The Leyte-Samar Center for Change Village is a holistic care development project aimed at improving the lives and future opportunities of the increasing number of street children in the City of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. The project intends to assist in the rehabilitation and reintegration of these children back into Filipino society, while providing sustainable benefits for the wider local communities both immediately and into the future.
The Centre has identified from research that traditional feeding programs and drop in centres do no more than make life easier for children to stay on the streets, what is needed is a new beginning away from street life. Therefore, the project employs a holistic model to assist the children in their transition out of street life back into mainstream Filipino society.
Eighty-nine children are currently experiencing such transition in the village, where they are able to attend an elementary school fully-recognized by the Department of Education, Philippines, offering education to children who would otherwise be left uneducated. In addition, twelve youth are studying at the local community high school and three are studying at College. Others have been reunited with families through the project’s family recovery program, or are in the workforce.
The project also incorporates sustainable development activities in efforts to move the community towards self-sufficiency. These activities include the growing of crops, raising livestock (pigs), producing coconut oil, bread, soap and shampoo. These activities both support the students in the program, providing food for the project, but also providing employment opportunities for the local community and graduating students.