Manila School Gives At-Risk Kids a Hopeful Future - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Manila School Gives At-Risk Kids a Hopeful Future

Father Rocky Father Rocky
Jerome Mendoza Jerome Mendoza
Glenn Wakai Glenn Wakai

By Diane Ako & Ericon Cristobal 

MANILA, The Phillippines (KHNL) -- Runaways, orphans with no home, street children with a criminal history. They are the kids nobody wants, except one Manila school.

The Tuloy Foundation helps them turn their lives around through an exceptional program that has won national awards. Now, a Hawaii charity helps support the school.

On the outside, this may look like your average school. But inside, miracles happen every day. First, you have to understand who the students are.

"The orphans, the abused, the abandoned, those who are in danger, exploited by child labor, street children," said Father Rocky.  "We want to serve the poorest of the poor, abandoned children who are still trainable for independent living."

17-year-old Jerome Mendoza once had no hope for a future, living on the streets. 

"My father hit us. Sometimes violent. I can't forget one time he punched me in the stomach."

He joined 600 other students, mostly boys, at Tuloy Foundation.

"I myself developed all my skills, talents, confidence, my self esteem, that bring me to success."

Automotive, cooking, and repair jobs await successful graduates.

"People brand these kids as bad, hopeless, difficult. Because they never gave them a chance," said Father Rocky.

"We have clothes, stuffed animals, we have toys," said Glenn Wakai.

Hawaii State Representative Glenn Wakai gives out donations to the kids, which he brought from the islands.

"We brought seven boxes of children's clothing, stuffed animals, and toys donated from shriners. Brought it here courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines, and as you saw, donated it to the children in Alabang," Wakai said.

"Look, we have lots of stuffed animals," Wakai said to the children.

Wakai founded the charity "Reach Out Pacific."

"In those boxes was more than things to play with," Wakai said. "I hope it conveys a real commitment by the people of Hawaii to help our brothers and sisters here in the Philippines."

"We hope you have every opportunity in life to be all that you can be," said Tom Brower.

Representative Tom Brower helped hand out the toys.

Lawmakers say they hope to make these donation drives a regular thing.

It's a gesture of love that these kids don't take for granted.

Tuloy Foundation has graduated more than 6,000 students since opening in 1993.

It is also supported by Hawaii charity "Consuelo Foundation."

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