Off the Streets-Off to School Scholarship Program

Off the Streets – Off to School Scholarship Program is a core program of PIA to keep kids in school. Administered in partnership with the Phil-Asia Assistance Foundation, Off the Streets – Off to School provides scholarships annually to more than 1,000 children in Metro Manila. Students range in age from elementary school through college and their academic progress is monitored throughout the year. The students are also encouraged to correspond with the donors who support their education.

FAQ about the “Off the Streets-Off to School” Scholarship Program
What is the “Off the Streets-Off to School” Scholarship Program?

In 1986, PIA established a rehabilitation center for child prostitutes, aged 7 to 14, at the Caritas Manila compound.  As a preventive measure, PIA started a scholarship fund with the help of the nuns at Caritas Manila to send street children to school, to take them away from the streets where they were being recruited by pimps, and to place them in schools where they belong.  Since then, thousands of children have gone through the program.  Many of them have graduated college and gotten jobs, and are now able to help support their families.

It only costs $150 per year per child or 40 cents a day.  The money takes care of tuition fees, books, supplies, field trip costs, uniforms, shoes, allowances for meals and transportation.

Every year, at the end of the school year, PIA will ask if you would like to renew your sponsorship for the same child.  If you do not renew, the child will be given to another sponsor.

This scholarship program is open to poor children who want to go to school.  It is not based on academic performance.  We work with the different parishes in identifying the children who need the most help.  Our social workers verify their families’ income levels by home visits.  Parents are required to sign a contract stipulating that while the children are in school, they will attend school regularly and will not be on the streets selling wares.  Once a month, the child and the parents are requested to go to the parish for value formation sessions.  Only one child per family is accepted.

Aside from the satisfaction of helping a poor child go to school you will receive letters from the child during the year, reports from the social workers assigned to the child and copies of the child’s report cards.  You may also write the child you sponsored and send gifts through PIA.

The Philippine school year starts in June and ends in March.  If you sponsor a child today, your sponsorship will start in the next school year, June 2016.  You will receive a folder containing the photo of the child you are sponsoring and a short bio on the child and his/her family on or before June 2016.  Your first letter will arrive in July or August 2016.

Yes, you can if you renew your sponsorship on time and if the child continues with the program. Due to the nature of poverty, the families move often in search of jobs. Oftentimes, the families go back to the provinces to be able to better support their families. In this case, the child is dropped as the program does not extend to the provinces. Other instances when a child is dropped may include when the parents do not comply with the requirements of the program, i.e., spends the money on things other than the education of the child, forces the child to work in the streets, does not attend value formations sessions conducted by the parishes, and when the family’s income improves. If any of these should happen to the child you have sponsored, you will get another child.