Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world.

Ashley and Jacky, trailblazers for education

Ashley and Jacky, trailblazers for education

~Nelson Mandela

Meet Ashley and Jacky, two of our determined and trailblazing students at My Refuge House. When our girls first arrive, we assess their educational level.

Education is one of the key protective factors that prevent re-trafficking for young people who have survived Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.  Our girls are often behind many years in education.  Some cannot read or write. We first focus on catching them up…often completing two or three years of education in one until they either catch up to their age-appropriate grade level or pass their high school exams.

That was the plan with Ashley and Jacky until the education requirements in the Philippines changed this past year to mandate that young people attend two years of senior high.

Because of the changes, Ashley and Jacky are our first senior high students who have to leave campus. Ashley is taking General Academics and Jacky is in the technical/vocational track.

We are very happy and proud to see them turning another chapter in their lives. They are also very proud and supportive of each other. In fact, they stayed right by each other’s side their first two days. Jacky attended the General Academics classes on day one and Ashley attended the Vocational Classes on day two. It was pretty adorable how supportive they were.  They also handled all the newness in stride, creating a “cover story” that they were new because they’d been homeschooled (true story) and were living with their very strict aunt.

Several of their new peers wanted to go visit their house because they were convinced that Ashley and Jacky must be rich because they’d been homeschooled.  Luckily, their “aunt” is very strict and doesn’t allow guests.

Ashley and Jacky now feel more comfortable. They’re making friends, getting to know their teachers, and they’re attending their respective coursework. We’re excited to see how the year goes!