In Philippines studies in elementary school is free and oblige for all the 7 – 11 years old children. After elementary school they can continue their studies in high school (12-16 years). There are one elementary school in each village and four high schools available in Talim Island. The situation is quite difficult because of large number of students and lack of books and other school materials. In every class there are 40 – 50 pupils and teachers are incapable to ensure a qualitative education for all of them. The people who were able to graduate high school often find themselves working in the nearby factories. High school graduates can continue to study in college – two or four years depending of chosen course. There are public and private colleges. Public schools are cheaper than private ones, but in the same time quality of education is lower. Anyway, students have to go to Manila for their studies and it is very expensive for people of Talim Island because families have to struggle for ensuring their daily maintenance and they are not always able to cover all necessary expenses for tuition fee, shelter, transportation, food, books etc. Due to financial problems, intellectual capacities, potentials and talents of young people sometimes remain wasted.
While Nick was working in Manila, he already tried to get sponsors for some young people of Sapang and in this way to give them possibility to study in college. By help of donators he encouraged the youth, because he believed that poverty should not be an obstacle for receiving a good education.
Now NGO by help of Community of Tiberiade and French organization “Enfants du Mekong” tries to help to as many students as it is possible. Nick considers that the aim of this support is not only to help them financially but also to give them a chance to open themselves to the reality of the world and to discover the most important needs of people, village and society. In the same time it is the way to promote the value of education. Nick believes that studying it is not just a self-centric activity. Each student is important for benefits of all country, each person is responsible for building a humane society.
San Damiano supports elementary, high school and college students. Every Saturday they come to San Damiano for “CLE” – Community Life Service. The day starts at seven o’clock by common Morning Prayer. They take their breakfast together and they are dispersed in different working groups – gardening, watering, and cleaning. ( ) At twelve o’clock they gather themselves again in chapel for short midday prayer after which follows the lunch. In the afternoon there are song practice, rosary and spiritual teaching. During this day they have also special time for being “in solitude together with the Lord” in adoration. In the evening they are invited to participate in Holy Mass or in prayer of San Damiano prayer group. In the Sunday’s afternoon they receive their allowance – school supplies for elementary students, financial assistance for high school and college students.
When students graduate their high school, they have to work like volunteers for one year and to participate in different spiritual and social projects of organization. It is a special year when to grow in faith and to discover more the needs of village and to reflect of future’s plan. Also after graduation of college they have to render one more year of community service.