Street dweller to student: How a parish is sending homeless youth to school
Immaculate Conception parish priest Fr. Alfredo “Jun” Pascual and Rosario Pante, in charge of the scholariship program
QUEZON City – A parish in Project 8 in this city is supporting students, several of whom used to live on the streets, to finish their studies by fundraising through the help of generous individuals.
“Most of these students are active members of church organizations,” said Rosario Pante, in-charge of the program. “Some were former beggars. We have taken them from the street and reintegrated them [into] the church.
According to the catechist, the parish is currently helping 19 elementary, high school, and college students. Four are in college, 5 in elementary, the rest are high school students.
Active in church
“The program recipients should be active members of the church,” said Fr. Alfredo “Jun” Pascual, parish priest. “Basically, the recipient should be a member of any church organization.”
The Immaculate Conception parish is calling on charitable people to share their blessings with students who have financial difficulties.
“The young should never stop dreaming,” he said. “The Church is around to help them,” Pascual added, noting that the number of recipients depends on pledges from sponsors.
Free school supplies, allowance
In operation for the past four years, the program gives free uniforms, school supplies, and a monthly allowance to scholars.
According to her, each beneficiary also receives Php 500 annually for uniform and Php 500 for school supplies.
Meanwhile, the monthly allowance for elementary pupils is Php 300, Php 400 for high school students, and Php 600 for college students.
One scholar already graduated from a maritime course in March 2017, Pascual said. The student, who is a sacristan, is currently undergoing on-the-job training.
Kicking off in 2013, the program initially had 3 high school and 2 college students. CBCPNews