Others before self – the thought that is being brought to life by Dara Mae Tuazon, an 18-year-old student who teaches street children for free. Her simple but noble act ignited inspiration, and others joined her cause as her teaching sessions are now supported by her school and other anonymous kind hearts.
She started teaching the kids when she saw three street children begging for food from people who ignored them. Since she has spare money, she invited the children to join her for a meal near her school, UE (University of the East,) where she studies Elementary Education specializing in Early Childhood Education.
According to an interview by the radio station DZMM, the three children told her that they are no longer in school due to poverty. They added that they always encounter bullying and discrimination from their classmates because of their looks and their empty pockets.
“Doon na po nag-start na everyday nakakasama ko po sila. Minsan nga po sinusundo na lang po nila ako sa gate po kasi na-memorize na po nila ang schedule ko,” said Tuazon.
Dara Mae used her own money to buy educational supplies for the children.
It didn’t take long when other street children joined them as she became an inspiration in social media.
Soon after, her kind acts have reached the attention of authorities from UE, that led to the launch of “Bangketa UEskwela.”
Tuazon and the children were allowed to use the space outside UE’s Gastambide gate where a makeshift classroom with desk chairs were set up. The school also lent them teaching equipment like projector, laptop, microphone, and speaker.
Last month, A Better Chance Foundation joined Tuazon as they give school supplies, pairs of slippers, and of course, the priceless ‘education.’ The children were very excited receiving the presents brought for them.
Tuazon’s story was also featured in GMA’s Investigative Documentaries.
As of today, Tuazon has 30 pupils aged three to 14, and she is now accompanied by 15 other volunteer teachers.
The program started by Tuazon now also provides medical and dental services for children, supported by licensed physicians, while their parents are given livelihood seminars.
For those interested to know more or join the project, you can visit Dara Mae Tuazon/Bangketa UEskwela’s Facebook page.