For more than 30 years ICARE Australia has helped alleviate poverty in a sustainable manner by improving access and opportunity to education for women and children in the Philippines.

Education is recognized as the single most important factor to development and poverty alleviation by Governments, NGOs, the United Nations and World Bank and ICARE’s focus on education aims to transform the lives of whole communities, laying a foundation for long term stability that can break the cycle of poverty.

Educating a girl improves her local community more than any other type of investment. For every year a girl stays in school, her income increases by 10% and job opportunities improve. Educating a girl reduces child marriage, lowers infant mortality rates and improves health outcomes for women.

Improving the income of a girl over her entire lifetime raises the standard of living of an entire family. Unfortunately not everyone enjoys the same right to education. Millions of primary school children across the world are not in school and hundreds of millions of adults lack basic literacy skills.

In 2015 ICARE’s work in the Philippines continued to benefit more than 730 women and children in four regions – La Union Province / Sucoc Norte and Castro & Seng-ngat, Adelfa Community and Metro Manila. 

In each district ICARE operated a two-pronged approach:

Adopt a School Project comprising:

-better teaching and learning infrastructure

-resulting in increased incomes through community livelihood

-and sustainability through communal ownership

Help and Thrive programme dedicated to:

-improved health and better learning outcomes

-stronger schools through empowering teachers

-access to employment through improved vocational skills

The key results of these programs have included: zero absences from school during the first half of 2015; a safe place to eat with lunch provided at a new canteen; new classrooms providing an improved learning environment; grassroots community health clinics that were established and stocked with medicines and equipment; better school facilities which promote increased health education and local productivity.

1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 a day – around the world with a majority of these being vulnerable women and children.

ICARE is a member of The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. 

ICARE’S Signature Adopt-A-School Program in the Philippines

From just $50 only, this project will be supporting 230 students and marginalized community members in the La Union province of the Philippines. ICARE assists with the development of Sucoc Norte Elementary School to increase the quality of education, enhance student health and well-being, reduce school absenteeism as well as providing income opportunities for families. This is achieved through the delivery of enrichment classes to students, the provision of sustainable health services, and facilitation of school-community livelihood projects and training workshops.


Heed & Thrive in the Philippines  

The Heed & Thrive Project in the Philippines assists ICARE to facilitate the development of the Tanza Elementary School in Metro Manila, and Seng-ngat and Castro Elementary Schools in rural La Union to improve the health, education and livelihood of students and their communities. ICARE will be working to develop the schools and expand offerings in support of at least 300 under-performing students, 30 teachers, 3 guidance counsellors, 280 parents and 150 community members through various activities by 2017

Over the next 3 years the Heed and Thrive program will deliver, develop and resource an alternative source of health care which the entire school and community can benefit from; develop an education intervention program which will ensure that children are doing well and staying in school and their rights are safeguarded; and a vocational skills training program for community members is available to help improve income and employment opportunities.






ICARE is currently raising funds for the Castro Elementary School following a fire. The entire Classroom and a clinic need to be rebuilt and a special appeal has been launched.

Fundraising Target: $AUD30,000 is sought in total, with funds raised over and above this target, going towards supporting this and other schools in the Philippines.

Background: In August 2015 a fire broke out at the Castro Elementary School in Castro, Sudipen, La Union caused by bush fires.  A building housing three rooms – two classrooms for Grades 1 and 2 students, and the school’s clinic which was newly-renovated by the Heed and Thrive Program, burnt down and firefighters were unable to save any of the classroom materials or health equipment that were located in the classrooms. Thankfully, nobody was injured - the fire occurred when children were not at school.

Community members immediately cleaned the school surroundings, to ensure that schooling children would be safe from debris and hazards. Classes were suspended for two days to ensure the school was safe for both children and teachers.

It was decided that to cope with the loss of the school clinic, mini-clinics in each classroom would be established, as a temporary measure.  ICARE’s in-country partner HBI, commenced providing basic clinic materials and equipment with medicines that would be used to ensure the functionality of these mini-clinics.  HBI has also provided books, instructional materials, and some classroom learning materials to the school.

Rebuilding the Classrooms and Clinic – the current need

Due to safety concerns, the school was forced to demolish that part of the building destroyed by fire.  In an effort to rebuild the classrooms and clinic, the school has sought support from the local Department of Education Sudipen District Office, the Municipal Government of Sudipen and from the community.

Whilst it is impressive that the community has commenced fundraising to rebuild, to date they have raised approximately $AUD 5000 and the school needs $30,000 in total in order to rebuild the classrooms and clinic to their former standard.

Images of the damage.  


The Cost 

The estimated cost to rebuild and refit the classrooms and clinic is $AUD30,000.

Support Requested

ICARE seeks your support in conducting an ‘emergency’ appeal to members and friends of the Philippine community; anyone who can assist is encouraged to do so.  Editorial and promotional support is appreciated, with all donations being accepted online via a special appeal landing page.  

Donations over $2 and over are tax deductible. 
For more information please go to: www.icare.org.au

Nicole Forrest Green – APBC Chair CSR Sub-Committee


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