“Anihan played an instrumental part in achieving my dreams.” Maria
Despite the gender gap being not as prevalent as in other places, education in the Philippines is not accessible to every girl. Due to the large sector of private education, especially for further education, girls from poorer backgrounds often don’t have the funds to enter higher education. 75% of all students go to private schools, which is a clear disadvantage for working-class children, as state education is not prioritised.
Given that girls tend to be even better educated than boys in the Philippines, it is a clear lack of funding and accessible higher education, that not more girls and women enter vocational training and universities.
The Foundation for Professional Training Incorporated (FTPI) is a local foundation and partner of WONDER that works with schools all over the country, providing vocational training to girls and women. Anihan Technical School is one of the schools where girls learn skills for the hospitality and gastronomy sector.
Maria is a current student at Anihan and benefits from a scholarship, without which she would not be able to enter further education and support her family financially:
“I am deeply grateful to Anihan, as they played an instrumental part in achieving my dreams. I did not only learn how to cook, but I learned about myself, and my faith. As a student here, I learned to value what was given to me whether these may be material things or lessons that I learned. But most importantly, here at Anihan, I learned to make decisions for myself.
The job I now have allowed me to contribute to my family’s household expenditures. I am happy because my job will allow me to buy a house of my own too. With my earnings, I can even help pay for the tuition fees of my two siblings who are both in high school.”
For Maria, supporting her family financially is very important, as she has two younger siblings who also depend on financial support to pay for their education. It is therefore important that foundations such as WONDER partner with local foundations in order to step in and make quality education more accessible for underprivileged communities.