Supporting Street Youth Empowerment in the Philippines under the COVID-19 Pandemic

An English version of ACC21’s current Crowdfunding campaign:

The target amount is 1,500,000 JPY by August 31, 2021.

Young people living on the streets are hardly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask for your support so that these street youth, who dream to become empowered and self-reliant despite their adversities, get to continue acquiring knowledge and skills to escape from poverty. For most of our street youth participants, this is their last chance to be able to change their lives and bring themselves and their families out of poverty.

Street children and youth in the Philippines under the COVID-19 pandemic are more in need than ever. 

Let us help them regain the hope of living. We are knocking on your kind hearts.

Zero street children in the Philippines by 2030

Thank you for visiting our page. Asian Community Center 21 (ACC21) promotes the Street Youth Empowerment Project (SYEP) in Metro Manila in collaboration with Childhope Philippines Foundation (Childhope hereafter) since August 2018. The officer in charge is Noriko Tsujimoto. 

Now, ACC21 is also set to embark on the big task of achieving “Zero Street Children” in the Philippines by 2030, in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This time, we started this campaign with the hope that you will help these promising young Filipinos take on the challenge of getting liberated from streets. However, the current pandemic has made it more difficult for them to achieve this dream.

There are around 50,000 to 75,000 street children and youth in Metro Manila alone

Firstly, please watch this video:

For decades long, the number of street children is sadly increasing rather than decreasing. 

Why the number of street children and youth is ever-increasing?

Since the summer of 2018, we, ACC21, have decided to focus on Filipino street youth in their late teens and started working to break the ever-increasing number of street youth and children.

*Life skills pertains to the ability to effectively deal with various daily tasks and problems

As of February 2021, sixty-seven (67) youth have participated in our Street Youth Empowerment Project (SYEP), acquiring vocational skills and life skills. About half of them (thirty-three, 33) have already been employed or self-employed since participating in SYEP. Click here for detailed reports so far:

The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the state of street children and youth 

Many of our youth beneficiaries have lost their jobs. Therefore, in response, last year we distributed emergency relief supplies (food and hygiene products) for the pandemic-stricken street children and youth. We were indeed grateful for the donations of more than 1.8 million yen from a total of 118 people and groups for this donation drive.

However, emergency assistance, while very important, is a temporary first-aid measure.

Therefore, it behooves us to ask: what kind of support do they really need in the midst and more importantly the aftermath of COVID-19 outbreak?

We had discussions with Dr Harvey Carpio, Executive Director of Childhope Philippines, our local partner organization.

The current hardships under the pandemic…

In response to these challenges…

Objectives of the project

Giving young people the support they really need

Many street children and youth lack the experience of accomplishing something to the end. Simply teaching such young people vocational skills or giving them the money to start their own business will not work in the long run.

Therefore, we will support each youth to set future goals and continue to strive for independence and empowerment. In addition, we hope that the experience of accomplishing something will become a cornerstone of their future life.

Specific contents of the project  

A story of hope……

Here is a story of Hope: Myla, from a street child to a successful online entrepreneur.

We would like to also introduce Rowena, who participated in the empowerment project last year.

Rowena, 22 years old, is a former street child who has lived on the streets with her mother since she was 3 years old. The trigger was her father’s violence. She could only go to school until the 4th grade and has since become jealous when she sees children in school uniforms.

Eventually her mother remarried and her foster father became violent and left home. After that, she met with her boyfriend and soon became pregnant.

“I was only 17 years old at the time, and I didn’t know what to do to raise my child[, so I cried when I learned about my pregnancy. Still, I motivated myself for my newborn child and lived with my husband for milk and food for my child. I worked hard. “

By the age of 22, she had four children. Her husband has gone estranged because he became alcoholic, quit his job, and became abusive and violent. She is having a hard time raising children but has been trying hard to keep them from getting hungry.

“I participated in the youth empowerment project (SYEP) because I want a better life for my family. I’ve seen the lives of past trainees really change, with many of them having found regular jobs. I wanted to change and learn more myself. Through the project, I learned not only vocational skills, but also how to socialize with other people and how to save money.”

“It’s hard to find a job under the COVID-19 pandemic, but I still want to find a good job for my family so that my children won’t have to experience the hardships I’ve experienced.”

Click here for the detailed story of Rowena:

Now is the time to support more young people more than ever

Leading young people who have lived on the streets from an early age to independence and empowerment is not an easy task. This is especially true under the COVID-19 pandemic.

