available all year round.

The Whale and the Jonahs: Impressions, thoughts and dreams from a short stay at Stairway

altFebruary 2013

Kirsten Seidenfaden and Piet Draiby, a psychologist and a child psychiatrist respectively, authors of two unique books about relationships:  The Vibrant Family and The Vibrant Relationship,  as well as being holiday-tight-rope walkers, landed in Stairway last January.  During their 10-day adventure, they delighted and inspired Stairway staff and children with their stories, skills and antics.  Read below about their colorful impressions, thoughts and dreams from their short stay at Stairway.  You will have a whale of a time!

One year later, Baclayan Feeding Program increases school attendance

altFebraury 2015

The Feeding Program for the Baclayan Mangyan School for the 2012-2013 school year started serving meals last June 6, 2012. For the first month of the Feeding Program, it has recorded a total of 197 children served.   On a day-to-day basis we are serving meals to 170-180 students. This is more than a 100% increase from the previous school year and way above any of our expectations.  While it is a super positive development, it is undeniable that it also poses a challenge in financially sustaining the program.  The tremendous increase in the number of students who has registered for school is partly an effect of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippine government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It is a poverty alleviation program reaching out to around 3 million households nationwide. One of the conditions to become a beneficiary of the program is that parents should ensure that their children are enrolled in school.   While the DSWD program might be the strongest motivation for parents to enroll their children in school, the fact that the children will be able to eat a nutritious lunch helps to secure that they stay in school and enhances their ability to learn.

Harvard students visit SFI

Mandala created by Harvard students and SFI kidsFebruary 2015

When young people take it upon themselves to get actively involved with the world around them change will eventually happen within and without.

Michi Ferreol is a former ISM student and has participated in several of the Youth for Change Camps held in Stairway each year since her middle school days at ISM.  Now a junior at Harvard University, Michi had a vision to one day bring some of her fellow classmates to the Philippines and expose them to the issues that affect her country, namely poverty and homelessness.  She got the chance during the Harvard J-Term, a month-long period in January, where students would have the opportunity to delve into creative and exciting programs on campus or elsewhere.  Out of a pool of over 70 applicants for their first ever Harvard Philippine Forum J_TERM Trip to the Philippines, 12 students were chosen for the team.  Stairway was one of the destinations that Michi organized for the students to visit. 

Clcik here to read more about the Harvard J-Term in the Philippines.

Safer Internet Day

altFebruary 2015

In a study about online behaviors of children in the Philippines conducted by Stairway Foundation in 2012, 49% of those in the 10-12 years old age range have seen online pornography, while 72% in the 13-17 years old age range have seen online pornography either in the form of pictures, videos or animation.

Last February 5th, SFI in conjunction with Angelnet, the online child protection law enforcement arm of the Philippine National Police and the Break the Silence network, a network of NGOs in the Philippines working on child protection joined in on the worldwide observance of Safer Internet Day (SID).  SID Philippines 2013 focused on the launching of a Philippine research with regards to online safety.  Online rights is the right of children to maximize their own potentials through the use of the internet and technology. 

Online responsibilities are the collective responsibilities of all of us in ensuring that we all maintain a safe online envrionment for children.

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