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The Association

Since 1997, ACAY offers a second chance to youth at risk aged 15 to 23 years
old through creative and innovative pedagogical methods which lead them to
recover their dignity and find meaning for their lives.
Our Vision
We envision of becoming a model of compassion which will develop into a sense of
social responsibility for Asia.
Our Mission
ACAY offers holistic and creative approaches of restoration wherein youth and
families in difficult circumstances will re-discover the dignity and meaning of life
and take lead in becoming agents of change.
Our Goals
ACAY is recognized for its unique pedagogical approach emphasizing the family
spirit, culture of responsibility, culture of creativity and service to others.

Provide familial and nurturing environment that offers a sense of


belongingness and safety which will rebuild self-esteem and dignity.

Enable youth and families to face the consequences of their traumatic


experiences and difficult life situations through wholistic interventions for
restoration of their psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.

To empower the family in the restoration process of the youth.

Enhance leadership and equip youth and families with academic competence,
knowledge and skills that will enable them to be autonomous and face the
challenges of daily living.

Develop opportunities for youth and families to acquire life valuesfor the
service of others and help more deprived Asian people.

Develop strategies which reinforce bridges among existing gaps in


societal, cultural mentalities for the sake of restoring youth and families.

ACAY Timeline
1995: World Youth Day at Manila, Philippines. Sr. Sophie of Jesus received her call
to start a mission for children in difficulty.
1997: Discovered the reality of street life where children and youth are exposed to
drugs, alcohol, exploitation and all kinds of violence. Majority of NGOs are

interested only with children and very few are willing to help the young people
above 14 years old. Sr. Sophie then decided to take care of the youth.
2000: Opening of School of Life, residential home for abused young girls.
2002: Started the Second Chance Program for delinquent boys in detention
centers and to their release from prison.
2005: Started the Family Program which integrate the parent of ACAY
beneficiaries in the process of reconstructing the lives of their children.
2007: Foundation of Missionaries of Mary, attached to the Local Church of the
Philippines ( Diocese of Cubao, Metro Manila) and founder of ACAY.
2009: Started the Aeta Mission, Filipino ethnic minority
2012: ACAY programs have been accredited by the Department of Social Welfare
and Development of the Philippines. 2013: Sr Sophie de Jsus was promoted Knight
in the National Order of Merit for her educative actions with the Filipino youth.

The MVP Second Chance Program


For the protection and rehabilitation of young people in prison.
Fruit of many years of work in the youth centers, the Marcel Van Second Chance
Program has been developed in partnership with the Department of Justice and the
Department of Social Welfare and Development.
It aims to fight recidivism and accompanychildren in conflict with the law aged
between 17 to 23 years old.
Is based on a deep understanding on personal and family situation of each
individual and have developed social, psychological and educational interventions
designed for individual needs.
The Second Chance Program is divided into two parts:
1. Intervention in the Detention Centers (Social Preparation)
The team regularly visits several detention center and rehabilitation centers for
minor in Metro Manila and in Tanay Province. More than 80 visits to detentions and
rehabilitation centers are organized and 80 to 100 youth per year are followed
up and formed inside prison. The program developed various actions:

Personal sharing

Legal assistance

Self confidence, discover oneself and personality, leadership

Provides module of formation regarding personality development and


preparation for their reintegration into society

Crossroad formation (since 2010 was awarded as Best Practice for the
Youth in Jail by JJWC (Juvenile Justice for the Welfare of Children))

2. The reintegration (After Care )


ACAY offers a reintegration programs which aims to educate, train and prepare
young adults who came out of detention centers to have the knowledge, techniques
and necessary values in order to become active members of the society.

formal Education and Trainings

professional assistance

psycho-social intervention

family intervention

25 youth followed up each year after their release from prison and
integrated into the work force.
90% do not go back to prison
Since 2005, 90% of the youth having been through the Second Chance program do
not go back to prison.
The School of Life
The School of Life opened its doors to welcome an average of 20 young girls who
were victims of different abuses and traumas. Our choice to mix different cases of
suffering is voluntary. We believe that this creates a genuine ethic of compassion
that veil the eyes and knowledge of the outsiders with regards to the past of these
girls.
The Program of SOL
Since 2000, School of Life offers to young girls aged 14 to 21 years old a familial
and therapeutic environment which enables them to rebuild their dignity, their self
esteem and empower them to find back the meaning of their lives.

The School of Life has developed a progressive integration strategy (School of Life
stages) were each girl is invited to pass through. Each girl should fully cooperate on
the rebuilding process designed for them in order for it to be meaningful and
sustainable.
Our Actions:

A residential home

Psycho-social interventions

Formal education and additional formations

Family integration

Livelihood and income generating projects

Intervention for other youth at risk

Family Program
In a context of poverty, childrens right can be at great risk. Most of the time, childrens
own family became the main source of exploitation, violence and abuse (child labor,
education through physical and verbal abuse). Thus, youth are challenge to help in
rebuilding the dignity of their parents as individuals, as parents and as citizens of their
society.

ACAY Pilot Program


Since 2005, ACAY developed a pilot program involving parents of School of Life
and Second Chance beneficiaries to ensure their childrens successful reintegration.

ACAY supports the parents in:

Leading them towards a deeper knowledge of themselves and


helping them to resolve their own traumatisms, in order to break
the cycle of the intergenerational issues.

Bridging the gaps in the domain of education.

Rebuilding the parental ties.

Establishing a support system between the parents themselves.

This program does not exempt the parents from their role but instead help them to
regain a parental relationship adequate for their childrens situations.
ACAY offers training modules, individual and couple sharing, family seminar and
networking to other NGOs and government agencies.
35 families are accompanied each year.
Mission Aetas
Since 2009, activities in partnership with the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart have
been organized at the service of the youth of one of the ethnic minorities of the
Philippines: The Aetas. These tribes are living in the mountains of the Province of
Bataan.
The mission has a double objective
On one hand, it is an opportunity for the ACAY beneficiaries to develop
their leadership and facilitating skills. They conduct recreational, educative
and educational activities for the children and youth of these tribes.
On the other hand, this mission promotes the development of friendship and
understanding between these peoples from the mountains and the Filipinos
from the lowlands.
In 2011 the mother of a young Aeta attended the formation for parents. In 2012, the
father joined her in order to be trained by ACAY. They are the first Aeta couple to
become Parents Advocates.
Testimonial
I am Irene, 19 years old and one of the School of Life beneficiaries. Let me share with
you my short background. I belong to one of the indigenous tribes here in Luzon. We
call ourselves AETAS or KULOT (curly hair). We live in the mountains and consider
ourselves different from the rest of the low landers or UNAT (straight hair). Our tribe
including myself only mingles with the other KULOT and never with the lowlanders as we
are shy and most of the time scrutinized and mocked by other people because of our
physical appearance.
Year 2009, I first met the sisters, ACAY staff and youth. They organized some activities
for us. In the beginning I had hesitated to join them as I was shy and was afraid to be
judged. I stayed behind the church and watched them organizing their activities. After
their several visits, I started to approach them and discovered that they were different
They are the people that I can trust. They respect our culture and they have accepted us
the way we are, the way I am. After two years of journeying with them, I wanted to go

further, to go beyond. I have decided and accepted the challenge to enter in the School
of Life Program.
Irene, ACAY Aetas beneficiary
Mission Tacloban
BANGON TACLOBAN! Tacloban rise up! From destruction to reconstruction.
Psychosocial intervention for all classes of Society.
For young people: Formation about peer to peer approaches.
Building up a Resource Center that people can easily access.