Location and general information
Some 4.8 million children drop out from school every year in the Philippines. The main reason is poverty: children are forced to abandon school in order to work. The poverty rate in the Leyte region is almost 48% – the highest in the country after Mindanao. The COVID-19 pandemic had a catastrophic impact as schools were closed for over 700 consecutive days and disadvantaged children were not afforded online education opportunities. In December 2021, Typhoon Rai further aggravated access to education. The return to full teaching provision was only completed in autumn 2022.
The Girls Community League (GCL) is an add-on to our flagship projects currently being run in Tacloban (FFLA) and Cebu (FDA, with support from the UEFA Foundation for children). GCL is designed to alleviate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Typhoon Rai on access to education. It is a girl-focused protection and education programme based on experiential play and learning to help children return to school after the 700-day break due to COVID-19 and to reduce subsequent dropouts such that girls finish their education.
Our organisation's mission is to give every child equal opportunities in football and life. GCL’s objectives are to:
- provide children who were forced out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or Typhoon Rai with access to safe play and learning spaces within their communities;
- provide these children with educational support during their back-to-school journey through our Play-Believe-Achieve methodology;
- increase girls' engagement and decision-making abilities through an approach that puts girls front and centre.
FundLife will make full use of its strong partnership with local government to promote the project’s objectives. It will also involve the Department of Education to ensure that girls from all schools within the project area will be given the opportunity to participate.
The organisation will sign agreements with all its partners to strengthen community ownership of the project. Project orientations will be conducted with the recipients, their parents, schools and other stakeholders. Policies will also be disseminated, especially FundLife’s child protection policy.
Once these activities have been completed, FundLife will start the play learning, mentoring and study support sessions for girls. GCL plans to involve eight teams, making sure that each team can play at least 25 games. Festivals will be held for all GCL participants and their peers, with competitive matches and fun learning activities.
Capacity-building exercises will also be conducted with teachers and sports coaches to allow them to better assist children in their back-to-school journeys.