ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA—In line with the celebration of the National Children’s Month last November, the Department of Social welfare and Development (DSWD) launched the first-ever 4Ps Kids Club in the region during the culmination of the Regional Children’s Congress.

The club is composed of monitored children under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who academically excel in their respective schools. The objective of creating such a group is to establish a pool of exemplary 4Ps children and empower them to participate and/or lead in community activities.

As leaders of the youth, the club members identified several issues facing the youth of today. Some of the identified issues particularly affecting the children in Zamboanga City are teenage pregnancy/early fatherhood, bullying, and distance to education facilities. These issues are among the top reasons why 4Ps children drop out of school.

We might find wisdom from children especially in addressing children-related issues. We are very positive that the 4Ps Kids Club will be a good influence and role model of children in the community, DSWD-9 Regional Director, Riduan P. Hadjimuddin said.

Around 15 children mainly from Barangays Sta. Catalina, Tetuan, Mercedes, Culianan, Cabaluay and Salaan will be the pilot group of 4Ps Kids Club in the region. The members of the club already presented a proposed project entitled Mini Eskwela that aims to help children from far-flung areas and are not able to attend school.

The Department of Education commended the activity as a strategy to keep children in school and empower children to community participation.