What We Do
Residential Care and Child Development
Tuloy cares for poor and abandoned children from the streets or from abusive family environments who are 9 to 18 years of age and physically and mentally trainable for skills that will enable them to obtain gainful employment in the future. Prospective residents are assessed by professional social workers and child psychologists, and finally by our Management Committee to ensure that they meet set intake criteria.
Currently, there are ten dorms in the village, each capable of accommodating up to 30 children. Two dorms house the girls, the rest the boys. A “head of house” serves as parent overseeing the children in each dorm – their needs, health, behavior, studies – and giving them the dose of love and discipline which they sorely need but never had enough of. Children learn respect and kindness as they live with “siblings”, the other children.
Psychologists and social workers from the Child Development Department (CDD) follow through the development of each child, including establishing birth records and history, and searching for family members. For children who have families, the CDD has quarterly visitation days and lectures, and Christmas vacations intended to foster family ties. In-house counseling and intervention by external professionals are made available as needed. Children are reconciled and live with their families whenever circumstances justify – more than 200 reconciliations on record since 1993.
Still, for some children, the trade-off to stay in Tuloy is simply too much and they leave. They are allowed to, with the hope that they will come back because they already know that in Tuloy, they are loved unconditionally. If they do, they are welcomed home to start anew.
Profile of Residents:
Age 1993 2001 2009 April 2010
Below10 0 2 4 3
10-12 0 13 37 38
13-18 11 94 111 123
19 above 1 14 10 14
Total 12 123 162 178
Alternative Education and technical-vocational training
Tuloy believes in nurturing children in need and giving them hope through education.
Residents are no longer sent to schools outside the village. They never again have to suffer embarrassing moments being teased for being too old in their classes. In Tuloy sa Don Bosco School right inside the village, no child is too old to learn his 3R’s.
Tuloy sa Don Bosco School offers free education from equivalent grade 1 through vocational/technical courses such as Automotive/Motorcycle Mechanic, Refrigeration and Aircon Maintenance, Building Wiring/Basic Electronics, Computer Technician, Baking, Basic Metal Arc Welding, and Culinary Art. The school’s curriculum is accredited by the Department of Education as non-formal, and is tailored to the needs of the kids whose mental skills lag behind children their age in normal schools. Having wasted away time in the streets instead of in schools, the kids have but a few years to learn practical, working skills by the time they are of employable age. Thus, functional literacy is the orientation of both subject content and teaching methodology.
Vocational/technical students are prepared to take trade tests or licensure exams needed in their trade, and undergo on-the-job training prior to graduation.
To maximize resources utilized to run the school, marginalized youth from nearby communities outside Tuloy join the residents, also for free. Enrollment for school year 2010-2011 is about 840, including 232 in on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.
Since 1998, the school has graduated 713 children in need from Basic Education and 1,206 from its Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs.
Values and Spiritual Formation
The more challenging aspect of Tuloy’s task has to do with the transformation of the inner self. For children who had the streets for their home and school, this means restoring values that may have been lost, and teaching values they were never taught… devotion to God, respect for oneself and for others, discipline, honesty, hard work, gratitude, to name a few. The task of formation is a gargantuan one and everyone in the community, from Tuloy’s founder, Fr. Rocky Evangelista, SDB, to the teachers or the maintenance crew knows he has a part in it.
The children learn a step at a time. They learn to keep themselves and their dorms clean, to follow routines, to abide by house and school rules. They learn proper behavior and the golden rule. They learn that they are loved. They learn to be thankful and to forgive. They begin to discard old habits such as using foul language or being quick to pick a fight. They channel idle time to sports and crafts. They study well and begin to aspire and to dream of a future.
Reintegration into Society
Graduation in April is always a joyful occasion in Tuloy. Not only have disadvantaged children completed a technical skills program that opens doors to productive employment, they also have imbibed values and attitudes that will enable them to cope with the realities of life in the outside world and to live as good Christians and citizens of society.
Tuloy assists graduates in finding jobs and monitors their performance at work for three years to ensure that they transition well into the real world.
Residents are allowed to stay in Tuloy for one year while they reestablish themselves in the workplace and plan for independent living.
“People can change…but real change is the outcome of personal choice and voluntary commitment… It begins with the right to say ‘no’.”
Every child who comes to live or study in Tuloy makes the decision everyday to transform his life. He knows that the decision is his key to a better future.
The Drucker Foundation in 1999 acknowledged this Tuloy guiding principle in The Power of Choice, one of the thought articles in their first book in the Wisdom to Action Series, “Leading Beyond the Walls”. The article was written by Stratford Sherman, globally recognized authority on management issues, executive coach, and contributing editor of Fortune Magazine. Sherman co-authored the book, Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will.
Excerpts from the article:
“People can change — but real change is the outcome of personal choice and voluntary commitment. Force and coercion require tremendous attention and energy yet produce limited results. Genuine transformation, lasting and self-sustaining, is the fruit of freedom. It begins with the right to say ‘no’.”
“The ambitious mission of Tuloy sa Don Bosco is to help Filipino street children — who live almost as savages amid poverty, filth, violence, and crime — remake themselves into productive citizens. Like any organization that seeks to unlock human potential, this group builds on firm convictions. It is affiliated with a Catholic order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, which is named after its founder, St. John Bosco, a nineteenth-century Italian saint devoted to homeless children. Tuloy’s founder and head, Father Marciano Evangelista — everyone calls him Father Rocky — is an energetic, clear-thinking priest with a mystical bent. Not surprisingly, his organization is deeply grounded in faith. At the same time, one of its most potent core beliefs is in the transforming power of free choice. As Father Rocky says, “How can you trust a former street child? Only when he values his choice.He needs opportunities to choose what is good and what is right — so the institution should be permeated with opportunities for these choices. Human potential is almost unlimited, and freedom of choice is the way to bring it out. A person who chooses change will himself tear down the barriers and remove the debris of the past. It takes time. Imposing the law is a shortcut that doesn’t change anything. Behavior changes only when one internalizes the spirit of the law.”