"We believe that education improves a person's ability to break the cycle of poverty."
– Br Doug Walsh OAM
– Br Doug Walsh OAM
The Bagong Barrio Education Fund is a not-for-profit program that supports education as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.
BBEF believes that prioritising education is the most sustainable way to provide knowledge, skills, opportunity and hope.
The program supports the educational needs of the children of Bagong Barrio, one of the poorest villages in metropolitan Manila. It brings together Australian (and some international) supporters who fund the education expenses of individual students (fees, books, uniforms, transport, etc.).
The selection of students is based on a needs assessment and is non-denominational and non discriminatory.
BBEF celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2017.
The inspiration for the Bagong Barrio Education Fund came about in 1987 after Br Doug Walsh, an Australian-based Marist Brother, visited the slum village whilst attending a formation course at Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines.
Br Doug met Placid Gutiérrez, who, along with other pastoral workers from the Birhen ng Lourdes Parish, shared the story of Bagong Barrio. He was profoundly touched by the struggles of these young people.
During his first visit to Bagong Barrio, Br. Doug was astonished by the material poverty he witnessed. He stayed with parishioner Nida Tapia and her family in their one-room house. Br Doug was inspired by the optimism of the young Nida and he returned to Australia determined to support the continuation of her education. He shared Nida’s story wherever he went and began sending money to her family to support her education.
It was during Br. Doug’s second visit, in 1989, that he was convinced a formal program should commence. And so it was, with the help of parishioners from both Br. Doug’s parish and his connections with Assumption College in Kilmore (Victoria, Australia), that four students from Bagong Barrio began receiving financial support for their education.
Today, BBEF supports the education of around seventy students from elementary school through to university.
The selection of the supported students is based on a needs assessment by the Bagong Barrio Education Fund office. The students are residents of Bagong Barrio who have either stopped going to school, have not been able to continue school or are in danger of losing the opportunity of education due to financial reasons.
Importantly, the child and their family must show a strong interest in education and the child must aim to obtain an average yearly grade of 80% in their school report.
The education expenses of an individual student generally amount to around $500AU per year. Students receive the money in monthly allotments from our office in Bagong Barrio.
100% of your contribution goes directly to the students' education expenses, as all administrative costs are generously paid from private sources.
Our supporters are families, individuals, schools and businesses mainly from Australia.
Becoming a regular supporter generally requires an annual commitment which can be discussed with our team.
One-off donations are always welcome.