In 2016, Alvin Cea was classified as an “out-of-school youth.” He was one of the thousands of young people from the district of Tondo in Manila who quit school due financial and family issues.

His mother died, leaving his father to carry the responsibilities of sustaining the family. Despite the family’s difficult situation, Alvin did not stop dreaming.

In 2018, Alvin heard of the Alternative Learning System at the Amado V. Hernandez Elementary School in Tondo.

He joined the program, which was conducted three-and-half days a week. Even with no money in his pocket, Alvin persevered.

The Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) came to help, providing food to Alvin and his classmates, and training the youth acquire additional life skills.

The students grabbed the opportunity and found a new family in KKFI.

“Gusto kong ipakita na kaya kong makapagtapos at makamit ang aking pangarap (I want to show that I can finish my studies and realize my dream),” said Alvin.

He became active in KKFI activities and programs after attending the acquaintance party.

From the fun activity, Alvin did his best to discover more about the organization. He later participated in other KKFI programs, such as the care group sessions, sports fest, Christmas party, fora, Youth Lead, Educate and Advocate for Development (YLEAD), LaGrange camp, Likharal, and Teatro Kapatiran.

He was happy teaching children during the Likharal.

Alvin said he wants to give back to the community by teaching arts and crafts and basic literacy.

He said that in KKFI he found “real friends.” For him, KKFI is not just an institution. It has become a home for young people who seek love.

Alvin’s experience and his overflowing positive drive to realize his dreams helped him achieve his goal in life.

He passed the 2019 ALS examination. He did not continue to be a KKFI scholar and preferred to attend Bible school in his local church.

The young man started working, but life seemed empty away from KKFI, his “second home.” He decided to volunteer as an assistant teacher for ALS and reaffirmed his commitment to Teatro Kapatiran.

With his return to KKFI, Alvin met new friends. He overcame his doubts and was successful playing various roles on stage.

After a year, he decided to go back to school. His struggles strengthened his character.

Now he is excited to finish school and help his family. “I don’t want our lives to end here. I want to cheer them up,” he said.

“KKFI has helped me a lot,” he said. “The foundation gave me the love that I needed. They helped me with my problems and taught me how to fight.”

Alvin wished that KKFI will continue to help more out-of-school youths like him. He expressed hope that more young people will grab the chances given to them.

He prayed that his generation would continue to pay it forward for their community.

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