But with continued support and sustained efforts, we can still help them develop their abilities and potential. And by continuing to support such young people, we envision that they shall become the agent that supports and changes society .

If the lives of young people are stable, their young children and siblings will also be able to eat enough food and receive a good education.

How donations are used

Donations to this campaign will be used for activities after September 2021.


  • Teaching materials and stationery costs for vocational technical training(~ 2,100 yen or 1,050 Pesos / person)
  • Food expenses for young people participating in the training (~~1,700 Yen or 850 Pesos/ day / for 10 people) 
  • Personnel expenses for local staff to support young people (~64,000 Yen or 32,000 Pesos / month)
  • And so on…

When the goal is achieved, it will be used to increase the number of target beneficiaries and also improve activities.

Working with an experienced local partner NGO, Childhope Philippines

We are working on this project in collaboration with the local NGO “Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc.”, which has been supporting street children in Manila, Philippines for over 20 years.

Mr. Melchor, a local representative, is an experienced staff member in the educational activities of young people and children on the streets. He keeps in touch, monitors and encourages young people to stay motivated and continue to participate in the trainings actively.

We, ACC21 communicate with each other, plan activities, check progress and evaluate outcomes through online meetings and e-mails under the COVID-19 pandemic. In the planned research activity in September, we plan to interview young people online with Melchor and others.

The upper left is Child Hope’s Executive Director, Dr. Harvey, next to ACC21’s Tsujimoto and Ito (President)

Michio Ito, President and CEO of ACC21, has many years of experience in the field of international cooperation and has a wide network with local NGOs in Asia (especially the Philippines). Our involvement with ACC21 makes our activities more effective by incorporating learning from success stories in other regions, sharing experiences and collaborating with similar organizations.

What is ACC21?

Asian Community Center 21 (ACC21) is an international cooperation NGO established in 2005. We support people suffering from poverty in Asia based on a network of more than 100 local NGOs in 12 Asian countries.

Vision of the Project

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are goals that the international community aims to achieve in the 15 years from 2015 to 2030. The SDGs were adopted by 193 UN member states in September 2015.

Leave no one behind” (LNOB) is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. 

To contribute to this transformative promise, ACC21 has set a big goal of “zero street children” by 2030. In Manila alone, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of street children and youth. We sincerely hope that the street children and youth in the Philippines are “not left behind”. 

This goal cannot be achieved by us at ACC21 and our local partner organization, ChildHope alone. For this reason, we will collaborate with other NGOs and government and LGUs concerned with street children  to enliven the campaign in which the citizens of the Philippines and Japan cooperate towards this common goal.

Final words

Thank you for reading.

For young people living on the streets of the Philippines, finding a stable job under the COVID pandemic and getting out of the streets is not an easy task. Please support us so that their efforts will be fruitful. Let us help them become the future leaders of Filipino society!

How to donate..

You may directly donate to the Crowdfunding campaign: Should you find it difficult to navigate through the Japanese page, you may directly contact us for donations or other inquiries through our website or Facebook page. We also invite you to get involved with this project and the rest of our projects by donating or becoming a member. You may also contact the persons in charge for this project (contact info below).

Donations may also be done through bank transfers

If you would like to make a designated donation to this project, please let us know by e-mail at

<<About tax incentives>>

Donations from this project are eligible for donation deductions.

In order to receive the “donation deduction”, it is necessary for you to file the final tax return with the donation receipt certificate issued by ACC21 during  the filing of the final tax return. The donation receipt certificate shall be sent to you from ACC21 in January 2022.

* Note that the donation receipt certificate shall be issued and mailed by this organization, not by CAMPFIRE.

Please note that the donation receipt certificate must include the address and name on the resident’s card. If the address you entered when applying for donation is different from the address on the resident’s card, please contact ACC21.

* If the total annual amount of donations exceeds 2,000 yen, income tax shall be deducted. The total annual donation amount can include not only donations to ACC21 but also donations to other organizations that are eligible for tax deduction (including certified NPOs, public interest corporations, political parties, national and local governments). For details, please check the website of the nearest tax office.

* Whether or not you are eligible for the residence tax deduction depends on the local government. Please contact your local government. Tokyo residents are eligible for the city tax deduction.

Contact for inquiries regarding this project and tax incentives

Certified NPO Asian Community Center 21 (ACC21)

Contact: Noriko Tsujimoto and Ace Serna 

Phone: 03-3945-2615 (Weekdays 10: 00-18: 00 *)