Ronita (right) talking with her former ALS teacher Jen at the FCJ centre in the Philippines. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Education can help break the cycle of poverty

Throughout urban slums and parts of the Philippines, poverty is rife. The opportunity to finish school is often torn away by poverty. Sometimes, living in survival mode is the only way. 

How you can partner with communities to create change for generations.

Located in the heart of the urban slum lies a program made possible by people like you. The Alternative Learning System (ALS) program is run by our partner, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ).

FCJ runs a number of programs tailored to the community, breaking the cycle of poverty for families, starting with young mums.

The Alternative Learning System (ALS) program at FCJ provides a safe space for students like Ronita to attend classes several times a week and make up units for their Grade 12 Senior High School Diploma by doing projects and completing a portfolio of work.

FCJ runs programs that directly respond to community needs: 

Literacy skills | Income generating activities | Doctor clinic | Technical education and skills development | Children play groups | Seniors group | Children's sport | House renovating

Watch this video to learn how your support was a catalyst in Ronita returning to school, graduating and finding a career.

“Most of the time, the main reasons why many children did not have a chance to go to school is because of early pregnancy, being dropped out from formal school because of financial problems and broken families.”

Jen, one of the teachers at FCJ

Ronita with her son, Egzy Grey, at a doctor's clinic held at FCJ centre in the Philippines. Photo: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia

Some live on as little as $10 a day

Caritas Australia’s partners in the Philippines, the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), estimate that Ronita’s husband would earn under $10 a day. Living below minimum wage like this is the harsh reality for many families in the Philippines.

Through the alternative learning system run by FCJ, Ronita was able to graduate with her high school diploma and create a career for herself — increasing the household income for her family.

With your support, this transformation can be possible for many other families experiencing the depths of poverty in the urban slums of the Philippines.

Learn about stories from other communities.

Leaia from Samoa

Leaia's family in Samoa live in makeshift homes built from recycled scraps, with no access to piped water. She and her children had to walk long distances to collect water, which is then stored in old refrigerators.


Memory from Malawi

Growing up in Malawi, Memory had no choice over being born into a low-income family who rely on farming for survival, which is unreliable and left them vulnerable to food insecurity. Some mornings Memory had to walk to school bare foot.