In July 2002, Our journey began with a clear and noble mission: to provide unwavering support to the children living in the bustling harbour of Cebu City through early education initiatives. We firmly believed that empowering these young minds from the outset would lay the foundation for their future success and enable them to overcome the challenges they might face. However, we knew that the key to unlocking their full potential extended beyond the classroom walls. As such, we dedicated ourselves to involving the parents actively in their children's education, recognizing the indispensable role they play in shaping their kids' lives. By fostering a sense of responsible parenthood, we aimed to create a cohesive and nurturing environment that nurtured each child's growth and development. Our passion for making a positive impact on the lives of these young learners and their families continues to guide us, propelling us forward on this meaningful journey of transformation and empowerment.
How It All Started
by Anne de Vesian von Bredow
Little Bamboo has been the most fulfilling project I have ever worked on.
In 2002, I knew I had been extremely privileged to have loving parents, and to grow up in a prosperous country such as France. I was 26 and had been an analyst for a stockbroker for four years, working long hours, and earning a good salary. I was looking for a greater purpose when I decided to do something that would change my life, and open my eyes and heart to the lives of those less privileged.
To cut a long story short, I applied to Enfants du Mekong, a French NGO sending volunteers to Asia. They asked me to raise money for my mission, which was to take care of a boarding house for college students sponsored by them.
Doing so I met one of the chief executives of a company I used to cover as an analyst. He asked me to set up an independent organization centered on education in Cebu. Working with young kids was my dream..
It is incredible that when you are on the “right” track, everything falls into place. We observed the people in the port area – who were receiving very little support at that time - to understand what their needs were. Then, money flowed (thanks to incredibly generous sponsors), fantastic people came together, we found a piece of land…and Little Bamboo was born. We started in a bamboo hut, and a year later moved to a proper school. That was already 10 years ago!
After almost 2 years in Cebu, I came back home. My father convinced me that I could be more helpful to the foundation from Europe (raising funds). I went back to finance and started a family. But part of my heart remains in the slums of Cebu, reminding me that we all connected and that we can all do something, even it is very, very small.
Why Little Bamboo?
Little Bamboo" is the embodiment of our mission and vision, drawing inspiration from the growth of bamboos in Asia. Just like the versatile and useful nature of bamboos, we aim to provide unwavering support to the children in the harbor of Cebu City through early education, nurturing their minds for future success. We are committed to involving parents actively in their children's education, fostering responsible parenthood, and creating a nurturing environment. Our goal is to empower these young learners, enabling them to become strong and flexible individuals, capable of overcoming challenges with resilience. By channeling the spirit of the little bamboo, we envision a brighter future for our children, where they thrive and flourish in all aspects of life.
Pier of Cebu City
The Pier in Cebu City holds significance as it is a bustling area with over a million inhabitants and serves as one of the busiest harbors in the country. However, within this vibrant landscape lie pockets of slums where people face the harsh realities of no water, no electricity, and poor hygiene. The average income falls below the poverty level, leading to societal issues like violence, drug use, prostitution, and neglect of children. Our mission focuses on this area to address these challenges, providing early education, essential services, and a supportive environment to break the cycle of poverty and empower the community towards a brighter and more hopeful future.
In the slums, children are the first victims
In the slums, children bear the brunt of dire circumstances as they become the first victims of the harsh living conditions. Malnutrition and illness are prevalent, depriving them of a healthy start in life. Basic care, which should be a given for every child, is often lacking, leaving them vulnerable and exposed to various dangers. In the absence of proper support, these young souls are denied access to formal education, denying them opportunities to build a better future for themselves. Our mission is driven by a deep commitment to change this reality, as we work tirelessly to provide these children in the slums with essential care, education, and a chance to break free from the cycle of poverty, ultimately transforming their lives for the better.