Archive for the ‘Sponsoring Education’ Category


July 4, 2012


We have written earlier on our blog about Jeanrey, and you can read it here for the full story.

Recently Jeanrey graduated with magna cum laude and was honored as # 2 among all the students that graduated from the University of Cebu. Here he is flanked by his mom and dad Gina and Renato Cordova and representatives from the university

A diploma to be proud of!

Jeanrey received his Certificate of membership to Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Here flanked by his dad, Renato Cordova, and Flemming Hansen

A few days ago Jeanrey came to our Rise Above office and proudly told us that he now was hired by Citibank Makati, Manila and will start his job on July 16th. 2012.

We congratulate Jeanrey with his excellent performance. He studied hard, were focused in reaching his goal, and he did it!

When he left our office, he said, “Mam Elisabet, I promise you that I now will take care of my family. Say thank you to Per from me, and thank you to all of you at Rise Above for making my dreams come true.”

Wow! What we are working so hard to achieve is bearing good fruit, and it sends us forward on our journey with thankfulness in our hearts that we can help many such persons as Jeanrey Cordova.


Story and Photos: Elisabet Hansen



December 3, 2011


A few years back, Dr. Per, one of the volunteer dentists from Denmark, told us that he would like to help a young person in Cebu receive a good education. Having just atteded a Kiwanis meeting where one of the points on their agenda was college sponsoring, we were told that they had interviewed and put 30 honor students through an exam and had given scholarships to the 10 top students. Thinking about Per’s request, we asked them if we could get the name of the student that came in # 11. They happily gave us his name and contact number.

Per gives Jeanrey's family a Christmas gift every year, and here Marie is delivering the donation to Jeanrey and his mother

Jeanrey was elated to be contacted by the Rise Above Foundation, and even though he was not one of the 10 best students, here he got another chance. We told Jeanrey, that a sponsorship for college is expensive, and he would have to show himself worthy of his sponsor’s trust and faith in him. He promised that he would do his best to honor his sponsor’s faith in him.

This is now 4 1/2 years ago. Through the years, we have sent copies of the report cards and personal notes to Jeanrey’s sponsor. His grades have been good, and he even took up Summer classes so that he could excel. Recently, Jeanrey came and showed us his papers and medals and he truly has kept his promise.

Jeanrey was very proud when he came to show us all his medals.

1st place Gold Medal
Cebu Federation Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants – Philippine Accounting Standard/Philippine Financial Reporting Standard Challenge.

1st place Gold Medal
University of Cebu Level 2 Intercampus Accounting Quiz Bowl

1st place Gold Medal
University of Cebu Science Quiz.

2nd place Silver Medal
Theory of Accounts, Practical Accounting

3rd place Bronze Medal
Cebu Federation Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants – Business law and Taxation Quiz

3rd place Bronze Medal
Regional Federation Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants Cup

3rd place Bronze Medal
Intercollegiate Finance Competition (Central & Visayas)

4th Place
Management Advisory Services Quiz (Regional Federation)

It is impressive to see Jeanrey with all his medals. Jeanrey comes from a very poor family. Without the sponsorship from Dr. Per, this boy would not have had a chance to show what he is capable of. We are so happy to have been the ones that helped him on the way to a brighter future.

Jeanrey showing us his diplomas

Jeanrey has another few month of studying until he gets his Bachelor of Accountancy degree. We are confident that he will achieve his goals. We are rooting for you, Jeanrey. You make us proud!

Sponsored Children Showed their School Report Cards

April 14, 2011

Written by: Susanne Mae Dela Cruz

Another year has passed and it’s the time for the sponsored children of the Rise Above Foundation’s sponsorship program to show the results. A total of 21 sponsored children took their report cards from Guadalupe Elementary school on April 14, 2011. Most of these students are on grades one, two and three.

Kae is the youngest of 4 siblings. She was so excited to see her above average grades.

Kae Agustin Tapere is a grade two student at the age of eleven. She is very grateful of the help that the foundation has given her; the school supplies, uniform, shoes and free lunch and snacks every day. Given that they do not have electricity and water at home and her father is sick, this did not stop her in pursuing her studies which eventually paid off. Kae was only able to start school because of the sponsorship program.  For two consecutive years, she has been getting grades above the average together with the other sponsored children. She stands as a living example on how determination can fight the struggle between education and poverty. She would want to be a nurse someday and she has set her goal planning to fulfill it with the further help of God and the people around her.

