This is the third week of our virtual trip through the Philippines and we have arrived in Dumaguete to discover a new region and a different education centre. Dumaguete is the biggest city of the Negros Oriental region, with a population of 130,000 inhabitants.
The city has two faces: Dumaguete is often called a university city as it is home to four renowned universities, meaning a large percentage of the population are students, teachers, intellectuals and artists. On the other hand, the region is a tourist hub and the island as a whole is praised for its beauty, the abundance of cultural landmarks, picture-perfect beaches and mountain trails very popular with nature enthusiasts.
OUR EDUCATION CENTRE
Children of the Mekong’s education centre in Dumaguete opened in 2009. Eleven years later, it has grown to support over 30 students every year. By being home to children coming from poor families, the centre provides access to education for young men and women who wouldn’t be able to attend university without it.
The main role of the centre is to provide them with a living and studying environment and networking opportunities to allow them to access job opportunities.
The education centre pushes them to dream and pursue a career that would be out of their reach otherwise. The students choose to study various fields, anything from engineering to finance, accounting, human resources, psychology or education. Thanks to the rigorous education they receive, most graduates are able to find a job within 1-3 months after graduation or board exams.
Our goal goes beyond teaching skills to young people. Children of the Mekong supports children from a young age providing fully human-centred training to encourage intellectual, emotional, and moral development. This aims at achieving human excellence and creating future leaders, impactful members of society, responsible and confident adults.
MEET AN OUTSTANDING STUDENT: RILYN LUMAPAY
Rilyn Lumapay is 19 years old. The young woman had to move 6 hours away from her hometown of Toboso to Dumaguete. Without the Dumaguete education centre, she wouldn’t have been able to pursue an education. In truth, she wanted to start working to help her single mother and had no thought of studying beyond high school. Thanks to Children of the Mekong she was given the opportunity to pursue her dreams and goals. She now studies at university to become a news anchor and we wish her all the success in the world.
Rilyn is remarkably driven and grasps any opportunities she is offered to better herself. Her dream is to be able to provide better living conditions to her family, especially for her little sister who has a history of heart failure. She wants to get a new and more comfortable house for her mother and two younger sisters.
Just like this, we reached the end of the week, the suspense has been built up enough! You can finally discover the story of the brave Rilyn Lumapey and her life in Dumaguete education centre.
You can support Dumaguete education centre and all the students studying there, by making a donation!
I am one of those lucky students, I want to fulfil my dreams and Children of the Mekong gave me the opportunity. I never mind about the way I live today, but I mind about my future, I have learnt that problems and challenges will just pass by, I’ll never let myself give up. The centre is helping me to become a stronger and more independent woman.