Sponsor a Child
Q: What does it mean to sponsor a child?
A: When you sponsor a child, 100% of your money goes to pay the tuition fees for that child so they can attend school. This is an enormous help to the child and the child's family. Sometimes, it enables a student to continue schooling (without your sponsorship, they wouldn't be able to go to school at all). Other times, it offers financial relief to the family so that they can use the money that would have gone to paying tuition to other necessities such as food and rent. The majority of the families in this area are barely getting by, living day to day for food and other needs.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: For elementary students (Grade 1-6), the tuition costs 13,000won a month (or 130,000won for the school year - based on 10 months of tuition).
For high school students (Grade 7-12), the tuition costs 20,000won a month (or 200,000won for the school year - based on 10 months of tuition).
EAC also provides free transportation to and from school on the EAC jeepney for the sponsored students.
Q: How does EAC choose a child?
A: EAC spends a lot of time looking into the background of the children and their families. Visits are made to the homes, and the parents and children are interviewed to ensure that they are a good fit for the EAC program. We work with local teachers and staff who have lived in San Jose their entire lives so we can find students like May Ann who stopped going to school because the family had no money despite being a top student or identify children like Shamelle, who are struggling to stay in school because of their poor circumstances. Follow up visits are held regularly to keep updated on the children's lives.
Q: Why is the cost so low?
A: The school the children attend has a mission to help the poor, and as such has not raised its tuition fees in over a decade. While most everything is much cheaper in the Philippines compared with other countries, the tuition is especially cheap because of the school's mission to help the children in surrounding areas.
Q: Why don't the children go to a public school?
A: While going to public school is free, there are other fees that must be paid throughout the school year (user fees levied by teachers in order for the students to participate in class activities and projects). The cumulative effect of these fees makes it cost-prohibitive for poor families to attend these overcrowded classrooms, so many drop out mid school year or don't even bother going at all.
The school the EAC children attend has a rule that user fees are not to be charged by the teachers. So once tuition is paid, the students can participate in all school and extra-curricular activities. When occasional extra fees are neccessary (for instance purchase of special equipment, though this is rare), the school offers as much assistance as possible to financially-challenged students.
The curriculum for a private and public school is the same, following the guidelines put in place by the Department of Education in the Philippines.
Q: Can I send presents, write letters or visit the child I'm sponsoring?
A: While it is not mandatory, some sponsors like to send gifts to the child they are sponsoring. Feel free to contact me about specific needs of the child you are sponsoring. As a general rule, school supplies, clothing and groceries are useful gifts. Please do not choose gifts that are too extravagant as they promote jealousy between the students.
Letters, on the other hand are widely welcome! Letters can be mailed to me or directly to the school or emailed (we will print out and deliver for you). For the protection of both parties, full names and addresses are not given out, but we will deliver any letters you write to the child. We will also pass along any mail the student writes to you.
We absolutely welcome visitors to the school! Your sponsored child is dying to meet you! The school is located about 3 1/2 hours north of Manila (5 hours by air-conditioned bus). Please let us know your travel plans as soon as possible so we can best accommodate your visit. During the school year, you can visit the student in his/her classes as well as visit the home and family of the child. We do not recommend visiting when school is out (during vacation) as many families visit relatives during the holidays.
Q: Do the students receive religious education?
A: Though the school the students are attending is called San Jose Christian Colleges and has a Christian-based philosophy, the curriculum taught to the students is prescribed by the national Department of Education and does not include any religious instruction. Prayers are said before large ceremonies, but this is customary for all schools and organisations in the Philippines, secular and non-secular.
More questions? Please contact us here or send us an email here.