This long established Good Shepherd social enterprise in Baguio City aims to empower young people to break the cycle of poverty through education. The Cordilleras is one of the most economically challenged areas of the country. The income received from their work in this large food processing center enables many young women and men to complete a technical or college education.
The young women and men - graduates of 2016 - are from the six indigenous tribes of the Cordilleras: Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province and Ifugao.
Their parents are subsistence farmers and pocket miners. Pocket miners are small informal miners who bore holes on mountain sides to mine gold. There no safety measures. It is very risky.
The majority of these graduates are the first in their families to reach tertiary education. With their education they have choices and opportunities to improve their lives and their families.
The Tribute to the Graduates was held on 31 July, 2016. As student-workers, 48 graduated this year but only 34 in the photo were able to attend the Tribute. The 14 missing young people have jobs or are On the Job Training (OJT). The graduates finished college degrees or technical vocational training. Some are reviewing for government exams to qualify as teachers, engineers, policemen, dietitian, and other fields.
As their ‘substitute’ parents, sisters and staff of Mountain Maid Training Center are very proud of this year's graduates.
We know their struggles, such as balancing work and studies, making both ends meet, going hungry at times, getting stressed from pressure of studies, maintaining at least an average of 82% both for academic and work performance, missing their families, forgoing holidays to earn extra allowance, postponing the affairs of the heart.
Click here for more information about MMTC - http://www.goodshepherd-asiapacific.org.au/project/146
Click here to read about MMTC receiving National Environmental Award - http://www.goodshepherd-asiapacific.org.au/project/177