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Strap on Your seatbelts…Three New Dream Centers Launching in Manila!

dream centersLord-willing, 2022 will be among the most impactful in the history of Extreme Response. Take a ride with us to Metro Manila in the Philippines.

With support from generous donors, we are excited to announce that THREE new Dream Centers (DC) will launch this year. Each will have capacity of serving about 40 kids, meaning 100+ vulnerable children will experience significant life change in the days ahead.

Why launch three Dream Centers? We’ve learned that early education reinforcement is a game changer for helping families pull themselves out of poverty. Kids stay in school, gain self-esteem, learn lifelong sustainability skills for build on a foundation of faith.

One Dream Center is in the southern region of Metro Manila and is a cooperative effort between ER and partner IT Tender. It is operational now with 40 kids participating. Most kids live in shanties made with plywood, metal roofing and are sometimes built on bamboo stilts above a bay. Many lack running water or electricity. Parents often are unemployed or survive by fishing, driving public transportation, or selling snacks in the street.

“We envision witnessing the transformation of at-risk children into agents of change,” says IT Tender’s John Coffey. “Developing leaders is a key focus, and it starts from a young age. Many of our Filipino staff are former clients themselves. They model and teach the children. At-risk children from the poorest slums of Metro Manila are becoming leaders with the capacity to dream bigger and to effect change.”

A second DC will be operated by ER staff. It is in Gen Trias Cavite and is scheduled to launch June 6 with 15 kids who are selected based on need, with input from a local church.

Many kids come from families who were displaced and relocated. The homes typically lack Internet and the kids struggled greatly when the pandemic shut down in-person education. Parents generate meager incomes by selling junk or doing day labor.

“We are excited to live life with the students and help guide them to success. Eight of 10 of kids say they have no dreams for their future,” says ER’s Jason Chappell. “Our most important goal is to share the gospel with these families. Change the child and you can change the family; change the family you can change the nation; change the nation you can change the world.”

The third DC is located is scheduled to launch with 20 kids in August in an area called Barangay Wawa, Taguig City. It is a partnership between ER and Youth Mobilization.

Most families in this community have five or more people living in a 15- to 20-square-foot house. Parents work as construction contractors or as vendors earning below minimum wage. Kids roam neighborhoods collecting recycling to sell to junk shops to earn money to buy food.

“We see our Dream Center as a beacon of hope for children living in desperate situations,” says Youth Mobilization’s Mackie Custodio. We will provide a place where students can dream freely, cultivate their passions, and fulfill their potential. These children will break free from poverty by finishing their education. They will be able to help their families and communities.”

Learn more about ER Dream Centers here.

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