This short piece about the initiatives of our education programs at My Refuge House was written by Dr. Ivonn Ellis Wiggan. Dr. Ivonn joined the team at My Refuge House in May  of this year and has been boosting the spirits of the girls and staff by helping them create innovative, well-rounded additions to our programs.


For more about how God miraculously brought Dr. Ivonn to us CLICK HERE.


For more about how we define restoration (including education!) CLICK HERE.

At My Refuge House, we believe that education is a road out of poverty for our girls and is a tool to prevent their future sexual exploitation.


My Refuge House provides formal education through the Angelicum College home school educational program, and informal education including experiential learning opportunities, to the girls we serve.  Recently, the girls had an opportunity to participate in an informal educational opportunity.


In July, My Refuge House began the implementation of a monthly research project designed to increase the girls’ capacity to conduct online research, learn more about the global environment and practice their English and public speaking skills.  Each month the girls will be given grade-appropriate topics to research.  The girls will work in teams, assigned by grade level, and with an adult mentor.

The first month’s topic was related to health and nutrition.  This topic was chosen because July is designated as “Nutrition Month” in the Philippines.  The groups were each assigned a topic that was appropriate for their grade level.


  • Group one, comprised of high school graduates, was asked to research the causes for the increase of teen pregnancy within the Philippines and to offer solutions to address the issue.

  • Group two was asked to research the top 10 causes of mortality in the Philippines and to discuss in detail the number one cause of mortality and to identify prevention approaches.

  • Group three was asked to research the basic food groups, identify the nutritional value within each group and to prepare a three-day menu.


My Refuge House partnered with Casa Miani, a local child-serving non-governmental organization, to use their computer lab for our girls to conduct their research.  The research project culminated in the groups preparing a short PowerPoint presentation to be delivered to all staff and girls.


On the day of the first presentations, the girls were well-prepared.  Leading up to presentation day, the girls could be seen practicing their presentations in front of their peers, consulting with their mentors, and meeting within their groups to discuss their topics.  Although this was not part of their formal education curriculum, the girls took the project seriously and were enjoying spirited debates and creating the PowerPoint.

When the time to present arrived, the chosen presenters from each group changed from their casual attire into more professional attire, stood in front of the group (which was comprised almost 30 staff and peers combined) and delivered their well-rehearsed presentations.  The girls, didn’t only rise to the occasion, but were beaming with pride as they delivered their speeches and responded to questions during the Q&A.


MRH is committed to providing the girls it serves with care that fosters resilience and self-reliance.  We want to stretch our girls so that they can see their full potential and reach for it.  The research project isn’t a part of any formal education curriculum; we see the formal curriculum as the minimum educational requirement that we are committed to provided.

However, we won’t settle for minimums, we want to raise the bar and help the girls to reach for it and see their full potential!