Student wins Humanitarian Award for tutoring street kids during her spare time


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MANILA, Philippines - Some months ago, Dara Mae Tuazon went viral online after someone snapped some photos of her teaching some street kids. The photos stood out because Dara, a student at the University of the East, was neat and gorgeous in her uniform as Elementary Education major, a stark contrast against the grimy kids she was teaching.
Student wins Humanitarian Award for tutoring street kids during her spare time

But the children’s appearance didn’t matter to Teacher Dara. It was her calling. She loves teaching and doesn’t choose whether she’s teaching kids who looked clean and in uniform or whether she was tutoring street kids the basics of counting.

Dara Mae Tuazon wins Humanitarian Award Bangketa
Photo credit: Facebook / Dara Mae Tuazon

She told Inquirer, “When I see kids on the street with nothing to do, I know that as a future educator, I need to act. I couldn’t stay within the four corners of the classroom: I had to go beyond.”

But her work with these young minds wasn’t for social media praise; though this did lead her to become a social media star. Even without the accolade, Dara had been spending her own money to buy supplies for these kids so she could teach them by the sidewalk in Sampaloc, Manila.

What began as a group of 3 street kids eager to learn, more kids joined in until Dara was teaching over 30 children! It’s like a real class without the actual classroom.

Later on, this advocacy grew and she was able to provide them with a makeshift classroom at the sidewalk before eventually launching Bangketa Eskwela Foundation Inc.

Thanks to the foundation, Dara was able to help more kids. Today, she teaches over a hundred young children, mostly out-of-school youth and street kids who are in dire need of assistance.

Dara Mae Tuazon wins Humanitarian Award
Photo credit: Facebook / Dara Mae Tuazon - Bangketa Eskwela

For her valiant efforts in working with these young minds, Dara was conferred as the first recipient of The One Philippines (TOP) Humanitarian Award. Likening her efforts to those of the late Mother Theresa, the award body granted Dara with a Php1.5-million grant she can use anything she wants for her advocacy.

Aside from this amount, she also received an additional Php250,000 from the pockets of those who admired her cause.

For winning TOP, the 19-year-old student teacher has the chance to win $100,000 (P5 million) in prizes as she represents the country at The One International Humanitarian Award in Hong Kong.

Congratulations and good luck, Dara!

— Danielle, Ramos, The Summit Express


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