This past December we held an orientation for a new program we have started at Tahanan to help benefit local students. The idea for the Program for Assisted Studies (PAS), was loosely based on what was already happening here at Tahanan. A girl who lives nearby would help water the garden in exchange for getting to use a computer and internet for her homework.
Even though school is free in the Philippines, there are still costs that some impoverished families are not always able to cover. Whether it’s the fees for researching at an internet cafe, the cost of printing, the fare going to and from school, or other miscellaneous expenses for various projects or activities, students and their families cannot always provide the funds necessary for excelling academically. This is why P.A.S. was started.
The PAS beneficiaries are able to use the computers, internet, and printing at the Tahanan Community Center free of any monetary cost. In exchange, they will help out with various tasks around the center. This way, the exchange is mutually beneficial. Students are able to complete their assignments and at the same time give back in a way where they do not have to feel like a burden to others.
Each month as well, the students are invited to participate in activities that are planned for them. Some of the older college students who frequent Tahanan assist in facilitating these group dynamic activities for the high school and senior high P.A.S. students. They have gone on a scavenger hunt, participated in workshops, and even just got the opportunity to hang out and play games.
We do not want students to have to worry about making academic sacrifices just because they lack the funds. Nor do we want families to have to choose between feeding their kids or sending them to school. With the Program for Assisted Studies we are able to help selected students spend more time focusing on developing their minds and less time worrying about how to make ends meet.