Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to support a student?
Supporting a student costs $500 a year which is paid in full, once a year during the month of May. Students receive the money in monthly allotments from the St. Vincent de Paul office in Bagong Barrio. A pre-requisite for students receiving the payment is the completion of a letter to the support. This assists students in the development of their English skills as well as acknowledges the donation received from supporters.
How is the money distributed to students?
The Bagong Barrio Education Fund focuses on the education of students, therefore the monthly allowance goes towards their educational needs. Education is free for students in the Philippines but the financial burden of those ‘extra’ items is often too much for families to afford. Supplies such as text books, uniforms and stationery, as well as transport and food costs are all supported by the money generously donated by our supporters.
How long do I support a student for?
Ideally, supporting a child goes on for several years, throughout the duration of their education. We aim to support children until the end of their college degree.
When you support a child, you are not locked into a contract of any kind. We understand that your financial circumstances may change over time and if you are unable to make your annual contribution in one payment, we can assist you with a range of payment options. You are also to end your involvement in the program at the end of any school year.
Sometimes, changes in a child’s circumstances may bring an end to the support, such as when the child’s family moves away from Bagong Barrio. We are unable to support students living outside of Bagong Barrio due to the high administrative expenses and other impracticalities involved. In such instances, we will find out why and explain the situation to you. We will also help find another child for you to support.
Can I support more than one child?
You can support as many children as you wish. Many of our supporters choose to support more than one child. We have a list of students waiting to be sponsored.
How are the students selected for the program?
The selection of the supported students is based on a needs assessment and is non-denominational and non-discriminatory. The students are residents of Bagong Barrio who have stopped going to school, or have not been able to continue school or are in danger of losing the opportunity of education due to financial reasons. The child and their family must show a strong interest in education and the child must aim to obtain an average yearly grade of 80% in their school report.
How do I correspond with my student?
You will receive a monthly letter from your student that often gives an update on their studies, family and life in general. You may wish to correspond with your student by exchanging letters (although sponsors are not obliged to write to their students). It’s a great way to get to know your student and their family and they love to hear from you. They will treasure the letters and photos they receive.
The letters you send usually take a few weeks to reach the Philippines (we send sponsors letter in bulk). Our leadership team in Bagong Barrio will translate your letters from English, if necessary. Postcards are also a great option, because they are shorter, and therefore easier to translate.
You should address your letter to Venezia Yauw, the Director of the BBEF, who will forward the letters to the St. Vincent de Paul Conference in Bagong Barrio to deliver to the students.
Can I send gifts to my student?
You are welcome to send inexpensive items such as stickers, cards, hair elastics or pencils which you can fit in an envelope. All gifts must be sent to the Program Director, who will forward the letters to the St. Vincent de Paul Conference in Bagong Barrio to deliver to the students.
Please do not send large parcels to your child as they can incur customs and delivery costs, which must be paid by the BBEF. These administrative costs can end up being higher than the value of the gift. No cash, please.
If you would like to make an additional financial contribution to your supported child, for example at Christmas or birthdays, you can either write a cheque, made out to: “St Vincent de Paul, Bagong Barrio Education Fund” and post it to the Program Director. Alternatively, contact the Program Director to organise an electronic transfer of funds by direct debit.
What if I cannot continue supporting a student?
Ideally, supporting a student continues until they complete their tertiary education or until the family can afford to educate the child. If for some reason, the supporter cannot fulfill the financial commitment, the supporter should contact Program Director directly to try and work out helpful payment plan options. In the case of the supporter being unable to commit to their donation, the students will be allocated to another supporter as soon as it is possible. Supporters are able to end their involvement in the program at the end of any school year.
Can I make a one-off donation to the program?
Yes, please see the Support section of our web site for details.