Working with Out-of-School Youth
by UTROS in Philippines
Based on the 2017 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS), about nine percent of the estimated 39.2 million Filipinos aged 6 to 24 years old were out-of-school children and youth (OSCY). OSCY refers to family members 6 to 14 years old who are not attending formal school; and family members 15 to 24 years old who are currently out of school, not gainfully employed, and have not finished college or post-secondary course. Source: https://psa.gov.ph
Before we proceed, what does out-of- school youth means? It is defined as an eligible youth who is a school dropout; or a youth who has received a secondary school diploma but is lacking of skills, unemployed, or underemployed. But what are the causes of out-of-school youth? The major causes are poverty, low achievement in school, and behavior issues which made them leave or drop out from school. Study shows that out of school youth have problems that includes low quality of life, social skills, and behavior problems.
The marketing officer of UTROS in Philippines, Ms. Michille together with her interns, organized a small discussion participated in from out of school youth from Muntinlupa City. One of the interns assisted the participants from Muntinlupa City going to the office. The workshop lasted 4 hours and divided into two parts. The first part was presented by intern Mr. GM Den, a marketing student from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). He tackled self-reevaluation and self-worth topics and asked questions regarding the particular event or the experiences of the youths. He presented and explained well the topics and hit the message he wanted to impart to the participants. After the short discussion, Jeff who is from Pamantasang Lungsod ng Muntinlupa was assigned to do the icebreaker and deliver the second activity which consist of drawing activity. Draw yourself and your dream. The second part of the workshop included an open discussions. This part was the crucial part as the participants bravely shared their stories. This activity helps us widen our understanding and discover the insights of the youth to evaluate them properly, to see data from the story, open the story and to tap solutions. The hard bottom stories of each participant was an eye opening to those who have a smooth sailing life. As they feel that life is unfair and why do they have to experience pain in a very young age while other young people love to splurge. Some of them shared similar stories of struggles and having goals of bringing joy to their loved ones. The struggles they’ve experience as a youth, how they get most out of their bad experience to get back to their feet, brokenness, in and out of gang involvement, how they change their lives and take courage to start instead of getting stuck to it was such an inspirational stories.
We began to realize that their stories deserved to be shared to generate collective action and to help thousands out of school youth in the country. We firmly believe that agencies of the government and other organizations can highlight their needs to provide a specialized service for these children and youths.