Efren Peñaflorida, 28, also was bullied by gangs in high school. Today, he offers Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education.A genuine hero.
"Gang members are groomed in the slums as early as 9 years old," says Peñaflorida. "They are all victims of poverty."
For the past 12 years, Peñaflorida and his team of teen volunteers have taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets. Their main tool: A pushcart classroom. Do you know someone who should be a CNN Hero? Nominations are open at CNN.com/Heroes
Stocked with books, pens, tables and chairs, his Dynamic Teen Company recreates a school setting in unconventional locations such as the cemetery and municipal trash dump...
He created the Dynamic Teen Company to offer his classmates an outlet to lift up themselves and their community. For Peñaflorida, that meant returning to the slums of his childhood to give kids the education he felt they deserved.
"They need education to be successful in life. It's just giving them what others gave to me," he says.
Today, children ranging from ages 2 to 14 flock to the pushcart every Saturday to learn reading, writing, arithmetic and English from Peñaflorida and his trained teen volunteers.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Teaching In The Slums
In line with the last post I wrote about offering a hand up instead of a handout, here's a story about a young man who wants to help children avoid gangs in the Philippine slums. He demonstrates his compassion by teaching children reading and writing.