19-year-old ‘Bangketa Teacher’ from Pampanga wins first TOP Humanitarian Award!

When you feel like you’ve found your calling, you find love with what you do – regardless of how hard or tough the road could get while you’re that journey.

Dara Mae Tuazon, known for creating a makeshift classroom for street children, was conferred the first-ever The One Philippines (TOP) Humanitarian Award, as reported by the INQUIRER.

The 19-year-old University of the East Student student, who is currently majoring in Elementary Education, was also awarded a Php 1.5-million peso grant for her advocacy. She will also represent the Philippines at the One International Humanitarian Award in Hong Kong where over 30 awardees worldwide have been recognized for their support on their respective advocacies.

Her journey as a “bangketa teacher” started when she came across three street children in Sampaloc, Manila in 2016. Having a soft heart for children, she was distraught when she found out that they were not attending school, so she opted to teach them. Her students grew in number, and she now teaches over a hundred children in the Manila area in the streets.

“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,” she tells the INQUIRER.

Tuazon also founded ‘Bangketa Eskwela Inc.’, an organization that focuses on educating out-of-school youth students in the street. Hence, ‘bangketa teacher’ picked up and she was remembered for that since.

A selfless heart like Tuazon deserves such an award! Congratulations!

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