Children International: Bicol, Philippines

Founded in 1936, Children International (CI) is a United States-based Non-Government Organization (NGO) that helps impoverished children overcome the effects of poverty, support their education, and prepare youth to contribute to society. The Bicol Agency is one of two CI agencies in the Philippines, established in 1982 and currently operational in five Community Centers (CC) in the province of Albay. The organization is on its 7th year partnership with Aflatoun International in implementing the Aflatoun programme (locally known as I- Saving Habits Augmenting Resources or iSHARE) in Community Centers for children to be socially and financially literate. Today, sponsored children and youth continue to enjoy the programme and other various CI projects helping them to break free from poverty.

This year, at least 1,620 sponsored children will be participating in the Aflatoun Community-Based programme. Of this, 980 slots will be granted to the Aflatoun non-formal participants who are in the age range of 6-11. Meanwhile, the Aflateen programme will have 640 participants ages 12-19.


Aflatoun Community-Based Sessions are composed of 10 play-based modules incorporating the five core elements. Here, participants are able to explore, discover themselves and understanding their differences through the help of their co-participants and being friends with them. The Rights and Responsibilities of a child are also taught during the sessions by incorporating it in several games for the participants to have a clear understanding of the topic and fun as well. To practice their Saving -Spending and Planning and Budgeting habits they are given a coin bank for them to imbibe the principles of saving and spending in responsible manner. Lastly, participants have the chance to attend a Child and Youth Social and Financial Enterprise Training for them to augment their learnings in terms of running small enterprises.

To provide maximum quality experience to the participants, the programme annually conduct a Trainers’ Training separately for the Aflatoun and Aflateen Youth Volunteers/Trainers. Three training workshops plus one day team building activity are done for interested and passionate volunteer facilitators.  The training focuses on teaching methodologies using the curriculum of the Aflatoun. The training is centered in adapting the curriculum and making the sessions more learner-centered, interactive, play-based and age-appropriate.  The youth volunteers who completed this training are then “certified” by CIBI as local trainer and an Aflatoun facilitator in their respective community covered by the agency. Presently, the Aflatoun Programme Youth volunteers and the selected participants from the different communities under the CIB are scheduled to have their Social and Financial Enterprise Training on the 13th-14th and 20th-21st of July this year.


Marie Shane Toeldo, One of the Aflatoun Youth volunteers has been working with Children International Bicol since 2016. She shared the impact of the programme saying, ‘Being a volunteer requires skills and abilities but one important thing that a volunteer should have is a heart to do such tasks. I am grateful to be part of the Aflatoun Program because it helps me to be more productive youth who appreciate the things around me. I’ve learned the importance of having a good saving habits because I may use it in my everyday life. I believe that without sense of sharing and caring there can be no sense of community.’