Letters to the Editor

NGOs, foundations to arm youth with education to combat poverty

The Philippine Star

Raising young Filipinos to be well-rounded, active, and contributing members of the society indeed takes a village. ZEP2030 and a number of partners that have worked together, dedicating time, expertise, and resources to empower out-of-school and high-risk children in making a positive impact in their lives and the society.

ZEP2030, or Zero Extreme Poverty 2030, is a collective movement of non-government entities that are working together on poverty alleviation programs across the country. Formed in 2015, ZEP2030 is on a mission to uplift one million Filipino families from extreme poverty to self-sufficiency by 2030.

The Association of Foundations (AF), lead organization of the Education Cluster, and its members work with ZEP2030 towards this goal.  AY Foundation, BDO Foundation, J. Amado Araneta Foundation (JAAF), and WS Family Foundation are among the AF members that support and raise public awareness and engagement for ZEP2030, along with their own programs bringing quality education to disadvantaged children and youth nationwide.

AY Foundation, WS Family Foundation, and JAAF have been actively providing scholarships and grants to provide children and youth with the competitive advantage of advanced education that they do not otherwise have access to. WS Family Foundation partners with CARD Bank, Inc. under the program CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions where they have given out scholarships to 869,010 children of poor families since 2011.

For its part, BDO Foundation focuses its work on financial literacy as a clear path to becoming self-sufficient. It has partnered with various institutions to bring its financial inclusion advocacy to underserved sectors, including farmers. Twenty-four million students in more than 47,000 public schools nationwide are among those expected to benefit from these programs.

Other AF members who support ZEP2030 include the Aboitiz Foundation, International Care Ministries Foundation, Jollibee Group Foundation, Megaworld Foundation, and San Miguel Foundation.

ZEP2030 believes that poverty is a multidimensional issue that requires collective action from different stakeholders. To organize their expansive network and expertise, ZEP2030 is formed by seven clusters: Education, Health, Livelihood, Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Housing and Shelter, and Partnerships for Indigenous Peoples. 

As of end 2018, ZEP2030 members and partners have initiated interventions and programs in 109 cities and municipalities from 33 provinces in 15 regions across the country.

Promoting collective impact and the strength of working together, the ZEP2030 movement is calling on other non-government organizations, corporate foundations, and advocacy groups to join the cause of eradicating poverty. To know more, please visit http://zeropovertyph.net/.Zero Extreme Poverty Philippines 2030

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