BADJAO LEARNING CENTER
Literacy rates among the Badjao in the Philippines are below 10% and fewer than 20% of all Badjao children are enrolled in school. Our learning center targets these marginalized children who otherwise would be found begging in the streets of Davao City.
As funding becomes available, children who attend our learning center are eligible to become a part of the Child Sponsorship Program to attend a local elementary school. Our long-term commitment is to provide access to school for all Badjao children, so that each one may have a chance to realize their educational goals.
While our learning center provides children with the basic building blocks of reading, writing and math, this is only a stepping stone which prepares the them for further schooling. We eventually hope to enroll every Badjao child in the Davao region in the public school system.
Most of the children do not have records of birth and an affidavit in lieu of birth certificate is required before enrolling in public school. We assist the children in acquiring the necessary paperwork and assign them a birth date based on interviews with the parents. Once enrolled in public school the initial amount needed to purchase uniforms, shoes, books, paper, pencils and miscellaneous other school supplies for an elementary student is around $20, and $25 for students entering high school.
Micronutrient deficiencies in young children can lead to various disorders such as Anemia, Vitamin A Deficiency, and Iodine Deficiency Disorder which lead to impaired motor development and growth, decreased immunity as well as adversely affect intellectual development and mental capacity. For this reason, we have started an in house Micronutrient program at Isla Verde.
We will be educating the mothers at the Badjao village at Isla Verde about the importance of good nutrition and how to incorporate Micronutrient powders into their children's diet.
One sachet of Micronutrient Powder per child per day provides an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals for children when mixed with food. Each sachet contains a recommended daily allowance of 15 different vitamins and minerals: Vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, Niacin, Folate, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium and Iodine.
Some of the benefits of micronutrients include:
Improving the body's immune system
Improving a child's appetite
Improving a child's ability to learn and develop
Makes a child clever, strong and active
According to the Philippine Department of Health, micronutrient supplementation has also been shown to reduce:
The risk from mortality by 23-34%
Deaths due to measles by about 50%
Deaths due to diarrhea by about 40%