HOUSE Foundation: Changing Lives and Future of At-Risk Youth
by Inside Manila Team, August 06, 2019 3:20pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
There are at least 3.8 million people below the age of 24 who are at-risk of leading a life of crime, poverty, and oppression, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2016. To lessen this alarming number, Helping Ourselves through Sustainable Enterprises or HOUSE Foundation makes steps to help these at-risk youth.
HOUSE Foundation is the non-profit partner of Messy Bessy, producer of natural, biodegradable, non-toxic home and personal care products. Kristine Reyes-Lopez established HOUSE Foundation in December 2015 as a way to address the increasing number of impoverished and unemployed young Filipinos ages 18 to 30. The organization has the purpose of providing education, employment, psychosocial intervention, and rehabilitation of at-risk youth who have no access to training, a high school or college diploma, and stable jobs.
Better Than Before
HOUSE foundation grew roots from working closely with Messy Bessy. Now, it aspires to design and catalyze business solutions to address socio-economic issues. In 10 years, it aims to replicate its program with 100 business partners helping 10,000 working students. To date, HOUSE and Messy Bessy have collectively worked with more than 400 at-risk young individuals. Sixty of whom have successfully earned a college degree, equipping them to break out of the cycle of poverty.
In order for the beneficiaries to finish college, HOUSE has developed a holistic approach that can address issues like motivation, emotional stability, and financial literacy needed to complete a college education. HOUSE successfully tried and tested this approach for 10 years through its primary partner business enterprise, Messy Bessy Cleaners, Inc.—Philippine producer of natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic home and personal care products.
In a nutshell, HOUSE Foundation wants to change lives, and there are youths whose lives changed because of their advocacies. One of them is Ramon Pateño. Before joining Messy Bessy and HOUSE Foundation, Ramon could describe himself as a “tambay sa Tondo na walang respeto sa iba.” However, he turned his life around when he joined the program. He said he was enlightened, especially because of how he was taught different moral values and life skills.
After all the hard work from juggling his work, studies, and taking care of his family, he has now graduated from HOUSE Foundation’s program and Manila Business College with a degree in Business Administration. According to Ramon, finally receiving his diploma is his biggest achievement so far.
Now, he is set to work for Tondo Community Initiative or TCI, which aims to connect and fill the gaps in Tondo, Manila (Ramon’s hometown and community) to ensure the ultimate goal of young people succeeding in life, just as he did.
A former “tambay ng Tondo,” Ramon now aims to become an advocate for education and help his fellow youth. Not only did he overcome life’s adversities, but he also chose to go beyond himself and serve his community. One of our values in HOUSE Foundation is to enable others to help others. It is remarkable to see how he has embodied this and has chosen to pay it forward.
We wish for more Ramons but to make that a reality, we also need more people and support for organizations that would see the potential of every youth out there, no matter their background or upbringing. With this, we thank HOUSE Foundation for helping the Filipino youth have a brighter future, not only for themselves but for the country, too.
If you have any questions or clarifications on how to donate, volunteer, or partner with HOUSE Foundation, you can reach HOUSE Foundation’s Sustainability Lead, Abee Magallona, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mobile at +63917-845-2749.
This article is created based on a press release from Messy Bessy.