“Nagpasalamat jud ko sa Rise Above ug sa sponsor sa pagtabang namu. Daku na kaayu ni nga tabang kay dili gyud mi kakaya’g palit ug school supply ug pagpaeskwela sa among mga anak tanan, lima bya ni sila (We really thank Rise Above and the sponsors for helping us. This is already a very big help because we really cannot afford to buy school supplies and send all of our kids to school, they are five of them),” said Teresita Abril, mother of Mark Henry Abril, one of the sponsored children.

Marie Tangalin and teacher Jennifer assessed the grades of the students and further explained to them the importance of education and good grades to achieve their goals in life. The parents and the children altogether agreed to do the best that they can to improve for the next coming years.

School is over, and the children will stay home and help their parents until school starts again.

The sponsors have given hope to these children; to progress and expect a bright future. If you have more than what you need and if you want to give hope to a child, become part of the sponsorship program and help a child with a better future.  Together we can make a difference.

Donation to this program can be given through Paypal.

Susanne Mae Dela Cruz is a student at the University of the Philippines. She is doing her internship with Rise Above in her Summer holidays.


Sponsor Education Program

October 27, 2010


Since 2008 we have been running a sponsorship program for education here in Cebu, Philippines. If you were here in the Philippines and looking around you seeing children begging on the streets, children working to help their parents carrying water, helping to watch their little siblings or literally working gathering plastics, metals etc. to help their family with a little income, then you would see that this country has an immense need for education for children.

Education is free, but parents have to supply uniforms, shoes, school bags and materials as well as pay fees toward the guard, school maintenance, floor wax, parent-teacher-association contribution etc. This is why the poor cannot afford to send their children to school.

Being moved by the hopelessness these families face on a daily basis, we started the education program, and at the moment we are receiving sponsoring and paying monthly for 68 children that are enrolled in the program.

The Abril family lives by the Guadalupe river. This is government land, so they don't pay rent. It is very dangerous to live there, because at times of heavy rain, the river suddenly rises several meters, and parents and children have to hang on to something so as not be flushed away by the heavy torrent.

Other families live way up on the hills in small bamboo huts. They are better off than the ones by the river, but when there's heavy rainfall, the children have to stay home from school as it's too dangerous for them to climb the hill.

Running the education program is a lot of work, so we had to ask help from a local teacher who has been assisting us in our projects for several years. Her job is multifaceted as she’s the one who visits families in the slums to interview them and find out if the parents are committed to help their children be good students if they would receive the sponsoring. She communicates with principals and teachers, follows up on the children’s progress and get their report cards at every semester break. If the children are performing poorly, she visits their parents again to inquire about their low grades and their tardiness. This process is important, because we have found that some parents will just send their children to school to avail of the lunch that is part of the program.

The children get one pair of school shoes, and all of them have to go to the shop to get shoes that fit them.

The children are so happy for their new shoes. For some of them it was the first time to go to a mall, and it's the first time all of them are able to enroll in a school.

We make sure the children fit their school uniform.

Jeniffer is working on packing the school bags. Socks are included.

The list of school materials that are required for a school year is long, and each child is getting the exact amount that is required.

Gabriel and Marie on their way out to distribute schoolbags and materials to the children on the program.

Peregrina (second right) is a single mother with 7 children. We have received sponsorship for 6 out of her 7 children from Switzerland and Denmark. In the picture is Marie, the head of the program and a volunteer from Brazil, Agilene.

At our "Family Care Center" volunteers help prepare the lunch for 26 children at the Guadalupe Elementary School (as well as the children at the center), and every day mothers pick up the food and bring it to the sponsor children at the school.

Here the children eat a healthy lunch prepared for them at the "Family Care Center". At other schools we have made arrangements with the canteen for their lunch and 2 snacks daily. The children are given food tickets that they exchange for a meal, and we pay on a bi-weekly basis.

Jeniffer visiting all the sponsor children at one of the schools and giving them more note books.

It is wonderful to give a child a sponsored education! To give an opportunity for change and progress – a way out of poverty – is one of the best gifts a poor child can receive.

The cost for an elementary school education for the school year 2011-2012 is US$ 25 per child in elementary school and US$ 28 for high school.

If you would like to help support the program, please donate through Paypal, one of the accounts on our web page, or in Cebu at:

Bank of the Philippine Islands


SM Branch, 6000, Cebu City

Account No. 9131-0050-64


Thank you for your interest. Please write us if you have any inquiries regarding the education program or one of the other programs we are running.





