• School Dropouts and Potential Dropouts
• Child Scavengers
• Street Children
• Out-of-School Youth (OSY)
• Child Laborers
• Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL)
• Children of Persons Affected by Leprosy
• Children of Indigenous People
History of ERDA
In response to a report published in 1965 on the alarming dropout rate in the public school system, Fr. Pierre Tritz,SJ at the age of 60, gave up his French citizenship in 1974 in order to become a naturalized Filipino citizen and founded the Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation and within the next 20 years, Fr. Tritz founded three more organizations.
Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) Foundation, 1974
A human development organization, ERDA Foundation (or ERDA) provides educational assistance to children of poor families so that they can finish an elementary education. It runs community-based preschool classes to help prepare poor preschoolers for elementary school. Tie-up arrangements enable ERDA to extend its educational assistance and preschool programs nationwide. To complement its educational programs in the Metro Manila area, ERDA runs community-based livelihood and health programs, and a continuing education program which provides values formation and leadership training.
Foundation for the Assistance to Hansenites (FAHAN), 1978
It was established in response to Mr. Raoul Follereau’s personal invitation to Fr. Tritz to help in the fight against leprosy. Recognized by the Philippine government, FAHAN carries out certain projects on leprosy control in cooperation with the Department of Health. It also provides educational assistance to children of leprosy patients.
ERDA TECH Foundation, 1993
This non-stock, nonprofit organization owns and operates ERDA TECH, an innovative technical and vocational secondary school where children from very poor families are given the opportunity to finish a high school education and learn an employable technical skill at the same time. It also runs a nonformal skills training program (PALIHAN) for older street children and out-of-school youth.
Albert Schweitzer Association Philippines (ASAP), 1995
With the help of its pool of volunteer lawyers, ASAP assists children-in-conflict-with-the-law and works on the painstaking task of liberating child prisoners from jail. Its programs include: legal defense and intervention, media and publication (advocacy), paralegal education and training, and education and reintegration.
These organizations—ERDA, ERDA TECH, FAHAN and ASAP—are now consolidated into what is now called the ERDA Group. This brings together their various programs and projects of schooling, assistance and advocacy, for coordinated and more effective services to their beneficiaries. Retaining their respective legal identities, these four NGOs continue to exercise their expertise, but now as members of a group with shared interests and common direction, an arrangement which promotes their working in synergy with each other and with partner NGOs, institutions and networks.
Today, ERDA has over 24,000 beneficiaries enrolled in different levels of education all over the country. Its programs enlist school dropouts, child scavengers, street children, out of school youth, child laborers, children in conflict with the law, children of persons afflicted by leprosy and children of indigenous people. ERDA’s educational assistance programs are available from pre-school up to college. Since its inception, ERDA has come to the aid of over 600,000 indigent children all over the country.