Over the last few weeks we have received updates from two of the boys’ schools in the Sisters’ programmes;  the boys school in Adlas, Philippines and the new boys’ school in Dodoma, Tanzania. The updates reported on the progress of the Sisters in reaching out to new boys in need of their care, how the boys are doing at school, their growth & recovery, challenges and triumphs and the hope and joy they experience by being at school.

Philippines - Reaching out to poor boys in remote regions

Sr Laresa at Adlas reported that the Sisters were making good progress reaching out to new boys in need of education in the Philippines. This year, they have travelled to the most remote areas of the country, like Bicol region 5, Ilocos & Palawan which have not previously been visited, with the hope they can spread the impact of their work even further.

Families in these areas who rely on fishing or farming, are a priority for help. With the changing weather, crops & catches have failed, prices paid reduced and the living is extremely poor; access to education for these children is impossible as teachers are unable to reach the communities.

Demand from these families for school places for their children is consequently enormous and the Sisters have seen more than 1,144 boys since February. They have been able to offer places to the 412 children most in need and have space for a total of 450 grade 7 children this year. They hope to welcome these boys in the summer.

Boys in Adlas Boystown in vocational training workshop with a teacher
Credit: Filmed & edited by Jordan & Cassie Timpy of Agape Visuals, www.agapevisuals.com.

Philippines - Education and Vocational Training for Employment

The 489 boys who arrived at Adlas last July have settled in well. They are playful and active and loving their time at school including the academic and vocational courses. These are a vital part of their overall education. The practical skills taught to all the boys are tailored to local employment needs and give our students a head start in finding jobs with steady salaries after school. 60% of the students have job offers even before they leave school!

As part of this dynamic curriculum design, Sister Laresa reported that they would soon be offering courses in refrigeration and air-conditioning skills. Many of the schools’ previous students also become employers and Sr Laresa reported that one alumnus has opened a refrigeration and air-conditioning company locally and has offered to employ graduates with the skills needed, and to help the boys to learn these skills at the school.


Two boys holding up hoes made from rebar

Tanzania - Progress in Dodoma

Sr Theresa and the Sisters in Dodoma are making rapid progress with the completion of the first phase of the new school for boys. Official registration of the school was confirmed in February, with VETA accreditation due later this year. They now have 169 boys in total at the school.

The majority of the boys arrived at the school last summer with the remainder in January 2024. The newest boys are struggling with their English, but receiving help from the older boys and the newly recruited teachers.

They have adjusted well to life at the school. They are very happy, very keen to learn their new subjects and growing quickly with a healthy, balanced diet. Some of the boys have already outgrown their new beds!

Outside of the classroom, the children are kept busy with sports and activities. In gardening the boys have each been allocated a 3 x 9 metre plot of their own for planting crops and in their technical welding class they have used the scrap metal from the build to manufacture their own hoes to help them- ingenious!

boys in school uniforms handing out bread
Our boys in Tanzania use their new baking skills to help their community

Tanzania - Emphasis on practical education

The classroom workshops for phase 1 are almost finished, with fit out for carpentry, welding and electrical lessons ongoing. Sewing classes will be offered at the beginning of next year, as soon as the sewing workshop can be set up.

The Phase 2 building which includes dormitories for the boys, is 10% complete and by end April, they will be able to start with the ground floor works.

A new bakery has been completed, to teach the boys baking and to bake bread for feeding the children on a daily basis. The Sisters and students have put this new facility to immediate use also helping to provide bread for the local community.