June 29, 2010


We want to express our profound gratitude to all of you who are sponsoring children for education here in Cebu. Living in this country, it’s impressed upon us time and again how important it is for children to get an education. Without an education, the people will continue to be poor, with no hope of a better life. Giving people an opportunity to rise above is our vision, and education is one of the steps to achieving that.

Story written by Abi and Elisabet

Jeniffer worked long hours at organizing the school materials.

Well, after the hard work of purchasing the school materials, the backpacks, the shoes, the rain coats and organizing everything by names ….. (a big thank you  to Jennifer, Michele (a Danish volunteer) , Lene (our Brazilian friend and visitor) and Marie for seeing the whole thing through!) came the fun part: ‘Going to give it out to each family’!

Even the shopping of 294 pairs of socks took a lot of work - here Marie is arranging them by sizes.

Here are some pictures of us going the distance and meeting the parents or relatives of each of the 147 sponsored kids, in 9 different areas of Cebu, Baksan, Mandaue, Reclamation Area etc… a joy to feel a part of this great miracle and see the thankfulness of the mothers!

Theresa was so thankful for gifts from her sponsor family in Denmark. She wrote Elisabet on Facebook: "I will study hard so that Charlotte will be proud of me." Here together with her grandmother, as she's lost both her parents.

We met Felicidad in the women's prison a few years ago where she attended all the classes. When she got out, she was faced with being a single mom having to care for her children, and having no way of supporting herself. With a Christmas gift, she started her small business, but it's not enough to send her children to school. When she heard about our sponsorship program, she asked if we could please help her children get an education. We were happy to help, and they are now both enrolled in school. Since Felicidad works at the market, she always brings us fruits and vegetables to show their appreciation for the help we give them. This time they went away with all the materials her children needed to be able to attend school.

Gabe and Marie with a fully loaded van of school materials. They had to go several times to bring it all to different areas.

Peregrina is a single mother of 7 children. She was selling small trinkets by the road side to get money for food for her children. When we opened the Family Care Center in July 2009, her youngest child, Rodrigo got a place there. This year through sponsors in Switzerland and Denmark, all her children are now sponsored for school. Words cannot express their thankfulness! Marie and Lene (visiting from Brazil) gave the school materials to all the mothers and children from Guadalupe elementary school at our Family Care Center

All the children attending Kalunasan elementary school happily posing together with their mothers, Marie and Abi.

All the children received rain coats also, as rain and getting wet is the biggest cause of pneumonia among children. Children would not attend school when it's heavy rain, as their parents cannot afford the medicine if they get sick.

Jeniffer held a speech for the mothers and their children about studying hard and being faithful in their studies when they distributed the school materials at Mobolo Elementary School.

About 40% of the children are "working children" that now have a chance to study. Here from a slum area down town Cebu.

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE  and it is altering the future of these most unfortunate children! Last year we had 47 children, and this year 100 more!  We received sponsoring for only the school materials for 87 children, so these materials were given at the beginning of the school year to these children, but because the sponsoring didn’t include lunch and snacks for each of them, we had to just trust that these children and their families will see to that the children will use the opportunity and go to school even without the supplied lunch and snacks. We are not visiting all these families, as we do not have the personnel or budget for it.

You can also help donate towards education or help sponsor another of our projects. Please click on our web page: or YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

I want to donate.


May 3, 2010


We ferried the children in our van from the slums where they live to SM Mall.

How it felt like Christmas  – in April – for the 83 children getting to go to the shopping mall to get a new pair of shoes!

Some had never gone to that part of town before nor to a mall!

Jeniffer and Marie had all under control and organized, Abi and Gabe were the drivers, Lene a helper! What a scene as we walked across the parking lot, then through the mall and used the escalators! “Stares” is the right word for people’s reaction! Ha!

People turned to look at us walking through the mall with so many poor children.

Each of these children are from very poor families in Kalunasan & Guadalupe, Cebu City and got chosen for the educational sponsorship, so here we are getting them shoes, and in the next few weeks they will get their uniforms, school bags and materials!

Jeniffer and Lene helped the children fit their shoes.

Many shoppers stopped and asked questions about ‘Rise Above Foundation’ and got a brochure explaining all our projects in Cebu. A journalist from ‘SunStar’ who happened to be passing by the shoe area, interviewed Marie on the spot and was thankful to have met us “in action”!

Marie with SunStar reporter.

Walking orderly in a line back to the van. We made 3 such trips that day! We were exhausted and happy!

We all had a pretty hectic day but the happiness seen in the eyes of each of the kids as they carried they own bag wiped it all away! It felt like Christmas all over again!