Through our Child Education and Protection program, Quidan works alongside children, their families and the community to remove all children from illegal underage work. Our work addresses the wider issues of poverty, children’s rights and access to education for a long-term child-labor free Negros.
In Negros Occidental, child labor incidence is still estimated at more than 6% of children. Some children as young as seven years old, work in harsh working conditions in the region’s major sugarcane, rice and fishing industries.
What factors lead to a child leaving school to work?
The reasons are complex and ingrained into family and communities. Incidence of child labor is multi-generational and in communities with high rates of poverty, fathers, mothers and grandparents also begun work at early ages to contribute to their family’s income.
We work with directly with children, parents, schools, local government and employers to work in changing perceptions, educating child on their rights and the communities of their responsibilities.
We strive for communities where children and their duty-bearers value education and know, respect and uphold the rights of the child. When communities are informed and empowered, more children complete their education and help begin to lift the cycle of child labor and poverty.
How does the program work?
Alternative access to education
The path to removing children from work and returning them to school is not an easy one - their income contribution is often a vital part of their family’s survival.
Quidan supports the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System (ALS), an education pathway for students who are not able to attend formal schooling.
An ALS classroom might be a community hall, a childcare centre or a living room. The classes take place on weekends or after work hours and are run by instructional managers (volunteers) who are committed to providing an alternative education option around their students’ often demanding and unique circumstances.
Quidan supports the delivery of ALS to some of the most remote and underserved areas of Negros Occidental. The project officers from our team offices facilitate instructional managers’ training, ongoing support, subject modules and where possible additional classroom resources such as books and pencils.
Keeping students in school
Quidan further supports the Department of Education’s Drop Out Reduction Programs (DORP) by providing school and teacher training on identifying risk factors in a student’s life so they can be placed into these school-based programs.
Quidan supports schools with the skills they need to support students who have high-risk indicators for school drop-out. Support groups, peer mentoring and dedicated DORP spaces are just some of the measures being implemented in Quidan-supported schools.
Along with helping schools with training and regular monitoring, we also provided more than 3000 at-risk students with basic school supplies at the beginning of the 2017/18 school year.
Quidan is incredibly proud of all the ALS passers who have gained their secondary school graduation equivalent through the Quidan-supported ALS classes. Attainment of a secondary school certificate significantly enhances employment opportunities for young people.
Through Quidan’s donor-funded scholarship program, we also currently support 14 ALS passers through their college education.
Through education, we believe children have the best shot for their future.
But it doesn't stop there...
Our commitment to child protection is also extending to the introduction of a Child Sexual Protection and Prevention framework. This program hopes to empower children of their rights and duty-bearers (teachers, parents, community members) to identify risks factors for child at risk of abuse.
Quidan previously conducted a similar program for women’s rights and protection against domestic violence which was disseminated through all five of the municipals Quidan works. Following the program, several new initiatives were implemented by local institutions such as creating a special Women’s Safe Desk in barangay offices where women can go to talk or formally register incidents of violence and receive assistance in pressing charges with the police.