Organization: Sacred Heart Institute for Transformative Education (SHIFT)
Early Education Center
SHIFT is a faith-based community organization that is anchored to the Religious of the Sacred Heart Mission in the Philippines. As the initiators of a stronger advocacy program for children, women and youth, SHIFT aims to forge a collaborative partnership between lay collaborators and the RSCJ’s in the three services of youth ministry, formal education and community development. Within their formal education program, LOMEF/ARF provides support for an early education center based in Catarman, a region in the Southern Philippines. The center currently caters for approximately 25-30 underprivileged children aged between 3 – 6 years old.
The need for the early education center was identified through the negative impacts in evidence when children of this region entered into the public school system without any pre-school learning. This often results in many difficulties in keeping up with school requirements and also with social interaction with fellow school mates. It has also been identified that these difficulties have long term negative effects such as leading to a lack of confidence within many children, inabilities to develop basic learning skills (particularly in terms of literacy and numeracy) and social skills, and the eventual dropping out of school.
The center introduces basic learning and interactive social skills to better equip the children when they enter the public school system and increase their chances of not only completing their primary school education but in pursuing secondary education also. As an integral part of the program, the center provides a daily nutritional feeding program for the children as the majority of them are under nourished. In line with a holistic approach, SHIFT also undertakes advocacy on the importance of education and health involving the parents of the children who are attending the center.
LOMEF/ARF grants support the provision of center equipment, personnel and facility develop