Agora Mobile School for Street Children
Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
Faced with the growing number of street children who dropped out or never went to school, the city government, In partnership with the Jaycees and UNICEF launched in 1992, the Agora Mobile School.
The key feature of the program is the school itself which can be moved from one area to another where the incidence of street children is high. The street school is made of portable push cart, tables, chairs, a blackboard and tent. After four years, the program has a total of 100 direct beneficiaries, 50 of whom have been integrated to formal education in schools and excelled in their respective classes. A child care worker manages the school together with a social worker who handles case studies of children and parents. A task force on street children monitors and evaluates the program.
The program has succeeded in keeping the children away from mendicancy, preparing them for formal education, developing social values, providing guidance and counselling, and assisting children of working age in acquiring skills for livelihood. The children, aged seven to seventeen are provided with the following services: educational assistance, supplemental feeding, skills training for gainful employment, and exposure to socio-cultural activities such as trips to industrial plants, parks and beaches and parent-child encounters for effective parenting. The program also protects the children from adult exploitation and drugs.