Charity Profile – City Gates Academy 

9 May 2024

Creating transformational sustainable change 


In May, for their Splash Project, a team of 50 participants from Avolon and Cebu Pacific Airlines spent a day transforming outside space belonging to the City Gates Academy near Danoa, Cebu… 


For two decades the City Gates Academy has been providing education to some of the Philippines poorest children across five locations. 

The NGO has a whole family approach, working to educate children while also supporting their parents and creating learning opportunities for them too. Because, education is lauded as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a sustainable future.  

In the rural environs of the city of Danao, Cebu, the NGO has a building, a church, but little else. So, unable to operate as a school just yet, it acts as a day – and overnight – care centre for local children, and delivers a ‘feeding programme’.  

The centre feeds up to 150 children in a sitting, depending on need, and funding and has space for around six children to stay overnight; if there was capacity for 30 children, it would be full. 

This May, teams from Avolon and Cebu Pacific Airlines, totaling 50 participants, overhauled the kitchen and created a large play area for the children on a patch of land which was just grass and a few trees before. 

Here, Glenn Isaguirre, Project Director for City Gates Academy, explains how needed the new facilities are

“It’s a big plot and we’ve never had the funds to be able to develop it into a school. Children are our future and education is the key to elevate them out of poverty. 

“In addition to the deprivation here, a lot of the parents don’t have jobs or lack the skills to get better paid jobs, so we want to educate the parents too. 

“Our future goal is to develop the site into a pre-school with teachers from the local community. 

“We want to build a sustainable future, through educating the children. But while our first goal is to teach the children, we also want to encourage the parents to become better contributors to society. 

“We’ve found with our other schools that the children who thrive most have parents who are working or have good work ethics, because they set the example.

“We want the community to have ownership over the centre and are hoping the parents will be able to work with us for three hours a week, so they feel part of it. 

“Before the Splash Project, the children came here simply because there are trees. Can you imagine what will happen now?” 

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