Cayetano Arellano High School, Arellano for short, is a high school with more than 4,000 students. The school is located in Makati, one of the fifteen cities of the Manila metropolis.

Manila has a population of 14 million. Arellano is one of the larger high schools of Manila and is run by the government.

We have selected high schools as our starting point. Our choice was inspired by the large quantity of drop-out students who turn their backs to education, usually as a result of financial distress and other related domestic problems.
Drop-out students often come from a broken family, their parents tend to be unemployed, or they have to take care of their (ill) brothers or sisters. There are undoubtedly other reasons why these children quit their programs prematurely, but this usually has little to do with their intelligence or will to succeed.
We targeted our efforts on the Cayetano Arellano High School. In collaboration with the Scholarship Committee, we developed a scholarship formula to commit bright children with a high drop-out risk to their school.
Despite the fact that public schools in the Philippines are free, students still need to pay for all additional expenses such as school uniforms, books, stationery, (public) transportation, excursions, etc.
The scholarship is disbursed on a quarterly basis to the student, rather than the parent, to prevent the money from being spent on other ends.

For the 2019-2020 school year, the scholarship fee amounts to EUR 98, or approximately 5,800 Pesos, per child. This is a moderate amount in our view. The alumni who received their scholarships in the past however, now call it the “last push” they needed to complete high school.
The success of our system is confirmed by the fact that several alumni who are currently working have become sponsors themselves.
All grantees are interviewed and selected on an annual basis by the Scholarship Committee, which is led by Elizabeth Cristobal. Each quarter evaluation sessions are held with the children to discuss their attendance and grades at school. The committee has strict norms, and when scholars demonstrate a lack of motivation, they are removed from the sponsorship program and replaced by someone else.
A unique aspect of the KIDS-program is that everyone involved works on a voluntary basis.
Even the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company in the Philippines – also known as the “Metrobank” – donates its services by providing the scholars with a free ATM card that they can use to withdraw cash without charge. Three employees at the bank have committed themselves to the project on a permanent basis. We are proud that every donated Euro is deposited on grantees’ accounts.


How Does it Work?

High school programs in the Philippines last four years. The educational system was established in the previous century during the American occupation. We aim to support grantees during their entire education. That is why we expect our benefactors to participate for four consecutive years, so that students can be sponsored (and monitored) without interruption. Students who demonstrate a lack of motivation are disqualified from the program and replaced by someone else. Students have to be screened for the sponsorship program prior to the start of each school year. Based on the aggregate amount of donations, they are then assigned to a sponsor throughout the four-year period. Upon assignment, each sponsor receives an overview of the student(s) that he or she sponsors, together with photographs, background information and other useful details. At the end of each calendar year, the Filipino students work assiduously to make Christmas and New Year cards. Most of these cards are handmade, and usually contain precious and artistic jewelry. The cards are sent each year beginning of January to the foundation in Belgium, from where they are dispatched to the benefactors. Similarly, at the end of each school year, students write “thank-you notes”, through which they express their gratitude to their sponsors. Currently, there are more than 1,000 students enrolled in the scholarship program.

Tax Deductable

In order to allow the generous sponsors to deduct their contributions for tax purposes, the King Baudouin Foundation issues a tax certificate on an annual basis. For our sponsors outside of Belgium, we rely on the organization Transnational Giving. This organization has a member foundation in each European country which can receive sponsorship monies on behalf of King Baudouin Foundation, as well as issue tax certificates. The Dutch member, for example, is Oranjefonds.

The Costs

For the 2019-2020 school year, which runs from 1 June up to 31 March, the sponsorship fee has been set at EUR 98. The money is deposited in three installments directly on to scholars’ bank accounts, so that they have immediate access to it. Each deposit is made after the evaluation sessions, during which the progress of the students and attendance at school are discussed. To avoid preferential treatment, we do not provide the addresses of the students to the sponsors, and vice versa. This caused problems when we first started, as some of the students contacted their sponsors directly. KIDS Educational Foundation Inc. is registered since 1998 at the Security and Exchange Commission in Manila, Philippines under number A199814153. The foundation has been accredited by King Baudouin Foundation in Belgium, also in charge of the supervision, where it is registered as KIDS Foundation Friends Fund under number R10890 since 2004.


• Grantees’ grades compared to other students
• Number of drop-outs at Cayetano Arellano High School compared to other high schools
• Cayetano Arellano High School’s grades compared to other high schools

The successful concept at Arellano High School has attracted the attention of the former mayor of Manila, Mr. Atienza, as well as his successor Mayor Fred Lim. In collaboration with the municipality, we are currently in the process of selecting a second school to implement our sponsorship program.